In this article we will deal with the Blackjack Strategy as well as with the ‘insurance’ in Blackjack. If the dealer’s first card (face up) is an ace, you have the option of placing insurance bets in case the dealer has a blackjack (as there is high probability of him drawing a 10, Ed.). You put out half of your original bet to the insurance and it pays 2:1. Below you will find two examples for a better understanding:
Example 1: Let’s say you place a 10 EUR bet per round, and the dealer’s first face-up card is an ace, whereas you have a ten and you buy an insurance for 5 EUR. If the dealer’s second card is a ten, meaning they have a natural Blackjack, you lose your original bet and the round is completed. However, you receive 5 EUR. You might have lost your original bet (10 EUR) but your insurance bet is paid off at 2:1 so you end up with 10 EUR. In fact, you have bet a total of 15 EUR and you got 10 EUR back, meaning that you’ve lost 5 EUR which is of course a better deal than losing your original bet of 10 EUR.
Example 2: See also: You have a hand worth 17 and the dealer does not have a natural blackjack but instead he has a hand worth 19 (composed by an ace and an eight). In this case, (naturally, you buy insurance since the dealer has an ace, Ed.) you are losing both your original bet worth 10 EUR, and your insurance bet worth 5 EUR so you lose a total of 15 EUR.
Many might argue that insurance is not necessary, as the scenario described in our second example is most likely to occur. The reason for this is that the dealer is likely to have a natural blackjack less than one-third of the time.
Why insurance is not in your best interest
Now that we have made clear the necessity of taking or not an insurance, we will try to explain when it is in our best interest to get help, according to mathematics. Let’s assume that the game is conducted with 8 decks shuffled together, meaning that the dealer’s shoe contains 416 cards in total. Of these, 128 are worth 10 (4 x 10 in each one of the 8 decks and 4 x 3 face cards in each one of the 8 decks), and the remaining 288 are ace through 9.
So, when all cards are placed in the shoe, the odds against the dealer having a 10 in the hole are 288 to 128 or 2.25 to 1. Given the fact that a winning insurance bet pays 2 to 1, the odds are not real and the player is put at a disadvantage. In fact, the winnings on insurance bets work out to 7.7 cents per 1 EUR bet.
Never take insurance on an online casino, only on a terrestrial one
In order for the insurance to be favourable, the odds against winning would have to be less than 2 to 1. This is the case when the shoe is full of 10-valued cards. There are two cases in which you are in an position to count cards; when you play Blackjack on a terrestrial casino or when you play live dealer Blackjack online. If you do so, you may be able to tell whether the shoe contains enough 10 valued cards. There is no point in card counting when playing on an online casino, as they use a software that shuffles the cards after every hand. So when you play an 8-deck Blackjack, all 8 decks will be used in every hand you play as no cards are being rejected.