Understanding Blackjack Insurance

When playing Blackjack, one of the terms you may encounter is “insurance.” In this guide, we’ll delve into what Blackjack insurance is, how it works, and whether it’s a worthwhile option for players.

What is Blackjack Insurance?

Blackjack insurance is a side bet that players can make when the dealer’s upcard is an Ace. The insurance bet is essentially a wager on whether the dealer has a natural Blackjack (a two-card hand totaling 21). If the dealer indeed has Blackjack, the insurance bet pays out at 2:1, providing players with some protection against losing their original bet.

How Does Blackjack Insurance Work?

Here’s a breakdown of how Blackjack insurance works in practice:

  1. Dealer’s Ace: When the dealer’s upcard is an Ace, they will offer players the option to take insurance before checking for Blackjack.
  2. Insurance Bet: Players can choose to place an insurance bet of up to half of their original wager. The insurance bet is placed separately from the main bet.
  3. Checking for Blackjack: After players have made their insurance decisions, the dealer will check their hole card (the facedown card) to see if they have a Blackjack.
  4. Outcome:
    • If the dealer has Blackjack, the insurance bet pays out at 2:1, effectively covering the player’s losses on their original bet.
    • If the dealer does not have Blackjack, the insurance bet is lost, but the main bet continues as usual.

Is Blackjack Insurance Worth It?

While Blackjack insurance may seem like a tempting option to protect against the dealer having Blackjack, it’s generally not recommended for skilled players. Here’s why:

  • House Edge: The house edge on Blackjack insurance is relatively high, around 7-8%. This means that over time, players are likely to lose more money by taking insurance bets.
  • Probability: Statistically, the likelihood of the dealer having Blackjack when showing an Ace is less than one-third. Therefore, the odds are not in favor of the player when taking insurance.

Alternatives to Insurance

Instead of relying on insurance bets, players can employ other strategies to minimize losses and maximize their chances of winning:

  1. Basic Strategy: Following a basic Blackjack strategy based on the dealer’s upcard and the player’s hand can help make optimal decisions during gameplay.
  2. Card Counting: Advanced players may use card counting techniques to gain an edge over the casino and adjust their bets accordingly.
  3. Bankroll Management: Properly managing your bankroll and setting limits on how much you’re willing to bet can help control losses and prolong your playing time.


While Blackjack insurance may offer a sense of security, it’s generally not a wise bet for skilled players due to its high house edge and unfavorable odds. By focusing on sound strategies such as basic strategy and bankroll management, players can improve their chances of success at the Blackjack table without relying on insurance bets. So, next time you’re faced with the option of insurance, think twice before placing that extra wager.