To Buy or Not to Buy - Blackjack Insurance That Is
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To Buy or Not to Buy - Blackjack Insurance That Is
Nov 19, 2001, 16:03
By Bruno Casciato

The odds of the house holding blackjack are over 55/1.  The insurance bet that casinos offer about this eventually is at 2/1.  Don't take it.

As blackjack pays 3/2 and any other winning hand even money, insurance may look attractive.  This is an illusion.

Firstly, all to often it is only available to half of your original stake.  So all it can do is leave you where you started monetarily as the one and a half points you'll receive will be equal to what you've staked.  In the event that the dealer beats you with blackjack you'll lose your original bet.  A check on the casino's blackjack rules will frequently reveal that where the dealer and the player hold hands of the same value there is a standoff, or void.  So you don't really need to take insurance.  

Insurance bets will lose 982 times out of 1000, in the long run.  As you have discretion whether to bet or not, it would be in your favor to redirect your chips to other bets in your playing strategy.

The likelihood of blackjack occuring will increase after a long period when neither Aces or blackjacks are dealt.  The best possible situation for insurance bets occur when there are no more than 71 cards in a shoe of 312 cards, when no single Ace has appeared on the table.

Even in this extremely rare instance the maximum predictable long-term profit from the insurance bets alone, can only be 1.04% of amounts staked on the insurance bets.  But this is cancelled by the losses on original bets because of the staking rules.

The profit margin on blackjack tables is often very low.  Casinos try to gain advantage over the players by offering insurance, which gives them the upper hand.  The chances of two players holding blackjack at the same time are over 1666/1.

Many casinos will allow blackjack players to increase their bets rather than take insurance.

You will stand to lose less by taking a selectively aggressive playing policy and increasing your stakes when you feel confident of beating the house rather than taking insurance.

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