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Cash Savings: $0.25/gallon
All $ Prices Per Gallon — All Taxes Included

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87 OCTANE

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89 OCTANE

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92 OCTANE

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Blackjack Insurance: What It Is and When to Take It

Winning at blackjack requires much more than knowing how to add up cards to get as close to 21 as you can. There are many strategies you can use to increase your odds of creating a winning hand, and many types of bets you can employ to maximize your potential return. 

Blackjack insurance is a bet many people use to mitigate potential losses. Understanding how and when to use this option is key to making informed decisions at the table so that you can walk away with as much money in your pocket as possible. This guide provides insights into blackjack insurance and helps clarify when it makes sense to place this bet and when it’s better to avoid it. When you’re at Blue Lake Casino, you can also rely on the friendly and knowledgeable staff to help you understand your betting options and the ins and outs of gaming rules.

Blackjack

What is Blackjack Insurance?

Blackjack insurance is a side bet that players can make when the dealer’s upcard is an Ace. Given that Ace that’s showing, there’s a good chance that the dealer could have a natural blackjack or could be very close to reaching 21. Making this bet is a defensive move that aims to mitigate potential losses if the dealer holds a blackjack. 

Blackjack insurance is placed separately from the main wager and pays 2:1 if the dealer reveals a ten-value card (10, Jack, Queen, or King) as the hole card, which would complete a blackjack. Insurance bets generally cost half of the original wager. Therefore, if your original bet is $10 and you place an insurance bet for $5, then the dealer gets a blackjack, you would lose your original bet but get $10 from your insurance bet, thereby breaking even. An insurance bet isn’t designed to help you win big but to offset the losses from your original bet if the dealer has a blackjack.

When Should You Take the Insurance Bet?

Taking insurance is most advantageous when players have a strong reason to believe that the dealer has a ten-value card in the hole, completing a blackjack. Having a good understanding of card distribution can give you an indication of if there’s a high probability of the dealer drawing a ten-value card. However, this can become tricky when multiple decks are in use, and even in the best circumstances, it takes a lot of practice to master. Simply looking for that Ace upcard is the best indication for most players that a blackjack insurance bet might be a good idea.

When Should You Avoid the Insurance Bet?

In most cases, the insurance bet is not advisable for casual players. The odds of the dealer drawing a ten-value card are less favorable than the payout ratio offered for the bet, making this bet generally unprofitable. Players who don’t have a mastery understanding of card distribution should generally avoid taking insurance as it ultimately raises the house edge. But you should factor in all considerations of the game when making your choice.

Blackjack

Blackjack Insurance Bet Odds

The blackjack insurance bet typically pays out at 2:1 if the dealer has a ten-value card and therefore gets a blackjack. However, with only four ten-value cards per thirteen-card suit, there is roughly a 30.8 percent chance of a ten-value card appearing when the dealer’s upcard is an Ace. As a result, the odds are not generally in favor of the player, which can make insurance a tricky proposition for those not relying on card distribution mastery. However, the odds are also not awful. Many people are willing to act on that 30.8 percent chance. You have to decide on your boundaries for risk and reward.

Pros of Blackjack Insurance

While not always the best option for every player, there are certain scenarios where taking blackjack insurance can be beneficial. Below are some advantages of opting for the insurance bet.

Helps Limit Losses

The primary appeal of blackjack insurance is its potential to limit losses when the dealer holds a blackjack. By taking this bet, players can recover some of their stake instead of losing their entire wager. This protective measure is particularly useful for those with substantial bets on the table. So if you have bet big on the first round and then you see the dealer showing an Ace, you may want to place an insurance bet.

Good for Skilled Players

For skilled players who have mastered an understanding of card distribution, insurance can be a valuable strategic tool. When a deck is “hot,” meaning that it’s rich in ten-value cards, a knowledgeable player can capitalize on the favorable odds and make a winning insurance bet. But the circumstances have to be just right.

Peace of Mind

The psychological aspect of gambling cannot be underestimated. Opting for the insurance bet offers peace of mind, knowing that a potentially devastating loss could be softened. This bet appeals to conservative players who value the assurance that they won’t be completely wiped out in the event of a dealer blackjack.

Cons of Blackjack Insurance

Despite the advantages of blackjack insurance, this bet often ends up costing more than it benefits most players. Here are some drawbacks to consider before opting for this side bet.

Can Be a Bad Bet

The odds are generally stacked against the player when it comes to insurance. Without an accurate system for tracking cards, the house edge often outweighs the payout. And even if you make the right bet, the best case scenario is to earn your money back. This makes it an unwise choice for casual players who may not be aware of the unfavorable probabilities.

Increases the House Edge

Casinos wouldn’t offer an insurance bet if it weren’t lucrative for them. The insurance bet effectively increases the house edge, meaning that in the long run, most players will lose more money than they win by frequently taking insurance. Choose this bet wisely and strategically. It can be advantageous at times, but certainly not every time.

Can Lead to Poor Decisions

The psychological influence that offers peace of mind when taking an insurance bet can also lead to poor decision-making. That emotional urge might cause players to rely too heavily on insurance, wrongly believing that it’s a safeguard against significant losses. If you lose the insurance bet, you may then also continue to increase your original bet, trying to offset the one loss but then creating more losses. This behavior can result in consistently throwing money into a losing proposition, causing a cascade of negative blows to the game and leading to serious losses.

Blackjack Insurance FAQs

Blackjack insurance is a polarizing topic among gamblers, often resulting in fierce debate about its effectiveness. Here are some frequently asked questions to help clarify its usage:

Should I always take insurance in blackjack?

No, you should not always take insurance. For most players, insurance is statistically unfavorable since the payout ratio doesn’t justify the odds of the dealer having a blackjack. It can be a reasonable bet if you’re a skilled blackjack player who knows that the deck is rich in ten-value cards and you can use the bet to your advantage. However, for casual players, it’s usually best to avoid the insurance bet.

How does the insurance bet affect my winnings?

The insurance bet can cushion your losses if the dealer does indeed have a blackjack, paying out 2:1 on your insurance wager. However, in the long run, taking insurance repeatedly without solid statistical reasoning tends to decrease your winnings because of its unfavorable odds. You will only minimize losses, not create gains. Therefore, your bankroll will be on the decline over the long term. Only actual wins will bring you back.

Can I take insurance if I have blackjack?

No, if you already have a blackjack, the insurance bet isn’t available. Instead, you’ll be paid according to the usual 3:2 payout for a blackjack hand. The only exception to this rule is if the dealer also has a blackjack. In that case, the hand would result in a push, or a tie, and the bet would ride.

Play Blackjack at Blue Lake Casino Hotel

There’s no better way to enjoy blackjack and put your skills to the test than to visit a live casino and play against real dealers. If you’re ready to test your luck and skills at the blackjack table, come visit us at Blue Lake Casino Hotel. We offer a lively gaming atmosphere, a variety of blackjack tables, and excellent hospitality. Enjoy a complete gaming experience while exploring the possibilities of blackjack insurance bets and other strategic plays. While you’re here, you can also enjoy other table games and slots, sports betting, live entertainment, and delicious cuisine. If you really want to treat yourself, visit our spa or book a stay in one of our gorgeous and comfortable rooms. Visit us today to treat yourself to a great time!