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Table Games BJ insurance

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by Gomar, Oct 14, 2012.

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  1. Gomar

    Gomar Low-Roller

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    Like alot of people, I am confused about the insurance in BJ. Most say it's a bad idea; However, assuming you bet the full half bet the net effect is that you break even. Of course, if the dealer does not have blackjack, you'll lose the insurance bet.

    Say I bet $20, dealer has Ace, I bet $10 for insurance. If dealer has BJ, I get $20, correct? If I as well have BJ it's a tie, but I win $10.
    If I have 18, I lose $20, but still win $10. So why is insurance a bad deal then?
    Is it any worse than playing 2 hands, losing 1; or doubling down and losing 2x your bet? Or splitting and losing it all?
     
  2. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    it's a bad deal because in the long run it increases the HA. so they pay you 2/1 on the bet, but the odds of the dealer having a BJ (assuming no count is known) is only 4/13 or over 3/1. so in the long run you're costing yourself money by paying juice on the insurance unnecessarily.
     
  3. Terry Benedict

    Terry Benedict VIP Whale

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    Basically, the reason insurance is a bad bet is because there is generally a 4/13 chance there is a blackjack. And that doesn't include the chances the house has to hit a soft hand when they turn over an A-6 (six other cards).
     
  4. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Trust those that have run the numbers. It is a bad bet.

    Again, mathematically it is a bad bet.

    People continue to take it as they confuse the "insurance" get with what they have in their hand. Two different bets. And the casino likes that confusion so people take the bet.
     
  5. elrohir44

    elrohir44 Low-Roller

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    Don't think of insurance as being connected to your original bet. It is a completely separate bet, as side bet in reality. When the dealer shows an ace you are betting that he has a 10-card underneath and the dealer is offering you 2-1 odds on that bet.

    For simplicity's sake lets assume there are infinite decks in the shoe. In a deck of cards you have 13 of each rank and 4 of these equal 10 in blackjack. the odds of the dealer having a ten as his hole card are 4-to-9, or 2.25-1 against. This means the insurance bet has a house edge of nearly 7%.

    This means that for every $10 you bet on insurance you will lose approximately $.70 over the long run. To put that in perspective, most blackjack games have a house edge of around 0.60% assuming you play basic strategy, meaning you only lose an average of $.06 per $10 bet.

    Once you start thinking of insurance as its own independent bet you will realize how bad of a sucker bet it really is. Also, think about all those times when your first card dealt is an ace but the second card fails to give you a blackjack. It is exactly the same for the dealer.

    In short, never bet insurance!!!!
     
  6. Dtyst1

    Dtyst1 Tourist

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    Like others have said, insurance is a terrible bet.

    They wouldn't advertise it so heavily if it was in the player's advantage. Notice the dealer never stops the game to see if a player wants to surrender in an appropriate situation.
     
  7. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

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    Taking even money with a BJ is insurance too.
     
  8. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    I wonder if anyone has done the math on buying isurance with a signficantly positive count on a 2-deck game...
     
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  9. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    Sure if it's positive enough it can become a good bet as the odds change.
     
  10. WrongWayWade

    WrongWayWade VIP Whale

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    Of course they've done the math :)

    The true count has to be around 4 to make insurance correct. This and when to stand on 16v10 are the two most valuable basic strategy deviations.
     
  11. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    I'm sure they have.

    But I'd imagine mainly in systems that account for aces separately.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012
  12. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

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    I always cringe when my BJ pushes, as I know I'll then have to endure the ignorant comments of all the clairvoyants who can't understand why I was so greedy and stupid. They'll never learn! The only time I might take insurance is when the count is so high that it prompted me to raise my bet. (Oh, don't get me wrong – I have an extremely negative opinion of "conventional" card counting, but that's for some other time.)
     
  13. Tree DA

    Tree DA High-Roller

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    Now is as good as any...:)

    I'm curious...what counting system do you like?
     
  14. Malibugolfer

    Malibugolfer High-Roller

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    Think of the house psychology. When it is not in your best interest % wise, they call it "insurance" like you are somehow protected. When a play to save some of your money is in your favor % wise they call it "surrender." Like you are a loser.:beer:
     
  15. Turtleman

    Turtleman VIP Whale

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    I don't like any of them! I started writing out a description of my card counting "theory" and techniques, but I guess if I really had this stuff figured out, I'd be doing a whole lot better than I am. I'm afraid that if I dared try to explain, I'd be flamed from the counters and probably worse from everyone else. So, for now, I'm just going to stick with the thread's insurance topic. Sorry – maybe later. (Just reserved 8 nights in December – sure hope I don't blow it this month!)
     
  16. y2mulder

    y2mulder Low-Roller

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    10 years in the business, I have heard 10,000 people state that "I never take insurance". But 9,900 of them take even money every time. It's hilarious.

    I have actually had people explain to me they would even take even money on a blackjack with a dealer up face card if they could.
     
  17. WrongWayWade

    WrongWayWade VIP Whale

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    Correct on the even money vs. insurance bet. In Vegas it seems EVERYONE takes even money, but I noticed in Pennsylvania it wasn't common at all. Apparently the dealers are told not to solicit 'even money' and the player culture seems to be happy not to take it.

    I think sometimes people think they are going to LOSE their bet if they don't take even money.

    One time I was playing two hands, a had a blackjack and some other hand; I took insurance on both and it took the dealer 5 minutes to sort it out. I could have told her 'even money' on the blackjack of course, but it was amazing how she couldn't compute how to do insurance on that hand.

    One funny one you'll hear is "I only take insurance when I have 20." This is, of course, completely backwards. You're betting the dealer has a 10 in the hole and you just used up two 10s in your own hand.
     
  18. johnvic

    johnvic VIP Whale

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    It's not only used in ace side counts at all. In hi lo you take insurance at a true count of +3.
     
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  19. dankyone

    dankyone VIP Whale

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    It is amazing. In LV, most players do take even money on blackjack and most dealers encourage it. Almost none understand it is the same thing as taking insurance. "But it's a guaranteed win!" they say. I actually started arguing with a dealer about it last month until I realized there was no point.

    I think some players would take "even money" if offered when the dealer had a face card showing, and the casinos should offer it since it would obviously be a great deal for them if they could get players to take it.
     
  20. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

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    Think of it this way.....
    Would the casino offer you a bet that would increase your odds?
     
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