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Table Games What is "insurance" in blackjack?

Discussion in 'Table Games' started by Chrisnewton, Oct 4, 2013.

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  1. Chrisnewton

    Chrisnewton Low-Roller

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    Really sorry if this is basic...im getting into blackjack but dont really understand how the insure part works?

    any help would be appreciated

    chris
     
  2. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    You don't take it. Ever.
     
  3. Chrisnewton

    Chrisnewton Low-Roller

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    why?? what is it???
     
  4. weluvvegas

    weluvvegas Vegas Slot Junkie

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    :thumbsup:

    Yep. It's a sucker bet.

    I was teaching my mom blackjack a few weeks ago and I was explaining to her about insurance when it came to where I was showing an Ace (I was playing as the dealer). She immediately said "I'll take insurance!" I said...no you won't. lol Then I told her about it. She got all confused and said "then why the hell did you ask me?" haha
     
    40th Birthday Bash!
  5. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    If the dealer has an ace showing, you can bet insurance. You are betting that the dealer will indeed have blackjack. They usually let you bet up to ½ your original bet and if you win it pays 2-1. So, if you do win the insurance bet, you basically break even on the hand.

    BUT…unless you are counting cards, insurance is a terrible bet. Just say no!
     
  6. ardee

    ardee VIP Whale

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    You are "insuring" your hand in case the dealer has a 21. It is a lousy bet. Never do it.
     
  7. ams722

    ams722 Side Bet Shunner

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    If the dealer is showing an Ace, they always offer insurance.

    You can wager up to half of your bet for insurace (this is in addition to your bet that's already out there). So if you bet $10, you can bet an additional $5 as insurance.

    If the dealer has a blackjack, it pays 2-1. If there is no blackjack, you lose whatever you bet for insurance.
     
  8. Chrisnewton

    Chrisnewton Low-Roller

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    lol love your mam hahahaha

    thanks all...ill just say no !
     
  9. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    One more thing…

    If you have a blackjack while the dealer has an ace showing, she will ask you if you want “even money” - that is you can choose to immediately take a win with a payout of 1-1 (if she doesn't have BJ and you don't take insurance, the payout is 3-2). It is the same thing as taking insurance (if the dealer has an ace, you win the insurance bet and push on the standard bet). But, more often than not, the dealer and other players will act like you’re insane for turning down a “sure win”.

    Now, if you are typically a $10/hand player and for some reason decide to play for $100/hand and this happens, I certainly wouldn’t blame you for taking it. But just remember, “even money” is the same awful bet as “insurance” (and IMO, if you feel you need to take “even money” because you have such a big bet out, then you’re betting way too much).
     
  10. Chrisnewton

    Chrisnewton Low-Roller

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    Thanks that makes sense
     
  11. hillwood24

    hillwood24 High-Roller

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    You would, however, want to take insurance or "even money" if it were offered to you at a 6:5 blackjack table instead of a 3:2 table. They should never offer it to you, but sometimes they will make a mistake. Always take it.

    As an aside, at my local Indian casino, they for some reason offer insurance on their 6:5 games. They obviously have no idea what they're doing.
     
  12. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Low-Roller

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    Good advice from all posters here- decline insurance and decline even money (same thing- explained by thecarve).

    Many people will take even money with a large wager, and decline even money when betting small.

    This is exactly the wrong way to do it. The bigger the bet, the more important it is to make the correct play. In other words, playing errors are more costly when you have big bets out.

    If you are going to make a wrong play (even money), or any other hunch play, do it when you have a min bet out. If betting big, it's important to play it correctly, and decline insurance (or even money), or any other ploppy move.
     
  13. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    You can still offer insurance at 6 to 5 BJ tables and play it out like you would any other hand, you just can't automatically offer even money with BJ vs. Ace unless you want to give the player a break. Take max insurance; no dealer BJ: 1.2 - 0.5 = +0.7 unit net win. Take max insurance; dealer BJ: 0 + 1.0 = +1.0 unit net win. So like you said, if you get offered even money at a 6 to 5 table regardless of result, then you should snap take it.

    But of course, OP should try to avoid 6 to 5 blackjack if possible.
     
  14. hillwood24

    hillwood24 High-Roller

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    You explained it much better than I did. I meant to clarify that they allow the player to take even money, which I guess they don't realize is positive EV for the player.
     
  15. Terry Benedict

    Terry Benedict VIP Whale

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    If you're not counting... (CSM or beginning of a shoe)

    You have a 20, dealer shows an ace...

    Out of 13 cards, only four will pay the insurance bet. So you have a 9 of 13 chance to lose the insurance bet.
     
  16. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    Just got back & I think I heard this every single time I had a blackjack with a dealer ace showing.

    The wonderful beauty of it all was that the dealers never once had the blackjack when I did! Not once for my entire trip. :evillaugh

    I had one dealer flat out ask me why I wouldn't take even-money and I loved telling her "because I want to be paid 3:2 for my blackjack".

    I'm not sure that she got it, but hey - it was funny to me, anyway!
     
    Seems like forever from now, but the flights are booked, so it counts!
  17. WrongWayWade

    WrongWayWade VIP Whale

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    There is no reason the casino wouldn't offer insurance at 6:5 games: they always do. It's the same bad bet (true odds 9:4, pays only 8:4). But 'even money' doesn't work out the way it does in a 3:2 game, so you'll never get the 'even money' offer from the dealer at at a 6:5 game.

    You can still take insurance if you are holding a blackjack, but the results are different: $10 bet, take $5 insurance. Dealer has a blackjack: push your $10 bet, win $10 on insurance, net win $10. Dealer doesn't have blackjack: Win $12 on your bet, lose the $5 insurance bet, net win, $7.
     
  18. WrongWayWade

    WrongWayWade VIP Whale

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    Agreed.

    One more note: taking insurance is the 2nd most important deviation from basic strategy for a card counter. So don't be convinced it's a ploppy taking even money or insurance. It's a pretty easy tell if a player ONLY takes insurance with a large bet out. Sometimes I'll say: "I'm not insuring my cards, I'm insuring my money!" (I'll probably have some crap hand like 15 which also looks funny to some.)

    And it's a huge hole-card play. If you had perfect information about the hole card just when the dealer shows an Ace (so the only playing deviation you are making is getting insurance right every time), you'd be playing at an advantage right there.

    It's stunning how many players, especially in Vegas, consistently take even money and never take insurance. But this is what you get for learning your strategy just by playing and listening to dealers and other players. One dealer told me 'you should always insure your 20s!" Hell, I'm betting there is a ten in the hole and I've just used two of them up?!?
     
  19. Malibugolfer

    Malibugolfer High-Roller

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    I like how the casinos use the psychology in the name "insurance" which is to entice people and increase the HA. And then they use the pejorative "surrender" when it works for the player.
     
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