What is the Insurance in Blackjack Cash Games?

The dealer is dealing around cards and in front of him comes a visible ace. There is a good chance that the dealer will hit the blackjack and take your money. As a player you can insure yourself by paying half of your bet and get the money on the table back if the dealer draws a face card or a 10. It can be quite hard to decide what to do, so let’s try to make it easier for you.

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Depend On The Odds
Back at the table, let’s try to break down the chance of the dealer gaining a 10-value card as his hole card (the one facing down) besides his ace. In a normal deck there will be 52 cards. If it is only you and the dealer, who are in the game, this means that four cards will be dealt. One of the cards is the dealer’s ace and then there are your cards. If you don’t get a 10-value card in any of your cards it means that there are 16 10-value cards left in the game out of 49 invisible cards. This gives the dealer a chance of less than 33 % of hitting blackjack.

Even though there is a good chance that he will hit 21, there is a far bigger chance that he won’t. Remember this is the odds that the dealer will have at the start of the game. If you have two 10-value cards, it is only 14 of the remaining 49 cards that can handle the house blackjack. A chance of only 28,5%. In general, this means that most often the dealer won’t have the best odds in terms of hitting blackjack. He still has a good hand as the ace counts for both 11 and 1, but there is a good chance he won’t take you out straight away.

It’s Never In The Dealers Favor
There might be a time where several low value cards have appeared on the table. This will change the odds in favor of the dealer. But in a deck of 52 cards, 20 cards need to be dealt that are not 10-value cards before the odds of the dealer will be evened out at 50%. There is a very small chance that this will happen, if any. Which means you should always have the upper hand against the insurance bet.

It is of course up to you whether you would like to ensure your bet, as it is always nice to keep your money. But in the long run it won’t pay off. The odds will be against you.

To Conclude

I hope this has helped you figuring out how to play the dealer dealt ace in the future. If you are a beginner, you can browse our guides and read more about blackjack essentials.