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Blackjack may be one of the best online casino games in terms of the payout rate – but how about the optional insurance side bet? Is it good, bad, or indifferent… and does it add value to the online gaming sessions at Springbok Casino?
Before we get into the pros and cons of the insurance bet in blackjack, you probably want to know what it is. Unlike the split and double down options – where you effectively increase your original wager in pursuit of double the money – the insurance bet is a standalone optional side bet.
That of course means you are not obliged to take insurance when you play blackjack at the best online casino. Wait… what is the insurance for? That is easy. It is to cover the probability of the dealer getting a ten or face card to complement the ace which, as you are probably aware, creates a natural blackjack.
When you take insurance, you are essentially betting that the dealer’s hole card is a ten-value card. In other words, the insurance bet has nothing whatsoever to do with your hand, or the fact that it may or may not beat that of the dealer’s. Here is how it works…
When the dealer shows an ace, the Springbok Casino software automatically offers insurance, regardless of the initial two cards you are dealt. At the best online casino, all you have to do is click on either the yes or no button in order to trigger or deactivate the insurance side bet.
When you take insurance, you have to make an additional wager equal in value to half of the original bet. As we have already mentioned, this bet is all about the dealer’s concealed or hole card and has nothing whatsoever to do with the cards in your hand.
If the dealer’s hole cards is a 10 or face card, you win the insurance bet and get paid out at odds of 2:1. The dealer however now has a natural blackjack, which is unassailable in terms of the original bet. As a result, you lose your initial wager.
If the dealer’s hole card is not a ten-value card, you lose the insurance side bet. In that scenario, you may well continue to win that particular hand and the original blackjack bet is paid out at 1:1 odds. The question is, should you always take the insurance bet when you play blackjack at Springbok Casino, the best online casino by far?
In the land-based casinos in Las Vegas, London and Atlantic City, the answer is a resounding no. How come? Well, in brick and mortar gaming halls, blackjack is usually played with only one standard deck of 52 cards.
What that means is 16 cards in the deck have a value of ten. If neither of the initial cards you are dealt are tens or face cards, the ratio is 16 to 35 – which is good as it gets.
What does that mean in terms of rands and cents? If you placed a R1 insurance bet, you would lose 35 times at a total cost of R35. You would, however, win 16 times at odds of 2:1 to get a total return of R32. In reality, that means a net loss of R3 for a total outlay of R51 in insurance bets – and that my friends is by no means a good bet!
Having said that, blackjack players experienced in the fine art of card counting may find it comparatively easy to keep track of how many ten-value cards have already been played and how many are still in the deck. There is after all, only one deck in the shoe and it is only shuffled sporadically.
In that scenario, seasoned gamblers would be well placed to achieve a better win/loss ratio simply by adopting a strategic approach to the insurance side bet.
At an online casino, such as Springbok Casino, there are typically six to eight decks of cards in-play in blackjack. What is more, the virtual shoe is shuffled after each and every game round. That obviously means attempting to track the ten-value cards is impossible and that negates any of the advantages blackjack players enjoy at B & M casinos.
Now, back to the original question; is the insurance bet in blackjack good, bad or indifferent? Well, if you are playing at the best online casino, it is a blackjack bet that should be avoided at all costs – and it is easy to see why. The odds are simply stacked against you, even if there is only one deck of cards in-play… which there isn’t.
What we do know for sure is the insurance bet is a net loser over time. That, however, does not mean you can’t follow your gut and wager on the dealer’s concealed card every once in a while. It does offer better odds than a winning hand after all and there is every chance you will come up tops every once in a while!
Why not sign at Springbok Casino and put your tactics to the test? We are rated the best online casino for South Africans for several reasons, one of which is the free play option that is available for all the games at the download casino… including blackjack!