Login to the best South Africa casino, play blackjack online and use the insurance side bet strategically… if you can!

Side bets in blackjack can be very generous and lucrative.  They offer players at our top-rated South Africa casino extra ways to win.  Some bets pay out at luxurious odds, whilst others are more about risk management.  The insurance bet is one such value-added proposition.

What is the Insurance Bet in Online Blackjack?

The insurance bet is effectively protection against a dealer blackjack.  It is only available when the dealer’s up card is an ace.  When you take the insurance bet, you are basically betting on the assumption the dealer’s concealed card is a ten, jack, queen or king.

It is the kind of bet that usually appeals to players who are trying to mitigate any potential losses by ‘playing it safe’.  It might therefore appeal to many of our Springbok Casino patrons.  The thought process is as follows:  if you can’t beat the dealer and win the initial bet, at least you have a chance of winning the side bet.  Similarly, if you lose the side bet, you still have the opportunity to play the round as you normally would.

What is at stake when you add the insurance bet to your gaming repertoire?  At a Real Time Gaming (RTG) powered South Africa casino like Springbok Casino, the payouts for online blackjack are as follows:

  • Blackjack pays 3:2
  • Insurance pays 2:1
  • A winning hand pays 1:1

When to Take the Insurance Bet in Blackjack

As with all wagers, there are scenarios when the insurance bet can be a good bet.  That said, you have to have all your ducks in row in order to truly benefit from this side bet.  What do we mean by that?

Firstly, you have to find a single-deck blackjack game, and when playing online, that is by no means an easy feat.  Secondly, you have to be proficient at counting the cards. When you know precisely how many ten-value cards are still in the pack, the chances of winning the bet are that much greater.

With those two elements on-side, the insurance side bet can be a viable wager.  It is a bet professional blackjack players often use as a safety net.  That said, the pros make a living from playing blackjack and they know how to play the game strategically.  Recreational players, on the other hand, might not be that strategy-orientated and prefer to play at a South Africa casino for fun!

Why the Insurance Bet Isn’t Recommended at an Online South Africa Casino

As you have probably gathered, the insurance bet in online blackjack is a tricky proposition.  Most of the blackjack games available online have multiple decks of cards in the shoe.  At our top-ranked South Africa casino, for instance, the RTG developed online blackjack games have six decks of cards in-play.

How does that affect the chances of winning the insurance bet?  It immediately impacts the accuracy of card counting as a strategy.  Keeping track of 16 ten-value cards in a regular single deck is difficult enough.  Now imagine how mentally agile you have to be to successfully monitor and keep track of 96 cards!

Another factor, unique to remote gaming sites in the mould of Springbok Casino, is the shuffle.  When you play card games online at the number one South Africa casino, all the cards are automatically shuffled after each and every game round.  That of course negates the efficacy of card counting altogether – even if you are capable of performing mental gymnastics.

When you take those two factors into account, the insurance bet is no longer about calculated probability.  To put it plainly, it has slipped into the realm of pure guesswork instead.

House Edge for Insurance in Blackjack

The clearest way to illustrate the point is through a little statistic known as the house edge.  This is the long-term profit our South Africa casino expects to make on the insurance bet, or any other blackjack betting option.  In the single deck game, the edge is around 5.88%.  When six decks are used, the edge rises to 7.40%.

When you compare the edge for the insurance bet to that of the initial ante bet, it tells a story.  At Springbok Casino, the house edge for the standard blackjack bet is 0.54%.  That is pretty close to zero profit for the casino – which makes it a good game to wager your hard earned Rands on!

As we have already pointed out, the edge on the side bet is 7.40%.  With those facts and figures at your disposal, which blackjack bet would you rather take?  Our word of advice would be to stick to standards bets at our South Africa casino… for all the reasons listed above!

Probability of a Natural Blackjack

Let us break it down a little further and look at the theoretical probability of the dealer hitting a natural blackjack.  Remember, when you take insurance, you are betting on the chance that the dealer’s concealed card is a 10-value card…

In the single-deck game, the probability if that happening is around 30%.  When there are six-decks of cards in the game, the probability plummets to 4.75%.  When you crunch the numbers, it does not make much sense to take insurance at 2:1 odds.

That said, there will be times when taking the side bet feels right...  You might call it a gut feeling or your natural instinct.  Whether you play intuitively or not is up to you.  What we do know is there are plenty of patrons at Springbok Casino who rely on instinct to guide their gaming activities online… and, yes, they occasionally win!

Login to the Best South Africa casino and Play Blackjack Online

Side bet or no side bet, blackjack is one of the most exciting online games at Springbok Casino.  It already has a low edge that can work in your favour if you play the game well.  Take some time to learn how to play the game strategically – and you can lower the house edge even further to boost the average payout rate!

Register an account online now and login to a South Africa casino independently ranked the best, on more than one occasion.  Along with a selection of low playthrough online casino bonuses, there are hundreds of casino games to pick and choose from.