Blackjack Insurance Explained
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Q. Can you explain Blackjack Insurance? What is Even Money?

Whenever the dealer's face up card is an ace, insurance is offered to all players.  The player who purchases insurance places an extra bet of up to one half of his original bet.  If the dealer has a blackjack (a ten underneath), the players that bought insurance are paid twice the amount of their insurance bet (2 to 1).  In most cases, where the player takes insurance for exactly half his original bet, the result of a blackjack is that no money changes hand.  On the other hand, if the dealer does not have blackjack, the insurance bet is collected and the regular blackjack hand is played.

The concept of insurance in blackjack was one of casino's greatest marketing ploys.  Many players feel lucky that they can insure a good hand, thus avoiding a loss if the dealer has a blackjack.  Like life or car insurance, companies would not offer it if there was not a profit to be made.  The same applies for blackjack.  The casino offers insurance because it has a huge edge over the player.  Not counting the dealer's ace which becomes less relevant in a multiple deck game, there is a ratio of 4 tens to every 9 non-tens.  As a result, you have approximately 4 chances in 13 of collecting on your bet.  If you had 4 chances in 12, you would be looking at an even bet.

Even Money is another term used when you take insurance whenever the player has blackjack. The player is paid 1 times their bet instead of 1.5 times (for a regular BJ). Most casinos will pay the player right away without actually placing the insurance bet.

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