What Is Insurance In Blackjack?

In Blackjack, "insurance" is a side bet that players can make when the dealer's face-up card is an Ace. It's essentially a wager on whether the dealer has a natural Blackjack (a two-card hand totaling 21 points), which consists of an Ace and a 10-value card (10, Jack, Queen, or King).

Here's how insurance works

Dealer's Ace

If the dealer's face-up card is an Ace, they will offer players the option to purchase insurance before checking their hole card (the face-down card). This is done by announcing "Insurance is open" or a similar phrase, signaling the opportunity for players to protect their bets against the possibility of the dealer having a Blackjack.

Insurance Bet

To place an insurance bet, a player can wager up to half of their original bet amount. The insurance bet is placed separately from the main bet and is typically placed in a designated area on the Blackjack table. This side bet serves as a form of insurance against the potential loss of the main bet if the dealer indeed has a Blackjack.


If the dealer has a Blackjack (an Ace and a 10-value card) with their hole card, the insurance bet pays out at odds of 2:1, effectively returning the player's original bet. This means that if a player bets $10 on insurance and the dealer has Blackjack, the player would win $20 from the insurance bet, but they would lose their initial $10 bet on the main hand. The payout on insurance serves as compensation for the potential loss on the main bet, providing a measure of protection for the player's overall wager.

No Blackjack

If the dealer does not have a Blackjack, the insurance bet is lost, and the game proceeds as usual. The player's main bet is then resolved based on the outcome of their hand against the dealer's hand.

The purpose of insurance is to provide players with a form of protection against the possibility of the dealer having a Blackjack. However, it's important to note that statistically, insurance is generally considered to be a poor bet in the long run. The odds of the dealer having a Blackjack are relatively low, and the payout of 2:1 does not compensate for the risk over time. Therefore, most experienced Blackjack players tend to avoid taking insurance and focus on playing their hand strategically based on the cards dealt.