Learn to play Blackjack 3

Welcome to learn to play blackjack stage 3. Hopefully if you want to play blackjack you have read the information in learn to play blackjack 1 and learn to play blackjack 2 but if you haven’t then we suggest you do so as you will be missing something.
What we are going to be explaining now is one of the most difficult parts when you learn to play blackjack and it requires a little knowledge of statistics; it is also a part that is not very well understood by those who play blackjack and lose frequently and the reason that it is not understood is the fact that players do not have enough knowledge or are too lazy to crunch the numbers and get the right statistics but do not worry; just keep on reading and by the end you will know exactly how to play blackjack; it is not rocket science.

– The first topic is Insurance: If you play blackjack you are sometimes allowed to insure your bet against the dealer having a blackjack which when you first start to learn to play blackjack sound quite attractive. By accepting insurance you will not lose if the dealer has blackjack but you will lose if the dealers hand is not blackjack and it works as follows.

The insurance bet when you play blackjack can only be placed when the dealer is showing an ace as the first card. If this is the case then the dealer will ask the players if they wish to insure and of course when you play blackjack you have the choice of insuring or not. If you would like to place an insurance bet then you must count the total amount of your bet and place half of this on the insurance pay line, which can be found on the table. The blackjack dealer will then in turn look at the bets and check to see if they are correct. After everybody has had the chance to insure, the dealer will have a look at his second card and see if it has a value of ten, which would make blackjack. If the dealer has blackjack then you will lose your original bet and your insurance will be paid 2:1 which in effect means that you will get paid your original bet back, leaving you with no loss and no gain. This sounds very attractive when you learn to play blackjack but as soon as you start to think about the numbers you will see that it is not such a good deal after all.

Let’s start with an example, if when you play blackjack you place a 10 euro bet and the dealer has an ace as his first card. If you were to insure you would have to place 5 euro on the insurance line. By making this bet you would expect 1 in 3 chance of winning, as they are paying you 2 to 1. This is unfortunately far from true. There are 52 cards in a deck and from these 52 there are 16 with a value of 10. This means that the dealers  chance of hitting a ten is not exactly 1 in 3 but actually 32.65% (16/49). The reason that it is 16/49 and not 16/52 is the fact that you know that one of the cards is an ace and you also have a couple of cards in your own hand. If one of your hand cards is a ten value card the odds are decreased even more to 15/49 or 30.61% making a 2 to 1 bet not attractive. If you play blackjack in a multi deck game the odds are slightly better but will always leave the dealer with an edge. If you play blackjack regularly you will soon realise that it is a game of small margins.

– The second topic when you learn to play blackjack is Even Money: this is something that can be offered to you when you have blackjack and the dealer is showing an ace as his first card. The dealer will offer even money and by saying this you are being offered a regular 1 to 1 payout for your blackjack and not the special blackjack rate which is 3:2. Many players who learn to play blackjack like the sound of that and take the even money option without once again thinking about the statistics.

Lets show you again with the 10 euro example. You have blackjack and the dealer is showing an ace as his first card. The dealer offers you even money and you decide to take it so you are now up 10 euro but as explained above there is only a 30.61% chance of the dealer making a blackjack so you need to consider whether it is worthwhile to sacrifice your additional 5 euro possible winnings.

As the dealer is showing an ace again players will be asked whether they wish to take insurance but if you already have blackjack this is not allowed for the simple reason that it makes no difference. If the dealer has blackjack your initial bet stands and you receive 10 euro for your insurance, leaving you up 10 euro. If the dealer does not have blackjack, you lose your insurance and get paid 15 euro for your blackjack, which leaves you up 10 euro again.  It does make a difference if you take even money because by taking even money you are doing yourself short. You already have blackjack and the dealer doesn’t. Look at the statistics once again when you play blackjack and see what the chance is of the dealer getting a card with a value of ten, 15/49 or 3.061. The reason that it is 15 and 49 is because there are three cards on the table where one of them has a value of ten.

In summary, if you play blackjack statistically you are better off not insuring or taking even money. There can only be one reason for taking these options and that is when you are able to count cards when you play blackjack and you know that the chance of a card with a value of ten is coming is greater than normal but with the use of multi decks and the cards being shuffled often when as little as 20% of the cards have been dealt this becomes very difficult. In short, when you learn to play blackjack avoid these bets as the odds are not in your favour.