Insurance for less?
  • Your counting down the deck and you no that insurance bet is favorable you have $25 bet is it smart to insure for $10 covering $20 of your bet rather than insuring for the full $12.50. The pit might think if he knew the dealer had blackjack why wouldn't he insure for the full amount. Plus the dealer calls out insurance for less. Plus if you have a bad hand insuring for just under your full bet seems to draw less heat from the pit than insuring for the full amount.
  • It works like this:

    You bet $20

    If the dealer has an ace up, you insure for $10.

    If the dealer has blackjack, your insurance pays you $20, but you lose your original bet (I assume you don't have 21 as well). You thus end up +$10.

    If the dealer doesn't have blackjack, you lose the $10 insurance and play out the hand.

    If you don't insure, you either lose your original bet instantly if the dealer has 21, or else you play out the hand.

    The 2:1 odds favor the house, because the true odds of the dealer having a 21 are higher than that (4/13, not 4/12 which would be 2:1). A card counter knows when the true odds of the dealer having 21 are 2:1 or less, and takes insurance there which makes this a +EV bet. And he knows when there are extra small cards (or even the correct 9:4 non-10 to 10 ratio) and he knows that the insurance bet is a loser in those circumstances and he doesn't take insurance.

    The bottom line then is that you insure for the max amount when the odds are in your favor, and you insure for zero when they are not. I can't think of a reason to "insure for less" except for when you simply don't have enough money left to insure properly. Same logic applies as in "doubling for less" which is also something to avoid.

    If you worry about heat, then you have to be more careful about what you insure, not how much you insure for... For example, insuring a stiff will attract a few guffaws from the ploppies. Insurance is a common counter-catcher when you consistently insure in + counts and pass in - counts...

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