Double Down or Take Insurance?

If you have been playing blackjack for awhile you know that it is a very popular game and is generally considered a relatively easy game to play. There are a couple areas of this game that are not very well understood and that is when to double down and when to take insurance.

These are issues that even those who have been playing blackjack for awhile struggle with. You’ll always have to make the decision to double down given the specific set of circumstances, but understanding your options better will help you know when to make that choice.

Doubling Down

Doubling down is basically a side bet that allows for you to double your original bet after you have received your first two cards. When you double down you match your bet that you have out there already, but then you are allowed just one more card. You can choose to double down for any amount that you would like, up to the original bet amount. So, you could choose to double down for a lesser amount, if you would like.

It’s important to remember when you choose to double down that you can only draw one more card. You should always double down when you have an 11 no matter what card the dealer is showin. When you choose to double down you should always double for the full amount of the original bet. If you remember these simple rules you’ll find that you can double down with relative ease and perhaps even a high level of success.


Knowing when to take insurance is more difficult for most players than knowing when to double down. Insurance is offered any time the dealer is showing an ace. The idea behind the insurance bet, which is basically a side bet, is that you will place half the size of your original bet in the insurance spot. If the dealer does have blackjack you will receive 2:1 on your insurance bet. This allows for you to win your original bet back when the dealer has Blackjack, so you don’t net any money on the hand, but you don’t lose any either.

When should you take insurance? The simple answer is never. Most blackjack pros will tell you that taking insurance is taking a sucker bet. Why? Because the statistics of the game say it is not a good idea. When you consider that there are nine cards in the deck that will not allow for a dealer blackjack and just four cards that will, it doesn’t make sense.

You will continue to lose money over time if you continue to take insurance. Overall, it just isn’t a good bet so you should avoid the insurance bet. There may be times when you want to take an even money bet, but the insurance is never a great option no matter the specifics.

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