Insurance only happens when the dealer's
face up card is an Ace, when the dealer will ask the players if they want
insurance (he won't know what his face down card or 'hole' card is at this
point, so you won't be able to read his expression for clues). Insurance
means that half the player's bet is placed on the 'insurance' semicircle
printed on the felt. If the dealer gets a BlackJack the player wins the
the insurance bet but loses the original bet meaning a zero hand because
insurance pays 2 to 1. If the dea
ler does not get BlackJack, the insurance bet is lost and the hand is
played normally with the remaining half bet. Don't bother with insurance
unless you are trying to card count (take it when the number of non '10'
cards to 10s drops below the 2 to 1 margin). You may also come across 'Surrender'
- it's not widely used, but there are 2 versions you may find, 'early
surrender' and 'late surrender'.
Early surrender means quitting on 2 card hands if you don't like the
dealer's up card (e.g. a ten or court card). Surrendering in this way will
give you a small extra advantage whcih is why casinos don't like it. Late
surrender means waiting until the dealer checks for BlackJack, at which
point if he doesn't, you may decide to surrender. As we say, not very
common, so ask before joining the table whether you can or not. And that's
it! Stay cool, and don't panic, and nobody will guess you are a casino
Wilma Turner is a professional blackjack
player who writes for http://supabets.com/