No matter how good your blackjack skills are or your card counting is, it will be frustrating to see the dealer show an ace upcard.
The house has an advantage, but there is another blackjack hand strategy open to players. This article will explain everything you need to know.
WHAT IS EVEN MONEY IN BLACKJACK?
So, for the uninclined, what does this mean and why does it matter in blackjack? Even money in blackjack is a basic strategy that refers to when you are being dealt 21, and the dealer’s first card is showing an ace.
Therefore, if you decide to take the even money, you will be able to instantly end the hand and receive winnings that will equate to double your original stake. Essentially, you won’t have to risk that the dealer has 21 as well when you wager, which would have resulted in a push, only giving your stake back.
You should see even money as being similar to a side bet, and by using even money, you will be able to make a profit in a short timeframe.
Let’s use the following even money example below:
If you have a £2 wager, are dealt a blackjack hand, and the dealer is showing an ace, you have the option to claim a £4 win. Should you decide not to and it turns out the dealer has blackjack, the dealer would win and you would end up with nothing. If the dealer doesn’t have blackjack, then you could stand to win a total of £5.
So, with the above scenario at the casino, the even money option can be handy as you could make a net profit of £2. But sometimes you don’t always make a big profit at tables.
DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN EVEN MONEY AND INSURANCE?
The main thing to take away for most players, is that there isn’t too much difference between these two blackjack concepts. Rather, even money was introduced as a way to help players interested in taking insurance.
As even money will guarantee a profit in a game, this option is eminently more appealing than having to place a side bet on insurance.
The example we used earlier will help put things into perspective with even money and an insurance bet.
So, we saw that you could claim a £4 win when you are dealt 21 and make a £2 wager. But if you were offered insurance, then one of two things could happen next when playing:
Firstly, you could insure your bet with a £1 bet when the dealer is showing 21 with their blackjack hand. You could see a push on your original bet, and therefore only receive that stake back. You will, however, win £3 on your side bet as insurance and it means you will make a net profit of £2, which includes the £1 bet for insurance.
So, whether you go for even money or insurance, your net profit will end up being the same at casinos. Think of even money as a better and arguably a more smart way to insure your hand.
EVEN MONEY BLACKJACK RULES
At most casinos, you will be able to ask for even money. This means that the dealer will peak with his face cards, and you can invoke a rule, where you will get a 1:1 payoff on your stake irrespective of any winnings the dealer will make at the table. The two main rules therefore are as follows:
- You will be rewarded with money no matter what happens, so it can pay to use this option.
- The risk is that the dealer does not end up with blackjack, and you could have won more.
Some misuse this when they play blackjack at tables. With so many kings, queens, and aces in the deck, it is likely that the dealer’s hand will result in a blackjack.
As such, this kind of blackjack protection is not always the best option if you wish to improve your chances of winning more regularly.
HOW DOES EVEN MONEY WORK IN BLACKJACK?
As a basic strategy, a player should say “no” to even money as only more skilled players are able to enjoy a more profitable experience using this particular tactic to beat a dealer. Your winnings would equal 1:1, so your payout would not be 2 or even 3x your original bet.
Therefore, rather than face the misery of a push when the dealer has an ace, you won’t lose no matter what happens.
EVEN MONEY AND SOME BASIC MATH
On the face of it, the math simply doesn’t add up if you are at a casino and considering whether to take even money. To break things down, you may be sitting down at a table where only one deck is being used. If you’ve been dealt blackjack, and the dealer shows an ace, there will be 49 unseen cards in the pack, where 15 of these will be either 10s or another hole card of equivalent value.
Therefore, the dealer will turn over a 10 or a face card 15 times out of 49, which is the same as 30.7% (15/49). So, if you chose the even money option with the above example, you would win £4 each time, and this would be a £2 net profit. But a look at the bigger picture shows there is a 69.3% chance that the dealer’s downcard will is NOT valued and this would be the state of play:
- 7% of the time the dealer’s upcard will result in blackjack, and you won’t win anything.
- 3% of the time you can assume the dealer does not have blackjack, and you get a 3:2 payout which is more profitable.
HOW MUCH DOES TAKING EVEN MONEY IN BLACKJACK AFFECT HOUSE ODDS?
When you play blackjack and the dealer, and you want to take the even money, you need to be aware of outcomes, and be a good card counter. In a six-deck blackjack deck where you have made blackjack, there will be 96 cards with a value of ten, so there is a 30.7% chance your hand will be a push the second time round.
There is a 69.3% chance that the dealer’s downcard won’t be valued at 10, and so it probably comes as no surprise that casinos will offer even money for those who wish to play blackjack.
BLACKJACK EVEN MONEY STRATEGY
If the dealer shows a strong blackjack hand in a game, this could dictate whether you have won or lost, but remember these points:
- Don’t always take casino offers — If an even money offer is available, you shouldn’t always rush to take it as you will be giving away 4% of your profits. The dealers usually come off better, so look at what your potential payoff is in the long run before committing.
- Compute blackjack hands – Always make sure you are armed with the facts especially surrounding any rule, so you know what to expect the dealer has a blackjack, so you can figure out quickly what will happen and how much you could win or lose in the long run.
SHOULD YOU TAKE EVEN MONEY IN BLACKJACK?
It can be tempting to take even money when the dealer asks. However, this option is nothing more than insurance in disguise.
Most players can get sucked in with this rule, but don’t assume anything if you want to make a profit.