Should I take Even Money in Blackjack?
During your Blackjack play at land-based, live, mobile or online casinos you'll be given the option to take even money when the blackjack dealer holds an Ace. Even money is really just another type of insurance that is offered to players holding Blackjack or Natural 21 when the dealer holds an Ace. This will either be offered verbally by the blackjack dealer or in the form of insurance when playing online or mobile blackjack games.
The premise behind taking even money is that you will be guaranteed to receive some form of payout for your blackjack hand, usually a one to one payout where you forfeit 50% of what you could have won. On the other hand, should you not choose to take even money, this may result in a push or "tie" with the dealer where you won't lose anything but you also won't win anything even with the top hand.
So what should you do? That depends who you ask and what type of blackjack player you are!
Some players base their decision of taking even money on the amount that they have wagered on a specific hand, some blackjack strategy players base their decision solely on mathematical principles and odds alone, while card counters will be able to assess the likelihood of the house having blackjack based on the number of 10 value cards vs lower value cards that have already been dealt and those that remain.
As blackjack players who play not only for enjoyment, but also to make money, we generally side with strategy players and mathematical odds. Looking at these factors alone, the answer to whether you should take even money when you have Blackjack against a dealer's Ace is NO.
Let's take a look at why we say that based on the odds and statistics:
The possibility of the dealer holding an Ace when you have natural blackjack is 6.4%. A push will occur 30.74% of the time if you don't take even money. This means that even without taking even money you'll earn yourself a 3:2 payout 69.26% of the time. Taking all things into consideration, you'll achieve a 3.89% advantage without taking even money.
Another thing to consider is why casinos offer even money in the first place is it because they want to give you a chance to save on losses or is it because they want to reduce the above advantage? Obviously the latter is the case, they are after all, in business to make a profit wherever possible.
This means that the odds are actually in your favour the majority of the time, so go with them.