Blackjack online is a game with many side bets, and some of these bets can still help you to win big or prevent a big loss even if you have the best hands in blackjack.

Even money blackjack is one of these bets and it is also quite an interesting one: You can use it if you have a natural 21. In other words, it becomes available right after you get the best possible hand in the game. Some players think that it is a good bet because a payout is guaranteed, and some think it causes a loss in the long run.

So, who is right? Should you take even money in blackjack? Is there a specific blackjack even money rule you need to learn? We will answer all these questions in this article, and we will start with the obvious one: what is even money in blackjack?

What is even money in blackjack?

Even money bet in blackjack is an option that becomes available in the following scenario: 

  • Your first two cards are worth 21 points. In other words, you get an Ace and a 10. 
  • The upside card of the dealer is also an Ace. In other words, there is a possibility that the dealer may also have 21 if his closed card is also a 10.

Now, this is not a “how to play blackjack” guide so we won’t go into details here: You can check our blackjack guide for more information about points and card dealings. For now, let us remind you of the following rule:

  • If both the dealer and the player have 21 points, this is called a “push in  blackjack”.
  • In this scenario, nobody wins: The player just gets his initial wager back. You do not make a profit at all.
  • While this is the rule, taking even money in blackjack is the exception: If you choose this option, you can simply end the game and get a payout 2 times your initial bet.

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How does even money work in blackjack?

 Let’s explain how blackjack even money works step by step so you can get a better understanding.

Step 1
The game starts, you get an Ace and a 10
Step 2
The dealer gets two cards for himself, the open one (face card) is an Ace and you cannot see the other one yet
Step 3
At this point, you have two options, which we are detailing below

1. You can skip the blackjack even money bet and keep playing

If you go with this option, you can win or lose the game. In fact, as long as the dealer does not have 21 points, you win the game – you already have the best hand possible. However, if the closed card of the dealer is a 10, he will also have 21 points and this is called a push, as we mentioned above. In this scenario, you get your initial wager back – no profits. 

2. You can take the blackjack even money bet

If you go with this option, the game immediately ends, and you win. Blackjack payouts for this scenario are simple: You simply double your wager, which is why it is also called blackjack double down even money. So, for example, if your initial wager is 10 EUR, the payout will be 20 EUR.

Insurance bet vs even money in blackjack: What is the difference?

If you are playing blackjack for real money, you are aware of the insurance bet. It gives you “insurance” in case the dealer has 21. The main features of the insurance bet are:

If the dealer’s up card is an Ace, you can place this bet. The most important thing to know here is that the insurance bet is independent of the actual bet. So, for example, if you bet 10 EUR for the game, you have to place another 5 EUR for insurance and therefore invest 15 EUR in total.

If the dealer’s closed card is a 10 (i.e. his hand is worth 21 points) you will lose the game, but your loss will be reduced as the insurance bet pays 2:1. For this bet, you have deposited 5 EUR, so the payout will be 10 EUR. Your total investment was 15 EUR – so your loss was limited to 5 EUR. If you hadn’t taken the insurance bet, you would have lost 10 EUR.

This information is, in fact, enough to explain the difference between insurance and blackjack even money bets:

♠️ Both protect you from the fact that the dealer may have 21 points, but the insurance bet requires a separate payment.

♠️ This makes blackjack bankroll management exceedingly difficult because if the dealer does not have 21 points, you cannot get back the money you invested in insurance.

♠️ In other words, insurance is a bet you can lose and can cause you to lose a lot of money in high limit blackjack games in the long run.

♠️ Blackjack even money is an “offer”, not an actual bet: it does not require you to make a separate deposit and pays out immediately.

♠️ You cannot “lose” it. For this reason, it is also known as blackjack pays even money.

♠️ So, it appears to be more advantageous in the even money blackjack insurance comparison, but this could be a misconception: Mathematically, neither option will provide real benefit in the long run. We will explain what this means below.

Is even money a good bet in blackjack?

So, is it better to take even money at blackjack? The short answer is no, you should not take this bet. The long answer is still no, but you may consider taking it if there are some specific conditions. Let’s take a closer look at both scenarios.

Why to never take even money in blackjack?

No advanced blackjack strategy (not even blackjack tips) includes even money blackjack bets and there is a reason for that: It increases the house edge in the long run. And this is for a remarkably simple reason: In a blackjack single deck casino game, it is unlikely that both you and the dealer will get Ace and 10 cards at the same time.

2 Aces in blackjack at the same time is already a low probability, if you add two 10’s at the same time and put all these combinations together on the same hand, this probability will be even lower. Mathematically speaking:

• The probability of a game to result in a push is 30.74%.

• Therefore, as long as you have blackjack, your chances of winning the game regardless of the dealer’s hand are 69.26%.

• You will get paid more if you refuse the even money offer, play, and win. For example, if you are playing with 2 EUR, your payout will be 5 EUR.

• But if you accept the even money, you will receive a payout of 4 EUR for 2 EUR and give up a net profit of 1 EUR – even money blackjack odds are always lower. 

• In the long run, accepting the even money blackjack offer increases the house edge percentage by 2.3%.

As a player, you do not want the house edge to increase: Whether you are playing live blackjack or regular blackjack, ideally the house edge should always stay below 1%. Otherwise, you will win less and lose more in the long run. Therefore, it is best to decline the blackjack even money offer, unless the situation requires it.

When to take even money in blackjack?

So, what kind of situation can require taking the blackjack even money offer?

• If you are absolutely sure that the closed card of the dealer is a 10, then yes, you should definitely take the even money blackjack offer.

• In other words, if you are sure the game will result in a push, it would be best to accept this bet, and this is the only scenario where even money betting offers an advantage.

• So, how can you be sure of this? The only way to be sure of such a thing is to use blackjack card counting. You can guess what the dealer’s hole card is by counting cards in games played with a single deck. Although this is not allowed in land-based casinos, it is a tactic you can use in EU – USA online casinos (you can check our list of the best online casino websites).

• Other than that, we recommend that you do not accept even money blackjack offers under any circumstances.

FAQ: Your questions on even money blackjack answered

This means both the dealer and the player have 21 points. It is a rare situation but still happens: In this scenario, nobody wins, and the player gets a refund.
In general no: If you have 21 points, you are much more likely to win the game even if the dealer has an Ace. In the long run, it limits your winning potential and causes you to win less.
If the count is high, this means cards with low points are already dealt and only the cards with high points are left in the deck: The dealer's hole card is likely to be 10. As we mentioned above, an even money offer may be a wise choice in this case.
Even money offers cause you to win less in the long run. This means that the RTP rate will decrease, and the house edge will increase. Mathematically, you can expect an average of 2.3% increase in house edge.
In general, yes, you will lose money in the long run. Simply put, if you pass the even money offer and win, the payout will be bigger: Even this fact alone shows you are limiting your winning potential.

Use the right even money blackjack strategy & win big

We explained the right strategy for blackjack even money bets: Avoid them at all costs unless you are sure that the dealer has a 10. You can test this strategy and see for yourself right now: Just pick one of our recommended online casinos, pick a game, and place your first even money blackjack bet. Play other games without using this bet and compare the results: You can thank us later! We will always be here continuing to guide you along your blackjack journey. As always, we wish you good luck!