Two newbie questions

I am currently learning basic strategy and pretty much have it down but I am curious about one situation that I’m not clear on.

I was playing at my local sino the other night on one hand, dealer showed ace and I got blackjack. Instead of immediately paying me 3:2, he asked me if I would like to take 1:1 payment or take the chance and check to see if he has 21 if he did we would push, if not I would be paid 3:2.

He seemed to be the only dealer that said this as the same situation happened on the next dealer and they just paid me immediately.

Is this just how insurance typically works when they show ace and you have blackjack or is it a sino particular thing?

2nd question, once I have basic strategy down I am going to start to learn to count. I have practiced hi-lo a bit but I want to learn the best method possible.

Which method of counting generates the highest EV over time?

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