Mimic the Dealer Blackjack Strategy

 Mimic the Dealer Blackjack Strategy

While playing blackjack, I noticed a player hitting on ever 16 and under, and standing on every 17 and above, just like the dealers do. “If it’s good enough for the dealer, it’s good enough for me,” he said.

That’s something I’ve heard often over the years. Some players think the dealer’s playing strategy contributes to the house edge. If it wasn’t the superior strategy, the house wouldn’t be using it, right?

The problem is that players don’t work under the same conditions dealers do. The dealer plays last. Players who bust have already lost their bets before the dealer even plays.

That’s where the house gets its edge. On hands when both the dealer and the player bust, the house wins because the bet has already been settled before the dealer has a chance to go bust.

The difference in conditions means players can’t afford to risk busting as often as the dealer can. If the dealer has a 16 he or she will hit no matter what the players have. If the player has a 16, then it’s worth taking the risk of busting if the dealer’s face-up card is a 7 or higher, but when the dealer shows a 6 or lower, we’re better off letting the dealer risk busting.

Telling us when it’s worth taking the risk of busting and when we’re better off to watch the dealer play out the hand is a good part of what basic strategy is all about.  Learning basic strategy — whether from a blackjack book, online or from computer software — is the first step toward getting the most out of blackjack.

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