Mimic the Dealer Not a Viable Blackjack Strategy

 Mimic the Dealer Not a Viable Blackjack Strategy

I’ve mentioned in this blog before that mimicking the dealer is not a viable approach to playing blackjack. Dealers and players operate under different conditions. Players act on their hands first, and if they go bust, the house wins even if the dealer busts too.
A different plan of attack is called for, and that’s why I highly recommend that anyone who is going to play blackjack learn basic strategy. We don’t have to hit every 16 or lower, as dealers do. It’s to our advantage to stand on so-called stiff hands when the dealer has a face-up card that indicates the highest chances of busting.

We also can split pairs or double down, options not available to the dealer. And we’re paid 3-2 on our blackjacks, provided we avoid tables where blackjacks pay only 6-5.

With a mimic the dealer strategy, we’d spot the house about an 8 percent edge if blackjacks paid only even money. That edge represents the 8 percent of all hands in which both the player and dealer would bust, leading to a player loss.

By paying 3-2 on blackjack, the house gives us back about 2.3 percent. Knowing basic strategy on when to hit, stand, double down and split pairs leaves a game with a house edge of about half a percent or so, a few tenths more or less depending on house rules.

To narrow it to one specific play, the dealer would always hit if dealt 10-6. Basic strategy players hit only if the dealer’s face up card is 7 or higher. If the dealer shows a 2 through 6, better to give him or her the chance to bust.

Whether you do it through books, software or online resources, look over basic strategy and practice, practice, practice.

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