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Should You Mimic the Dealer in Blackjack or Take Insurance?

Many blackjack novices in search of a betting strategy quickly settle on the notion that imitating the dealer should work.  It does seem intuitive (after all, they have the edge, and if you mimic them, you should pick it up, right?), and it is easy to see why so many newbies get sucked into this misapprehension, but it is actually a bad idea.  Why?

 

First off, let’s take a moment to review the strategy of the blackjack dealer.  The dealer has to hit until they reach 17.  If you try to do the same thing, it actually doesn’t play to your mathematical advantage.  Remember, the dealer always acts last, which gives him a lasting advantage.  And if both you and the dealer bust, the dealer always wins.  Your situations are very different going into play, so your strategies cannot be the same.

 

Basically, if you do all the mathematical analysis on this situation, you will discover that the house edge when you mimic the dealer jumps to an astonishing 5.48%.  Seriously, that is terrible.  This is especially true when you consider that before you do that, blackjack actually has one of the lower house edges in the casino.  So you essentially are turning a game you had a good chance of winning into one that you are unlikely to win. 

 

If you still don’t believe this, try it a few times at your own risk, and you will quickly draw the same conclusion when you lose time and again.  There are so many better strategies you can try.  If you continue to insist on mimicking the dealer, the only place you are headed is the poorhouse.

 

While we are at it, another strategy you should avoid is taking insurance.  And no, it isn’t really “insurance.”  That name is a confusing misnomer, doubtless chosen on purpose to throw you off.  It makes it sound like you are reducing your risk in some way, when you are actually making things worse for yourself.  Most casino sites will make this offer to you when the dealer shows an ace.

 

If you accept the offer, you are betting half of your original bet that the dealer has a blackjack in the hole.  What happens if he does?  You lose your original bet and win double your insurance bet, breaking even.  If he doesn’t, you lose the “insurance” bet, and play resumes.  Mathematically, this rarely pans out in your favour, and over time it is a really bad strategy to follow.  The odds are terrible on it, and it is almost never beneficial.

 

So now you know a couple of strategies to avoid while you are playing blackjack.  Both can be quite tempting since they sound so logical, but neither of them holds mathematical merit, and both of them will really damage your play.  So steer clear, and look into other blackjack systems instead.  There are many better approaches that can help you win this game time and again!

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