Of all of the poor quality and bad blackjacks strategies out there, mimicking the dealer is one of the worst, second only to assuming the dealer’s hole card is a ten.

When a blackjack player mimics the dealer, he is playing exactly how the dealer would play. This means hitting on a hand that the dealer would hit on and standing when the dealer stands. This is limiting to a blackjack player simply because there are hands, specifically hard hands of 12 through 16 against a dealer’s 2 through 6, which the player would find the best opportunity in standing on rather than hitting; but those are hands that the dealer has no choice but to hit.

Another loss to the blackjack player found in mimicking the dealer is found in the lack of doubling down and splitting pairs. Those are two plays that the dealer does not have at their disposal in a game of blackjack. Of the two, not doubling down is the most hurtful. Losing out on doubling down causes the player to lose the 1.6% odds boost that they would have gotten. As for the odds lost from a lack of splitting pairs, that is 0.06% that is not gained.

Now for the astute blackjack player who does want to make the most of hitting, standing, doubling down and pair splitting opportunities, the best strategy option is to use basic strategy. A basic strategy chart will tell players when the best time to double down and split pairs, as well as the best times to hit or stand. Making the most of those opportunities is what brings the house edge down to 0.5%. Mimicking the dealer gives players a house edge of 5.48%.

Between those two I would rather follow basic strategy and knock the house edge down to 0.5% than mimic the dealer in a bad blackjack strategy and suffer with a house edge of 5.48%. Remember, never mimic the dealer.