Are blackjack players mockingbirds? No, really this is a real question not some random thought. The answer is no, blackjack players are not mockingbirds. I only ask this because there is a so-called strategy out there in the blackjack world that tells players that the best way to play is to mimic the dealer.
But as players are not mockingbirds this strategy is a bad idea. And not only because we are not birds. The odds on following this so-called strategy are awful.
You cannot really say that players can even follow basic strategy and mimic the dealer at the same time. The reason for this is that the dealer does not double down or split pairs. The odds that a player can knock off the house’s edge through successful doubling down and pair splitting is 1.6% and 0.06% respectively. A player mimicking the dealer will also hit all 16s because that is what the dealer does; the dealer does not start standing until he has a 17. According to basic strategy, a player will stand on many hands below a 17.
Because of abstaining from doubling down and splitting pairs and hitting hands that players should stand on, the house gains quite a bit in odds, which brings the house edge up to 5.48%. Considering that basic strategy would normally bring the house edge down to 0.5%, a house edge of 5.48% is pretty ridiculous for blackjack.
This is why a blackjack player does not want to be a mockingbird and mimic the dealer. The consequences to a player’s blackjack odds, and therefore their bankroll, are not player friendly.
Players should always research a new blackjack strategy they hear tell of before using it. Mimicking the dealer is not a new so-called blackjack strategy, but many novice players will use it because they do not take the time to research it and see just how bad it really is for them.