People have different opinions about casinos. Some people think they are an opponent who is greedy and just wants to take their money. Some people think they are a benevolent company that wants to cater to you and keep you happy. The truth is, a casino is a little bit of both. Knowing that can help you play blackjack.
There are not very many business models where the customer is also a competitor. You can say that carnival games are kind of the same. You can even make the same case for insurance companies, who sell you risk, hoping that you don’t cash in. For the most part, though, it’s a unique type of business.
The casino wants to keep you happy, so they will show you around, give you comps, and treat you like an important guest. They also want you to lose when playing on the casino floor, but not lose so much money that you get discouraged and don’t return. It’s a fine line that they tread.
All of that comes into play when it comes to how you view the blackjack dealer. Is he your friend who is on your side or is he an enemy combatant? In blackjack, you are directly competing against the dealer, but does that mean you can’t trust him? Well, sort of.
The blackjack dealer isn’t going to lie to you. A lying dealer will develop a bad reputation with players, which will hurt the casino’s reputation. Therefore, if you ask them a question, they’ll give you the truth. A lot of newer players will ask them for advice. “Hmm, I don’t know. Do you think I should hit?” If you aren’t sure, you can ask and the dealer will give you an honest answer based on basic strategy. Again, there’s too much risk in the dealer being caught lying.
However, that does not mean that any move the dealer offers is a good one. If the dealer’s upcard is an ace, he will ask if you want insurance. That does not mean he is recommending it as good strategy. It is usually bad strategy to take insurance, because the house edge is higher than in the regular game. The same goes for any other blackjack side bet. Just because the dealer offers it doesn’t mean it is good strategy. For that reason, it is very important to know basic strategy so you can tell good advice from a suggestion aimed at helping the casino.