TAKE TIME TO DOT YOUR Iís
by Kenneth R Smith
Ken Smith is considered by his peers to be one of the best tournament blackjack players. He is the author of the new e-book.How to Win More Blackjack Tournaments: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies to Supercharge Your Game. Ken hosts the popular website www.BlackjackInfo.com as well as the online tournament community at www.BlackjackTournaments.com. He has appeared on TV in all four seasons of GSN's World Series of Blackjack, the Las Vegas Hilton Million Dollar Championship II finals, and in the Ultimate Blackjack Tour. You can subscribe to his free email newsletter at http://www.blackjackinfo.com/news/.
Many blackjack tournament events enforce a time limit for betting. Some events are very strict about time limits, while other events are pretty lax about how much time they permit a player to use. More often than not, those fateful final hand decisions are made under some time pressure from the dealer. If you're in a difficult spot, it can be quite stressful to arrive at your bet amount while the dealer counts down the last few seconds of your allotted time. In those situations, you can hopefully focus on just the most important aspects of your situation and make a good, although not perfect, bet.
In this month's article though, I want to briefly visit the less-common situation of having no time pressure for your critical final hand decisions. Some events either don't have a formal rule about how much time is allowed, or they have a generous enough time allotment that time pressure is not an issue. Of course, even when there is no rule about how much time is allowed, you should try to be relatively quick about making most of your decisions. If you agonize over every single decision, you'll quickly start to irritate your fellow players.
In my experience, events with time limits of 30 seconds or so seem to far outnumber the events with more generous time allotments. I find when I do play a tournament that allows for more time at the end, I actually still get uncomfortable about using all my time. I'm so accustomed to hurrying through my decision process that I find it difficult to slow down and be more careful and meticulous about my calculations.
Case in point was a table in a recent major event I played...
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