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THE ONE DECISION TOURNAMENT

by Kenneth R Smith

 

Tournament expert Ken Smith has appeared on all four seasons of GSN's World Series of Blackjack, and had several appearances on the Ultimate Blackjack Tour on CBS. He is the author of the 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.  You can subscribe to his free email newsletter at http://www.blackjackinfo.com/news/. Ken also recently released his new pocket blackjack strategy cards, which are available in our BJI store.

Sometimes the best way to learn something useful about a complicated topic is to whittle away almost everything about it, and concentrate your efforts on one specific aspect to the exclusion of all others. Blackjack tournament strategy certainly qualifies as a complicated topic, and it seems like there are endless areas upon which we can focus our magnifying glass. This month I want to look at perhaps the most ubiquitous issue in tournament strategy, which is the impact of your bet size decision. I'm not talking about the critical end-play decisions where optimal bet size is a function of many complicated factors. I'm instead talking about the issue of how much to bet on the first hand, the second hand, and so forth.

In an effort to shed some light on this topic, I want to exclude all other aspects of the game. I want you to join me in a thought experiment of sorts, so I'll be posing a lot of questions in this article. What you won't find are any answers! I'll be saving those for a follow-up piece that will appear in my column in next months BJI. In the interim, I hope you will give the questions I raise some thought.

Let's create an exotic tournament format, which...

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