THE TOURNAMENT ZONE:
THE MYTHICAL TWELVE PERCENT-PART 2
by Ken 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.
In the February issue of BJI, we began discussing an often-quoted figure of 12%, which is widely cited as the chance of swinging an opponent on a given hand. Specifically, we created a tournament situation where a player must have a "full swing," winning the final hand while his opponent loses it. The 12% figure comes from Stanford Wong in his excellent book Casino Tournament Strategy, which supplies percentages for each possible outcome between two players who play basic strategy with no splits or doubles.
Knowing that tournament players shouldn't use basic strategy in situations where this figure would apply, I addressed a specific hand to ascertain the real probability of creating a swing over an opponent. Our situation is a final hand, where only one player will advance to the next tournament round.
It is clear that Adam is a big underdog here, and needs a full swing to survive. Be sure to note that a push by either player doesn't help Adam at all. As I pointed out in the previous article, many players misuse the 12% figure by applying it to situations where a push might help the trailing player. But here, with these bankrolls and bets, Adam needs a true full swing, and the 12% figure does apply.
After determining the best possible strategy for both players in this hand, we found that...
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This article is now included in a new BJI e-book publication called, "How to Win EVEN MORE Blackjack Tournaments - Volume II" by Kenneth R. Smith. It it available exclusively in the e-book...
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