ITíS NOT ALL ABOUT THE MATH
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 markets his new pocket blackjack strategy cards, which are available in our BJI store.
Attend any blackjack tournament and after any given round, you are likely to find a group of avid players huddled up discussing the round they just played. Was my bet the best it could be? Should I have doubled or not? The questions are endless and as you likely know, the answers can be extremely complicated. Hit, stand, double, split? There is no question that there is a single best play from a mathematical standpoint, if you assume that all players will play optimally.
However, we all know that none of us always plays optimally, especially players who are relatively inexperienced. Taking the possible errors of your opponent into consideration can really help your chances.
In an event I played today at IP Biloxi, I had a classic and common situation where going against the book can pay big dividends.
This is perhaps the simplest of all scenarios and it arises very frequently. On the final hand, two players remain with only one player advancing from this round. I'm in the lead with a bankroll of $9,125, and my only remaining opponent has $9,000. Betting limits are $25 to $5,000.
I have a thin lead of $125, but I have to bet and act first because I'm on the button. The textbook answer of what to bet here is...
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