Three Plays from the World Series of Blackjack
By Kenneth Smith
For this month’s article, I’ve taken a few situations that arose on the recently televised World Series of Blackjack on GSN, and we’ll take a look at how the players could have improved their chances.
1) Keep enough money to split, unless you have a good reason.
We’ll start in episode 4, on the final hand where only two competitors remain. Jimmy Pine bet $100 from his $11300, leaving Previn Mankodi a decision with his bankroll of $9700. Obviously Previn needs to bet enough to pass any possible win by Jimmy, so I’d recommend at least a bet of $2100 to cover any possible doubles and splits. Previn made a small but common error here by betting a max bet instead. His $5000 bet left only $4700 unbet. That made his chances of winning the round very slightly lower. Consider what would have happened had he drawn a pair of eights against a dealer 6. He’d be forced to stand, since he had too little money left for a split. With a bet of $4800 instead, he would be able to split if needed to improve the chances of winning the hand. The extra money is no help, but in some cases, like the possibility I mentioned of (8,8) v 6, you can take a free shot at improving to two good hands by splitting.
2) When "taking the low", bet all you can.
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