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Blackjack Insider Newsletter, June 2004, #53


BY Kenneth Smith

Blackjack Info

Ken Smith hosts the popular website and the new site for tournament players Ken has written tournament articles for Blackjack Confidential magazine. You can subscribe to his free email newsletter for blackjack players at

One item from last monthís article provoked some discussion that made me think I should elaborate on one of the points I made, specifically, "Keep enough money to split, unless you have a good reason." I wanted to revisit this topic, and make clear that there are often good reasons to ignore splitting considerations.

I see many tournament players split their bankroll in half on the final hand, betting half and planning to double or split on any hand. Sometimes thatís a good play, but not always. The situation from last issue was a little simpler than that, so weíll start by recapping that scenario again.

Only two competitors remained at the table, and the leader was on the button with a bankroll of $11,300. He made a minimum bet of $100. The other player with a bankroll of $9,700 chose to make a maximum bet of $5,000. In this case, splitting his bankroll would have been a better play, because by betting more than half his bank he prevented himself from splitting. Actually, thereís no reason to bet more than $2,500 here anyway as that covers any possible win by the leaderís $100 or multiples thereof. In fact, a bet of $2,500 is slightly better than splitting the bankroll, because it would permit a third hand if needed. In this case, the extra money won by any splits is meaningless, and a split should only be considered if it improves the playerís chance of winning at least one net bet.

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