Blackjack Insider Newsletter, Oct. 2004, #57
MAKING THE "WRONG" PLAY AT THE RIGHT TIME
By Kenneth R. Smith
Sometimes expert play at tournament blackjack is about more than just mathematics and luck. Thereís also a human component. In poker, they say "Donít play the cards, Play the people." While psychology will never play as important a role in blackjack as it does in poker, playing the players at your table can still improve your win rate in blackjack tournaments.
Knowing the tendencies of your opponents can be helpful when youíre deciding on a bet size for the final hand. Often the optimal play is different against a skilled opponent compared to a relatively unskilled opponent. In some of these cases, a play that usually would be "wrong" turns out to be optimal.
For example, letís look at the simplest of all tournament scenarios. Weíll use the betting limits from the Las Vegas Hilton MDBJ tournament, but create an arbitrary scenario. Youíre in the lead, on the button, with $6000 compared to your only opponentís $5500. Betting limits are $100 to $2500. Itís the final hand, and only one of you will advance.
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