KNOW YOUR OPPONENT
By Kenneth R. Smith
Know your Opponent
No matter what the game, it pays to know your competition. Knowing what to expect from your opponents gives you extra information to use in the battle. Thatís as true in gambling as it is in sports. No-limit Texas Holdíem is the obvious example, where the game is more about the personalities at the table than the cards that are dealt. While tournament blackjack doesnít have much of a bluffing element, that doesnít mean that information about your competitors isnít valuable. On the contrary, if you arenít paying attention to the play of your adversaries, youíre probably not winning as often as you could.
While the early hands of a tournament round often seem like filler until the action heats up at the end, those same hands offer an opportunity to zero in on the characteristics of your opponents. Is that player in seat one a minimum bettor every hand, or do they seem to parlay after a win? Is seat two using some kind of negative progression, or are those bets correlated to the count? How about those unorthodox plays in seat three? Is he trying to hold onto his slim lead by correlating with other hands at the table?
Answers to these kinds of questions can provide valuable help later in the game when youíre on the button and wondering what players might bet behind you. If you can accurately guess what a player will bet, then youíve reduced the cost of being on the button on a particular hand.
Here are some of my favorite ways to use these kinds of observations.
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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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