LAST HAND BETTING,
By Kenneth R Smith
Ken Smith is considered by his peers to be one of the best tournament blackjack players. He is the author of our new e-book. How to Win More Blackjack Tournaments: Tips, Tricks, and Strategies to Supercharge Your Game. Ken hosts the popular websitewww.BlackjackInfo.com as well as the online tournament community at www.BlackjackTournaments.com. He has appeared on TV in all four seasons of GSN's World Series of Blackjack, the Las Vegas Hilton Million Dollar Championship II finals, and is also featured in the Ultimate Blackjack Tour airing on CBS & WGN Networks. You can subscribe to his free email newsletter at http://www.blackjackinfo.com/news/.
This month I want to go back to the basics, and cover a very fundamental idea of blackjack tournament strategy with an explanation that I hope everyone will find easy to understand. I won't use any percentages, but will instead present a few visual representations of hand outcomes. We'll look at a betting situation that newbie tournament players often misplay, but one that is quite simple once you see the light. Let's take a look.
Let's say you are relatively new at tournament play, and you find yourself going into the final hand of a round with only one opponent left at the table. You know that he's ahead of you, though you probably don't know the exact amount of his lead over you. Let's also say that the table leader makes a max bet on the final hand, and now the action is on you. What to do? How much should you bet?
Let's look at two novice players who find themselves in this situation, Adam and Bob:
1) Adam isn't quite sure what to do, so he relies on the oft-quoted, "When in doubt, push it out". Adam makes a maximum bet here, believing that he will need to draw better cards than his opponent.
2) Bob, who is in the same situation at another table, sees an opportunity to "bet on the dealer," so he pushes a minimum bet into the circle.
However, neither Adam nor Bob have given themselves the best chance to advance. Let me explain why.
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