Blackjack Tournament Strategy

Discussion in 'Blackjack Tournament Strategy' started by BughouseMaster, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member

    In light of most of us being hunkered in, I thought this would be the perfect time to improve our tournament strategy by posting and discussing examples!

    The following is example 31 in CTS.
    Min 5
    Max 500

    We are BR2. 2 advance and we act 2nd. BR1 bet 5 and has 595 after the bet, we have 500 and BR3 has 280. The solution says if we bet 115-215 we're high if all hands win and 2nd if all hands lose with 86% advance rate but, as BR3 can only end up with 700 max (BJ on all-in 280 bet of 420), wouldn't the best bet for us be 205 to edge him out by 5 if that happens while still keeping the high and low?
  2. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    I can see where Wong got the 115 lower limit. It covers BR1 high even if he double/splits and wins. I can also see where he got the 215 upper limit. It prevents us from losing to a BR3 push. 205 is within that range and does cover BR3's blackjack. I think you're right. I can't see a reason not to bet between 205 and 215.

    At the table, I would probably just have gone for the 215. As a rule of thumb, I think that betting as much as possible when preserving the low is a good idea because it will automatically cover as many high options as possible. Perhaps even some that you hadn't thought about yet while considering your bet.
    BughouseMaster likes this.
  3. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member

    Example 7.

    He says betting 205-295 for 81% chance to win, but for some reason I'm more inclined to take the low here, or bet 295. Why? Because there's a higher chance that the dealer will win! Do you agree?
  4. Monkeysystem

    Monkeysystem Top Member Staff Member

    295 is too much. Because BR1 has made such a tiny bet, you can advance by simply winning your hand as long as you bet over 115. You don't need to beat both opponents to advance.

    However if the dealer has a ten upcard and BR3 gets dealt 20, you'll be eliminated if you overbet BR3's stack. You need to cover the loss/push. Losing your hand while any given opponent pushes theirs happens about 7% of the time. That's often enough to make 295 incorrect. If you bet 115-215 you will advance in that loss/push scenario.

    Edited with additional information:
    If you bet 295 BR3 can take the low on you and your chances of advancing are severely compromised.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
    gronbog and Dakota like this.
  5. Monkeysystem

    Monkeysystem Top Member Staff Member

    I ran this scenario on Wong's old simulator. You can see from the results that when you bet 295, BR3 is taking the low. We know this to be true because BR1 is advancing 100% of the time when we bet 295. BR3 is never finishing ahead of BR1, even when BR3 hits a blackjack. You can see the huge difference in our advancing rate between out bets of 215 (86%) and 295 (55%).


    Last edited: Mar 28, 2020
  6. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member

    Intreresting.. so his 81% figure mentioned in his book is wrong then, even with a bet of 295? What are the chances of advancing on a 115 bet (as well as the range of 115-210)?
  7. Monkeysystem

    Monkeysystem Top Member Staff Member

    Our outcome for the entire range of 115- 210 should be exactly the same. This is because with this entire range outcome can be summarized as either of only two possibilities:
    1. We will advance simply by winning our hand, regardless of the outcome of either opponent's hand.
    2. We will advance if BR3 loses or pushes his hand, regardless of the outcome of our own hand.

    In both outcomes 1. and 2. blackjacks for us, our opponents, or the dealer don't make any difference to the outcome.

    Note that we don't need to double down at all, because we don't need the extra chips to advance. We should simply hit our basic strategy double down hands, in case our first hit card is a brick and we need to hit again.

    Here's a segue question from me: Will we ever hit a stiff hand in this situation?
  8. London Colin

    London Colin Top Member

    There seems to be some talking at cross purposes going on here. A second example was referenced, Wong's Example 7. That's where the 295 comes from.

    The only improvement I can offer to Wong's range of 205-295 for this relatively trivial example is to make it 230-295, so that a br2 natural can always be countered by a double down.
    BughouseMaster likes this.
  9. Monkeysystem

    Monkeysystem Top Member Staff Member

    Example 7 is for a one-advance scenario. I was referring to the first scenario in this thread, in which two advance from three and BR1 has bet 5 because BR3 can only beat him with an all-in blackjack (virtual lock).
  10. London Colin

    London Colin Top Member

    Indeed, but you did so in reply to bm's example-7 post, and his subsequent comment evidently assumed that is what you were talking about. That's what I meant by 'talking at cross purposes'!
    BughouseMaster likes this.
  11. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    Simple solution. Don't post more than one scenario per thread.
    Monkeysystem likes this.
  12. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member

    If you'd prefer me post multiple threads with different examples, I certainly could! But I did not want to clutter the forum with all different examples instead of simply citing another example on the same thread (i.e. this one).
    KenSmith likes this.
  13. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member

    BTW - LondonColin: Did you get the msg I sent you? I didn't get a reply back from you so if you didn't get it just lmk and i'll gladly resend, thanks.

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