CTS - Example 21

Discussion in 'Blackjack Tournament Strategy' started by BughouseMaster, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member

    One winner.
    Min 5
    Max 500

    We are BR1 and tied for the lead with BR2 with 540. BR3 has 290 and bets last while we bet 1st. Solution says: You are tied for the lead & BR3 has a chance. Bet the max.

    I don't quite understand going all-in here... even if BR3 wins his all-in max bet that he will prob bet, that brings him only to 580. If there were 4+ players instead of 3, sure I would prob agree with the all-in bet but I'm more inclined to bet either 5, taking the low on our tied BR1 competitor or 45 here, taking the high against BR3 (excluding a BJ). We can't protect against both people here! Also, probability of us losing is higher than winning, too. Thoughts?
  2. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    I would advise again betting the minimum with two opponents in the hunt. The rule of thumb is that, with 1 opponent challenging, take the low. With 2 or more, take the high.

    Betting 45 to cover BR3's win is an improvement but, if you do that then you might as well bet at least bet 190 to also cover his blackjack.

    Betting the maximum guarantees that you get the high, as per the rule of thumb above. There's no reason to bet any less that I can see. If you bet less than the max, then BR2 should probably take the high for the same reason we should have.
  3. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member

    When you say "2 opponents in the hunt," do you mean 2 total players ? I think thats what you mean but just wanted to clarify.

    What if there's 3+ people and we cannot take the high? Then forced to take the low yeah?
  4. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    For me the choice is between 205 and 500 and my decision would likely be made based on my opponents. If I feel they are pretty competent, I’m betting $500.

    What should BR2 bet? In general, take what’s offered. If BR1 bets 205, I think BR2 should take the high by betting at least 415.

    If BR1 bets 500, BR2 can take first low with a bet of 205. But if BR3 seems like a novice who might not take first low even when available, it would be nice to be able to bet 255 instead as BR2. Against some opponents that would be my BR2 bet.

    In both cases I will rule out matching BR1’s bet because most tie breaking rules are either 1-hand or 5-hand playoffs, both of which would put BR2 on the button in the playoff.
    BughouseMaster likes this.
  5. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    No I mean two opponents meaning 3 total players.

    If you cannot take the high, then you're not in the lead or tied for it. In that case you're in a difficult position. Taking the first low would probably be the best you can do.
  6. S. Yama

    S. Yama Active Member

    I am quite rusty, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.
    First, I think it would be helpful to not call two players BR1 but BR1a, BR1b, and BR3.
    Ken is right that the bet would depend on who the opponents are.
    From my experience, in situations like the one described, players have tendencies to bet max, regardless the specifics of bankrolls.
    Here comes the danger that if BR1a bets 500 - BR1b responds with the bet of 500 as well.
    BR3's chances of winning the table are above 32% - when both opponents (BR1a and BR1b) lose, or push/lose with BR3 bj, and (rarely) both push/lose double to BR3 win single or doubled bet.
    That leaves BR1a and BR1b to share less than 68%. Lets keep in mind that if they both advance with the same score, and we don't know the rules how the playoffs are played, we should assume that each advances half the time.
    That leaves 34% chance per player but less than that for BR1a since BR1b acts after seeing results of his opponent hand and have a chance to deviate from the standard plays.
    Sure, if BR1a gets "the pure low" by BR1b betting less than 250 BR1a's chances are about 48%.
    Now, if BR1a bets 250, it almost guarantees that BR1b goes for the high with the bet of 500, and at the same time increases chances of BR3 going all in.
    My guess is that with possibility of doubling when BR1b has a good hand, BR1a total chances will be in mid-low forties percent.
    So, we can go for a lower but secured chance or a higher but with a risk of ending up worse off.
    With the numbers presented we would have to have 2/3rds chance of BR1b giving BR1a the low and not bet 500 as well.

    Bet of 255 gives extra chances of beating BR1b's 500 but I don't think it overcomes l-l-p.
    I didn't consider results if BR1b responds with bets other than >250 to BR1a's 250
  7. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member

    So Yama:

    As BR1a/b, what is your ideal bet then? I wasn't able to gather that from your message, sorry.
  8. S. Yama

    S. Yama Active Member

    My bet may seem counterintuitive as I would go for a higher chance against a skilled player and lower chance versus average or unknown opponents.
    I would bet 250 and have probably about 42% chance of advancing against unskilled or random players, and I would bet 500 against somewhat experienced or good players hoping that they give me a "pure high" for 48% chance, with a drawback of BR1b matching my bet, which drops my chances to about 32%. If you assume 50% chance for BR1b betting 500 and 50% for bet of less than 250, than you have .5x.48 +.5x.32 = 40% which is less than the chance for BR1a's bet of 250.
    You would have to assume more than 60% chance of BR1b going low to make 500 a better bet.
    S. Yama
    KenSmith likes this.
  9. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member


    Do you have the stats on how much better off we would be taking the high (in this particular example) if we were heads up against 1 opponent only, versus 2, or 3 players? The reason why I wanted to bet min in the first place in this example was bec the fact that we have roughly a 56% chance of winning if the dealer beats us and that's what I was basing my min bet on, dismissing the fact that there is a 3rd wheel!
  10. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    It's here somewhere because the situation arose for me on the final hand of the final table of the Fallsview Blackjack21 tournament a few years ago. I ended up taking the low and finished second. There was a discussion about it here in which I recall crunching some numbers. If you can't find it using the search facility, let me know and I'll look for it.
  11. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    BughouseMaster and KenSmith like this.
  12. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member

    Thanks for this. Just read through the brief 2 pages and, though helpful, thought there would be a more pronounced reasoning as to why betting the max (when against 2+ opps) is the correct play when one has to act first as to taking the low in a head-to-head matchup.

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