Hello From the East Coast! Two Questions for you Wizards

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by John Simo, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. John Simo

    John Simo Member

    Hey Guys!

    I'm a fairly new blackjack player - but I got hooked on a trip to Vegas last fall.
    I decided to focus on tournament play for the year and live in the Virginia/DC/Maryland Area.

    Two main questions for the group -
    1) Does anyone know of any blackjack tourneys outside of MGM National Harbor? I cant seem to find any listed on the search. (I guess even looking at NJ area would work for me too but Im based in northern Virginia)

    2) Ive picked up Casino Tournament Strategy and am practicing different scenarios. I've learned a lot of scenarios on how to play different hands ---- But does anyone have a resource that talks about a holistic strategy when playing in a tournament? Something like bet proportional the first half of the game, when to bet big and how to approach the last few hands? I guess everyone has their own style but i haven't been able to find an overarching model for how to play a tournament, only strategy for specific hands. Does that make sense?

    Its a pleasure to join you wizards on the forum!
    Thanks and happy Valentines - John S
    george likes this.
  2. george

    george Top Member

    non a wizard...but your at the right place , a ton of info here...just keep clicking , its all here
  3. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    It is true that Wong's examples are for the end game. However, there are a few general principles that I like to apply when developing my overall strategy for a given event. This is not exhaustive, but should serve to get some discussion started.
    1. When ahead, try to bet the roughly the same as those who are challenging you.
    2. When behind and it's time to make your move, bet the opposite of those you are chasing. i.e. bet big if they are betting small and vice versa.
    3. With respect to "making your move", the larger the maximum bet is with respect to your deficit, the more patient you can afford to be. If you can catch them with one bet or with a doubled/split win then you can be patient. If it will take more than one, then you should consider acting sooner.
    There is so much more but hopefully this will serve to get things started
    KenSmith likes this.
  4. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    All of the events that I know about are posted here on our calendar. I hope that is the case for everyone here. Can you please add this event and its details to our calendar? It might be within my radius.
  5. noman

    noman Top Member

    John Simo: GOOD FORTUNE, TO YOU!
  6. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member

    Welcome, John! My name is Neph, aka BughouseMaster and like Gronbog, feel I can offer some advise about tournament strategy given I was able to win a major tournament 2 months ago (as you may see from my profile pic) & placed 2nd in another major tournament @ Beau Rivage and have had multiple final table appearances at several smaller ones ^_^

    Great job on picking up CTS. It's the one and only tournament BJ book that I own and absolutely LOVE it! Read it cover to cover and that give you plenty of knowledge to also do damage at a future BJ tournament! Gronbog already offered basic tournament advise as far as how you should bet given your lead/deficit, but as far as betting before the final 5-10 hands, that's really your choice. I tend to be more aggressive myself but having said this, I took the opposite approach at the final table of Hard Rock 2 months ago and bet the minimum when normally I would've bet the max & would've busted had I gone all-in! PM me for details about this. Happy to help & welcome to the forum!
  7. Dakota

    Dakota Top Member

    Hello John Simo-

    Welcome to this site. As others have pointed out, there is a wealth of tournament strategy information available on this site. Spend some time checking forums and different tournament "strings" and you will soon be able to navigate the site with ease. You will be amazed at the amount of helpful information available.

    Wong's book is certainly a good start to form a working foundation for tournament play. And then, on this site, strategy comments and analyses by Ken Smith, Gronbog and others will provide invaluable information on advanced strategies.

    The best book/ebook to take your play to the next level is Ken Smith's "How To Win More Blackjack Tournaments" (followed by "How To Win Even More Blackjack Tournaments... Volume II"). Add several of the proven, yet surprisingly simple, strategies to your arsenal and you will be well on your way to making final tables at tournaments. Many of these strategies are unknown to general tournament players.

    Good luck in your endeavors and, most of all... Have Fun!
    LeftNut, gronbog and KenSmith like this.
  8. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    There is a thread here in which various "rules of thumb" were suggested and discussed. A bit of searching should allow you to find it.

    Here are a couple. They may be discussed there, but I can't remember:
    1. When playing catch up, you have a better chance of success by making one large bet, than by trying to sneak up on it with several bets.
    2. Even better, if you are in a position to use a Martingale progression to take several shots at it. You need enough chips to bet for the lead with your first bet and then to double your bet one or more times should you lose. The betting limits must also allow for the necessary bets. The magic fractions of your bankroll which will allow you to do this are 1/3, 1/7, 1/15, ..., 1/(2^n - 1). For example, if you have 1500 in chips, and a bet of 1/3, i.e, 500, will give you the lead, then you start with a bet of 500 and then, if you lose, bet 1000 on the next hand. Or if you have 2100 and 300 (i.e. 1/7) will be enough, then bet 300 followed by 600 followed by 1200.
    3. You are more likely to make up a deficit of two max bets by doubling/splitting on just about any hand than by winning two hands in a row. This one comes from one of Ken's e-books
    KenSmith likes this.

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