Last Hand - BR2 Strategy

Discussion in 'Blackjack Tournament Strategy' started by BughouseMaster, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. In Stanford Wong's book, "Casino Tourament Strategy," it states that on the last hand if you have the 2nd highest chips (BR2) you should bet at least double the amount you are behind BR1 plus a chip.... My question is: what is the mathematical reasoning behind this? Could someone further explain?

    It's a great book but doesn't mathetmatically explain the exact reasoning of what I bolded above. Would be great if someone here can break it down for me. Thanks!
  2. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    This is the first step of the “Rule of 2, 4 & 5” that I have written about.
    An example will illustrate the value of 2x plus a chip:
    You trail by $100 so you bet $205. the leader then bets as much as he can without giving up the low. He bets $300.
    If you double for another $205, you will have the high by $10 over his single bet win.

    It is the “2x plus a chip” that guarantees that possibility.
    There are additional benefits by betting 4x (beat a blackjack with a double), or 5x (beat a single win with your blackjack).
    Others here have pointed out benefits of 3x as well.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
  3. Thanks for your explanation, Ken, but what's to stop him from doubling his $300 and beating you, too?

    So IF we were faced with the dillema of being BR2 on last hand then this is truly our best strategy, eh? Can you show an example of the betting 4x or 5x? Yes, I read about your rule of 2, 4 & 5 somewhere.... do you have a link where you discussed those basic tourney strategies? Thank you.
  4. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    And I’m editing my message above to correct my descriptions of 4x and 5x. That’s what I get for posting after a long day of visiting sites in Washington D.C.

    For your other question, if you find a way to protect against the leader winning a double down, you’re going to be unbeatable!
  5. Thanks for the explanation, Ken.

    So where does betting UP TO half of the bet come from? Say, double your deficit + a chip up to half your balance.... is the latter for doubling purposes only?
  6. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    There are a number of reasons that Wong may state this. My guess is that he is merely pointing out that unless you can make a full double, the benefit does not exist.

    If your deficit is more than 1/4 of your total bankroll, these options don’t work as described because you don’t have enough chips to implement them.

    You really have to hope the leader does not fully protect his lead in that case.
    BughouseMaster likes this.
  7. Ternamint

    Ternamint Member

    I believe if late surrender is offered, betting more than your deficit gives you the option to LS and possibly get the high. You are behind 100, you bet 205 (If no 2.50 chips are allowed, bet 206 or 210 if reds are the lowest denom.). When BR1 looks to have a loser or actually busts, you can LS if it secures the lead for you.

    Also, if you can DD, the larger bet gives you the chance to win more. If you need to split and possibly split to 4 hands or 3 hands, the bigger bet may also help. It may give you more chips if you win all hands. It may give you enough to be BR1 should you win a DAS or two DsAS, allowing you to lose one hand. Of course, this works for any bet amount when you need to win one or win two etc... and you bet the correct amount (the bet doesn't have to be 2x+1).

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