"Push is as bad as a loss"... meaning ... ?

Discussion in 'Blackjack Tournament Strategy' started by KungFox, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. KungFox

    KungFox Member

    Hello all,

    One expression I never quite understood as a non-native english speaker is "(when) push is as bad as a loss".

    In which (kind of) cases is it useful to apply ? Does it imply a mere adjustment of the basic strategy ?

    In short : what's the meaning and what are the consequences of this sentence ?

    For my part, I always had the feeling it was sort of a sub-strategy to adopt in situations where you definitely need to WIN your hand...

    thanks in advance for any explanation !

    greetings from Belgium,
  2. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    You are correct. It is a slight adjustment to strategy when you must win the hand.

    Simplest example: final hand, leader has $2000 and bets only $10. You have $1800 and bet $300.
    Let’s say you are dealt 16 vs ten. Basic strategy says hit, but in this case you should stand.
    (This is a very close call anyway, and part of the value in hitting 16vT comes from the possibility of a push. Since that is not useful to you, the optimal strategy is now to stand, and hope the dealer busts.)
    I’m sure there is a list somewhere here of the few strategy changes that are appropriate when “a push is as bad as a loss”.

    P.S. Your English is excellent!
  3. KungFox

    KungFox Member

    Thank you for your promptness and for reassuring me on this topic, Ken !

    Next question coming soon ! :)
  4. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    LeftNut and KenSmith like this.
  5. KungFox

    KungFox Member

    Wow, I didn't realize such complete a strategy had been already devised ! I must also confess I didn't dig that far and deep into the forum archives before registering (till early 2015 at the earliest)... Thanks !

    As for splitted pairs, wouldn't it be more "productive" to use Ken's pair-split strategy as in his eBooks ? Or is his strategy rather meant to win (or "not lose") BOTH hands instead of just one bet "netto" ?

    many thanks again in advance for your lights !
  6. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    If I recall correctly, the only pair split strategy I published was indeed for use when you need to win two bets, not just one.

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