Discussion in 'Blackjack Tournament Strategy' started by smitty, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. smitty

    smitty Member

    One thing I learned the hard way...rules are not always the same. Get the rules before you travel too far. Some regional tournaments are designed more towards little old ladies giving them a real chance to get lucky and win. Not much good to a serious player.

    One mistake I made worked out for me so I will pass it on. I went to make a large bet and rather than push my bet out I had picked it up. ONE chip fell off on the bet mark as I set the rest down, a sharp dealer called me on it and only let me bet one chip rather than the stack of chips. Kind of nit picky but it was a rule. The dealer did me a favor, I lost the hand. Bottom line is...always PUSH your bets out !!!!!!!
  2. toolman1

    toolman1 Active Member

    Damn those string bets

    What you encountered is the dumbest rule in tournament BJ play - string betting. All members on this site agree that it should be done away with completely. However, the casinos hold onto it as if it is the best rule in tournament play and they will be condemned to hell if they do away with it. Enforcement varies from casino to casino and within any casino, from dealer to dealer. Some dealers think it's really cool to enforce the rule. I guess it gives them some type of superiority sensation. To avoid a problem like this in any tournament is to assemble your bet outside the betting circle then slide the stack into the betting circle. DO NOT pick up the chips as you did. You learned a hard lesson and I'm sure you will never forget it.

    One ray of hope. At the LV Hilton's $100,000 BJ tournament series, they completely did away with the string bet concept. You can put your bet down then add to it or subtract from it. When you are satisfied with your bet you then "wave it off" using the same hand signal you use to indicate you standing on your hand. It works well and avoids a lot of confrontation. I can only hope this will spread to other casinos. Time will tell.
  3. Monkeysystem

    Monkeysystem Top Member Staff Member

    Really Picky

    Sometimes they're REALLY picky about enforcing string bets. Once at Ho Chunk I was betting minimums and won a bet. I had the button on the next hand and intended to bet minimum again (one red chip.) I picked up the chip I had won the previous hand, put it on top the chip in the circle, then dropped my bet in the circle for the next hand while everyone else was still gathering up their chips and pulling them back. They made me bet both chips. I was supposed to pick up both my chips, put them both back in my stack, and then bet.

    You have to pay close attention to your own chips. Once at St. Ignace I accidentally left a max bet chip in my betting circle after the count. I only intended to bet the minimum on the next hand but was paying such close attention to counting others' chip stacks and memorizing the counts I was too slow to pull my chip back. I had pulled my others back, but then got sidetracked while sorting them into their separate stacks. It's amazing how lost in thought one can get in a tournament.

    The moral of this story: Develop the habit of automatically raking all your chips back at the earliest opportunity after a hand or after the count. Then and only then do you separate them into their respective stacks. When you decide on a bet, count it out and stack it right next to your chip stack. Then slide it out to the circle.
  4. noman

    noman Top Member

    Toolman1 and Monkey....

    Right ON
  5. smitty

    smitty Member

    For all the newbies I think the replies here have all been good and hope they are helpful. Watching out for the string bet goes along with this....focus on your game!!! Distractions equal mistakes.

    Another issue I have not read about could just as well be mentioned here. INSURANCE, dealers who are not accustomed to tournament play will often ask in general for insurance when they have an ace. DO NOT LET THAT HAPPEN TO YOU. Make the dealer follow the button and ask each player to act or not act. True Story...with 4 players at the table the dealer shows an ace, I had a blackjack as well as the player in front of me. The dealer calls for insurance, I was last to act and the player in front of me with his blackjack clearly shook his head no and the dealer looked away from him (no hand signal was indicated). At the last moment, having waited for what I thought was clearly my turn I said "even money". The dealer paid me and THEN asked the other player in front of me if he wanted even money as well, which the player then in fact took even money. I about fell out of my chair. We both had sizeable bets (almost equal) and the dealer HAD A BLACKJACK (the count suggested he would have). This mistake could have cost me the round which I in fact went on to win. Later I went to the pit boss and raised the issue politely and discretely. He corrected it for the rest of the tournament play and it did come up several more times at different tables. attention to this as it can prove to be critical. Dealers are not used to tournament rules in their daily routine and they tend to forget what their protocol is. They must start at the button and stay with each player until they act or do not act on the insurance issue.

    Keep in mind each situation is unique to any player. He may not want insurance but feels a need to take it if you do or viceaversa. Do not act before your turn and NEVER let them go back.
    Ternamint likes this.
  6. TXtourplayer

    TXtourplayer Executive Member

    This happens often

    I see this all the time in tournament play and you are correct that you need to pay attention and make them aware to offer insurance in order of the button.

    But I'll go you one better, it is't just for insurance bet's that players need to keep their head in the game.

    I watch every payout for every player along with their actions (asking for a card or standing, especially surrender). It isn't just the dealers job to make sure the dealing is done properly, it is every players job as well, (at least if they are playing to win).

    Smitty brought up a very good point that dealing a tournament format with rotating deal is a lot different then the dealers normal dealing and mistakes are lible to happen and it is everybodies resposiblity at the table to make sure the dealing and payouts are done correctly.

    I actually have seen players under payed so many times during tournament play that it is funny. I am playing against them and if they are not going to pay attention to their own hands or payouts why should I help them.

    Basic rule of thumb is pay attention and keep your head in the game. If a mistakes happens you could have stopped, don't just blame the dealer, it's your fault as well.

    As far as the "String Bet", I say once your bet is out it stands. I don't care what order you played it in. I love it when players bet out of order ahead of me, it just gives me move information to work with. Now once they place their bet they shouldn't be given the option of adding or subtracting chips.

    I don't believe additional chips should be allowed to be bet either (exception is if a player "Calls" a all in bet) if the player has to many chips to push in all at one time and has stated their bet before the hand, putting the rest of their chips shouldn't be a issue.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2007
    Ternamint likes this.
  7. Ternamint

    Ternamint Member

    I have had several instances when I played sheriff. I hate doing it and I allow myself to be distracted by it. I become involved in rule enforcement and lose my train of thought.

    I think it's okay to let some things go until they really matter. Chip stack visibility and dirty chip stacks are fine as long as you are aware of them. In stead of alerting other players, keep the information to yourself. But, if you need to know, definitely don't be shy.

    Also, OPs can get upset, even though they're the ones trying to cheat. Their tempers can become distracting.

    I'm not sure if these situations intimidate me or if I just think how I'd like to beat the shit out of the guy. Either way, its distracting and I need to avoid that part of it.

    One other example of this was an OP who was leading and stood pat. It was my turn and a very confusing situation. There was one more player to act after me. The pat leader begins talking to the dealer about some bullshit. He was sitting right next to me. I asked him to be quiet and said 'not my problem'. He was done, a lock.

    Asshole, I thought. I also thought the female dealer was an asshole for engaging in conversation. There isn't much you can do that is beneficial in these spots. I have to anticipate them and stay focused on my game.

    I took the low and lost. Two advanced. The OP hit a good hand. Salt in my wound. "Not my problem"? I'd like to kick him in the nuts....and I think I would have lost anyway!

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