theoriemeister
theoriemeister
Joined: Jul 4, 2015
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April 4th, 2017 at 6:57:25 PM permalink
A local casino hosts a monthly BJ tournament:

https://northernquest.com/promotions/1-500-added-blackjack-tournament

I know that I'm a very solid basic strategy player--and this casino uses the same rules (6D, H17, DAS, NS, Double any 2 cards) as the strategy I've committed to memory. I've never played in a tournament, but I'm intrigued by the idea of trying it. And the buy-in is only $30. Everyone starts with the same bankroll (TBD by the casino) and only 25 hands per round are played. Just to be fair(?) I notice that first base rotates around the table for each hand. (I guess so that no one can complain about any particular position getting all the 'good hands.')

My question is: with a limited bankroll and only 25 hands to be played per round, how aggressive must one play with respect to bet size? What are some strategies/tips for playing in tournament BJ that one wouldn't use in casual playing? For instance, since only the top 1-2 players from each table advance, it seems to me that taking even money when I have the chance--and thus guaranteeing an increase in chips--is a smart move, even though normally one wouldn't (unless, of course, the TC was +3 or higher). By the way, in this tournament BJ pays 2:1 (!!). Is there a point at which one must throw caution to the wind in hopes of increasing one's pile of chips? Or, if one has had a lucky start, should one play conservatively toward the last few hands to avoid losing more chips?

I'm curious as to what others with some experience have to say. Thanks!
Last edited by: theoriemeister on Apr 4, 2017
ars longa vita brevis
Romes
Romes
Joined: Jul 22, 2014
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Thanks for this post from:
theoriemeister
April 5th, 2017 at 7:04:00 AM permalink
Tournament blackjack is 100% different from regular table cash game blackjack. In tournament blackjack you must constantly be aware of your opponents chip stack and make your bets quite often by what their chip stacks are. There's a lot of other information to learn that's too lengthy to explain here, because it's basically like learning a whole new game.

I'd recommend tournament strategy by Standford Wong if you're interested in tournament play. $20 on amazon...

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2/137-3206236-0329804?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=tournament+blackjack
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
Amlee
Amlee
Joined: Jul 12, 2014
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April 5th, 2017 at 11:44:02 AM permalink
Man o man,

Speak of the devil! I logged in this morning to ask this very same question and it looks like ya'll are on it already. As usual, Romes has got the 411. Thanks! I am actually going to play in two tournaments this weekend and have never done it before. I've been a counter for 3.5 years but entering a tournament just for the heck of it. I will clearly be unprepared from the strategy side of things, but will try to learn what I can. They are $15 and $20 buy-ins, so whatever.
theoriemeister
theoriemeister
Joined: Jul 4, 2015
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April 5th, 2017 at 4:23:39 PM permalink
Thanks, Romes, I'll look into it.

Edit: I just ordered a copy from AbeBooks.com--my go-to place for used books. It was only $3.81, including S & H! I've bought several BJ books from them.
ars longa vita brevis
QFIT
QFIT
Joined: Feb 12, 2010
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April 5th, 2017 at 5:15:44 PM permalink
Romes is correct in that Tourny BJ is completely different. But, Stanford's book is 20 years old. That doesnít mean it cannot be useful in some arenæ. Problem is, in a serious tourny, as soon as you make a one-third bet, they'll know what your strategy is. Tourny strategy, has of course, radically changed since. Tourny BJ has faded in popularity, unfortunately, which means that discussions have faded.

I would say the best info in earlier days would be Tinker Bell/Steve Yama. But, I donít think you will see anything public about these theories. Ken Smith's works are far more up-to-date and can be found. Personally, I think they are a touch conservative. They are designed for grinding as opposed to winning larger tournys. But, thereís nothing wrong with that and he did well by them. The most interesting reads are the arguments between Joe Pane and Hollywood Dave. I wouldnít take either as an only source. But, the give and take provides much info.

Sorry, but of course these works are not easy to find as folks donít like to give up stuff. Like everything else, you need to network to get the best info.
Last edited by: QFIT on Apr 5, 2017
"It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows." -Epictetus
Amlee
Amlee
Joined: Jul 12, 2014
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April 6th, 2017 at 11:17:39 AM permalink
Curious where you guys find and see good BJ tournaments.

Reno has a few every weekend, but it's like $20 buy-in and maybe there's 12-20 players.

What kind of action can you get in Vegas? Maybe some with much larger entrance fees.
QFIT
QFIT
Joined: Feb 12, 2010
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April 6th, 2017 at 11:23:19 AM permalink
Ken Smith's BJ tournaments forum. Don't know if links are allowed here.
"It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows." -Epictetus
Romes
Romes
Joined: Jul 22, 2014
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April 6th, 2017 at 12:05:30 PM permalink
Quote: QFIT

Ken Smith's BJ tournaments forum. Don't know if links are allowed here.

Absolutely. I've never seen any issues with links to information to learn on these forums =).
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
QFIT
QFIT
Joined: Feb 12, 2010
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April 6th, 2017 at 12:08:02 PM permalink
Don't know if this is still kept up. Looks like it: https://www.blackjacktournaments.com/tournaments/
"It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows." -Epictetus
Ibeatyouraces
Ibeatyouraces
Joined: Jan 12, 2010
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April 6th, 2017 at 3:14:18 PM permalink
The only ones I've played in were the free tournaments Kewadin St. Ignace used to have. $300, $150, and $50 for 1st through 3rd plus free dinner for everyone at the final table. Not bad for free! A friend of mine who had never played live casino blackjack before scored 1st the very first time he played. And he almost didn't play had I let him sleep in.
DUHHIIIIIIIII HEARD THAT!

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