Questions for Fred: Blackjack vs Poker vs Tournament BJ
  • Well hunting season is just about wrapped up here except for maybe a few unlucky ducks and I'm looking forward to getting back to the casinos over in Mississippi. Its really true that unless you use it you lose it as far as Basic Strategy is concerned, I was suprised at how rusty I got, much less counting which I haven't even started to relearn yet , although I've almost given up on counting and am about ready to accept the fact that I'm looking at blackjack as a venue to enjoy the casino experience with as much reduction to the house advantage as possible using a comfortable progression. Fred, less the KISS count, your book offers the most concise advice I've seen on how to do that (absent the progression part), and in that light I picked up your book on casino poker, after reading a few other holdem books. After playing a bunch of free games on line I got up the nerve to sit a real B&M game a few months ago and it was really fun. Now I'm playing the micro limit games online as well and its a blast. Its totally different than blackjack because 1) sans counting there seems to be a lot more skill/discipline involved and 2) I can sit and play real money games on my laptop for hours and risk very little money (in fact if I watch the tilt and the bourbon, I usally make a few BBs an hour). Being new I feel a lot af acute interest in poker but I certainly don't want all the time I put into Blackjack to go to waste, besides BJ is the best game against the house you can play. My question for Fred, and anybody else, What attracts so much of your interest to Blackjack over poker? How much of your gambling time is relagated to Blackjack vs Poker. Do you play online poker? I think on line and B&M poker is going through an exponential growth phase right now, I don't think online BJ against a casino will ever be successful due to the lack of ability to track the cards, but I bet online Blackjack Tournaments would be a successful venue as you don't play against the house, but against oyher people. Fred have you explored Tournement Blackjack play? Anybody else? Are there any blackjack tournys online that anybody has played. I think this aspect of the game is going to keep growing, Ive already seen a tourny covered on the travel channel, and maybe we should start to talk about it on this board. As I understand it in tourny blackjack counting is not applicable, and BS is secondary to other variables such as stack differences and how close you are to the end of the game. Just a few thoughts after being away for awhile.
  • I'd love to play an online BJ tournament provided all the others are ALSO HUMANS!!!!!!!!!!!
  • DOC: Both blackjack and poker are beatable. Poker is an infinitely deeper game than blackjack because of its psychological aspect -- which dominates the game in the end. You can learn to play well enough to beat blackjack in probably 100 to 200 hours of study and play. Poker will take much longer -- if you ever get there. Each year I play about 60% poker and 40% blackjack. Blackjack is easier to beat, but there's no smoke in the poker rooms. B/J tournaments do not interest me because they do not resemble blackjack.
  • Very interesting last sentence Renzey!! Can you please expound on that?
  • Yes, Fred, please do explain that last sentence. Why is a BJ tournament not like regular BJ? This interests me, because if in a tournament you play against other people, your edge should theoretically change depending on the opponents you have. Also, Doc: I'm interested in Poker as well, mainly Texas Hold 'Em. As Renzey said, Poker is indeed a much "deeper" game. I've only been studying it & playing for a few months now but I can already tell you that. BJ seems to be more statistics & probability than anything else; the human element is less & has been minimized with shuffle machines, etc. In Poker, the human element can & often does decide the outcome.

    I think that with Poker, your income can be a paradox: More volatile & more dependable at the same time. In BJ all the dealers in a casino are under the same rules & those rules limit them, so skill doesn't play as much a part. In Poker, deception is allowed & so human skill & intelligence play a larger role. If you go up against some dude who's been playing for 13 years while you've only been playing the last 7 months, he will bleed you dry in a short time. That's the volatile part. The dependable part is if you can find a low-limit game that attracts the tourists, most of whom won't play well at all since they've had a few drinks. Long as you stay sober & are practiced, you could clean them out as well. :twisted: I know a couple guys in my neighborhood who do this every so often; when they find the right table (with tourists & other fish) they can net around $200 to $400 in one evening.

    But then, I'm just a student & could be wrong about all of the above.

    The Mad Pencil
  • BLACKJACK TOURNAMENTS - bear little resemblence to real blackjack. In the B/J tournaments I've seen, six players at each table start off with the same number of chips and play roughly 20 hands against the house. The player with the most chips at the end of those hands advances to the next elimination round. The strategy of playing your hand according to your chances of winning it takes a distant second to where that will put you in the chip rankings.
    For example, suppose it's the last hand of the playoff round. You're in the lead with $1500 in chips and the current runnerup has $1200. You both place the maximum allowable $500 bet. He doubles down with 10 against a 7 and catches a 9 to make 19. You were dealt 10/9 but if you both win your hands, because of his double he'll have more chips than you. Your correct play is to double down too.
    It's just a money management thing and has little to do with blackjack.

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