Casino Tournament Strategy
by Stanford Wong
Casino Tournament Strategy, by Stanford Wong, pages 15 to 17,
© 1992 by Pi Yee Press. This material appears with the express
permission of the
author and Pi Yee Press.
Principles Useful at All (or Most) Casino Tournaments
The following are general principles that underlie the specific
strategies presented in the reniainder of this book. A good
understanding of these principles helps in learning tournament
strategies, and also will aid you in developing an appropriate strategy
for any tournament situation you might encounter that is not explained
in this book.
Succeed or Bust
A large part of your edge comes from applying a simple money-management
strategy: either advance to the next round or bust out trying.
The succeed-or-bust strategy is easiest to understand in tournaments
where you know what bankroll total will allow you to advance to the
next round. Suppose you buy in with $300 and know for certain that
finishing with $600 or more will put you in the next round. You
maximize your chance of advancing to the next round by maximizing your
chance of turning your initial $300 into $600.
Do not enter a tournament if you cannot afford to lose the whole
buy-in. For example, if a tournament requires you to buy in with $1500
and keep what you win (which really means parting with what you lose),
then you should not enter that tournament if you are not willing to
lose the whole $1500. You've got a big edge over anyone who buys in
with $1500 because he has to but is willing to risk only $500 of it,
and is not willing to make a bet from his final $1000.
When To Bet Big
You are better off betting small until you know for certain that your
present bankroll will not be enough to accomplish your goal. Once you
decide that you need to bet big, do it at the first good opportunity,
which means picking a spot where if you win you gain on the people you
need to catch.
When Behind, Get a Swing; When Ahead, Go With the Flow
If you are behind, try to make a bet that gives you a chance to win
while the people you are trying to catch are losing. An obvious example
is baccarat; if you are not BR* and everyone with more money than you
is betting on bank, you should bet on player. If you are BR*, try to
make your bets correlate with those of your most serious competitors so
that if they win, you win too.
If Losing a Bet Will Leave You In a Hopeless Position, Bet the Max
Try to avoid getting into the position of having chips left but too few
to have a chance. You should have a large enough bankroll to have a
chance to advance to the next round, or you should bust out; try to
avoid the middle between those two extremes.
For example, suppose only two opportunities to bet remain in the
session, you have 180, and the people you are trying to catch have 260
or more. Bet the whole 180. Do not consider betting 90, which is half
of your bankroll, because if you lose the 90 your remaining bankroll is
helpless against 260. Losing 90 is as bad as losing 180 in that you
have no chance to advance either way, but winning 180 can give you a
better chance to advance than winning 90.
When you make a big bet, try to make a bet that gives you maximum
flexibility You like to give the casino the smallest percentage
possible of course, but if there is a conflict between casino edge and
flexibility go with flexibility
Give Your Opponent a Chance To Make an Error
If the only way you can win is for an opponent to make a mistake, give
him the opportunity. Just because an opponent can beat you doesn't mean
he will beat you.
The Rest of The Book
The rest of this book is divided into four sections: blackjack, craps,
baccarat, and keno. Each section gives specific tournament strategy
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