Sometimes they can help you…


by “AboutEven”

I’m playing overseas in a casino where people routinely play behind the player.

So a ploppy at the roulette table behind me starts putting bets behind mine. Fine with me. I play my regular game, win a few hands, and he starts raising his bets. Then I get a hard 13 vs. a ten. I’ve got my minimum bet out, and his bet is 20 times mine.

“Hey, man, surrender that!” he says as the dealer is paying out the side bets.


“Look, I’ve got a lot more invested than you do.”


“I’ll give you the other half or your bet if you surrender.”

“Why don’t you just play that open spot over there?”

WHAT A SILLY STUBBORN SELF RIGHTEOUS BONEHEAD MOVE! Here I’ve got a losing hand and a ploppy is willing to wipe out my expected loss. But I’m too busy “playing correctly” to figure out that the guy is giving me EV. If I’d listened to him and considered the offer, I could have benefited from that hand and probably a few others. He might even have been willing to pay me to surrender when I was going to do it anyway.

Moral of the story: Real boosts to EV come from opportunities beyond basic strategy and plus one minus one.

Good variance to all.

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