Here was the scenario:
Fear Factor winner had to make a forced bet of $45,000 on a single hand of blackjack. He only gets 1 outcome, win or lose.
The hand: player 9,6 vs dealer 9. He hits and draws an Ace, bringing him to a 16 vs. 9. His dilemna? Hit or Stand?
What would you have done, and why?
I took heat elsewhere for suggesting a risk-averse strategy as opposed to the long-term strategy of hitting the hand.
I know BS says to hit this hand. However, since this is essentially a 1 time wager (unless he bets $45k all the time), and the result is either 100% loss or 100% win, I suggested the stand was the better option. If the guy was betting within his means and had more than one outcome, BS would have been the best play. With BS, over several outcomes, the few wins produced on this majority losing hand will offset the overall losses sustained. IOW, that occasional 4 or 5 drawn makes the hit the better option to reduce losses in the long-term. The ROR was extremely high for this hand. He would not have been able to sustain the loss in terms of extended play. I think when ROR increases, you must avoid risk. That is why we downsize our betting scheme when an extended losing streak has had disastrous tolls on our bankroll. We know it is more profitable to continue our betting scheme, but avoiding risk becomes key to half-sizing when our bankroll is halved. This guy's bankroll would essentially be completely wiped out on 1 loss.
To put it in AP perspective, this situation can be likened to having your entire card-counting bankroll bet against a single outcome, with no repeated outcomes to reduce overall losses.
I don't feel I am wrong to be risk-averse in the case of an overbet with an extreme possibility of RoR. That is why I would avoid the 62% chance of loss by busting. (2 decks, 9,6,A, vs. 9)
Oh, and here was the outcome: He stood on 9,6,A vs. 9 and the dealer turned over a 3, giving her a 9,3 for a total of 12. Drawing a 10 on the hand resulted in the dealer bust, and a player win of $45k. Had he hit, he would have totaled 26 and busted.