Charles Barkley’s Bad Blackjack Strategy – Jeff Ma Rips Him

Retired NBA player and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley is a notorious gambler, having lost at least $10 million in his lifetime. According to his Wikipedia page, $2.5 million of these losses came in a single blackjack session. And based on some bad blackjack advice that he gave the TMZ crew lately, we can get […]

charles-barkley-blackjack-strategyRetired NBA player and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley is a notorious gambler, having lost at least $10 million in his lifetime. According to his Wikipedia page, $2.5 million of these losses came in a single blackjack session. And based on some bad blackjack advice that he gave the TMZ crew lately, we can get an idea on why he’s lost so much money.

Asked by the interviewer if you hit with a 16 when the dealer has 10, Charles emphatically said, “No! You don’t hit, no. Let him [the dealer] bust.”

Barkley added, “That’s why you don’t play with other people who don’t know what the hell is going on.”

The TMZ guy gave Barkley one more chance to answer the same question, and he doubled down on his original answer.

“Dude, you don’t hit 16 when the dealer’s got 10! Never!”

Charles finished the interview by saying that he goes by the book “when he’s winning,” but uses his own strategy when he’s losing.

TMZ asked blackjack expert Jeff Ma – the centerpiece of the MIT Blackjack Team – about Sir Charle’s strategy. Anybody who’s ever looked at a blackjack strategy card won’t be surprised by Ma’s answer.

“So the proper play, if surrender is not available, is to actually hit, it’s not to stand.”

Ma added, “A lot of people will stand on that hand because they’re afraid to lose. So in this case Charles is kind of being a coward, he’s basically playing not to lose, instead of to win.”

Ma goes on to say that card counters might stand in this situation if they know there are more face cards and 10s remaining. But he added that he’s sure that Charles isn’t counting and falls in line with those who play cowardly.

You can see both Barkley and Ma’s take on the situation below.

 

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