Brian Balfour: What blackjack strategy teaches us about growth

When playing Blackjack one of the rules to a good strategy  is to always “double down” on an 11 and sometimes on a 9/10 depending on what the dealer is showing.  For those of you who don’t play Blackjack, doubling down simply means doubling your initial bet on that specific hand.  

So the question is, why double down versus saving you money for another another hand and diversify your risk?

The reasoning is pretty simple.  When you get a 9, 10 or 11 you have data for that hand indicating it is “working.”  In that moment, assuming you have a limited amount of money and you are trying to optimize for winnings, you have a higher probability of growing your money by focusing more of your money (resources) on a hand that is working versus diversifying across other hands that you don’t have data on yet.