Blackjack Tournaments are extremely popular within the global gambling industry as it provides a more competitive edge for players looking to establish themselves within the professional game. Most blackjack tournaments offer huge amounts of prize money if victorious as well as the prestige that comes with becoming the tournament winner. There’s many Blackjack tournaments around the world, as well in an online setting with many live casino options available. This guide will teach you all the important rules of Blackjack tournaments as well as give you some casino tips and destinations for some of the best casino sites to play Blackjack and make money online.
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A Few things to consider before entering an online Blackjack tournament
Playing in a Blackjack tournament requires a slightly different level of skill than your standard hand of online blackjack. Here’s just a few things to consider before you play your first blackjack tournament.
- When playing in a Blackjack tournament you are playing against other players rather than the dealer with the goal not just to win money, but to end the tournament or each round with more chips than your fellow players.
- Losses in a blackjack tournament are limited to your initial entry fee, once you’ve lost this, then you can’t lose anymore.
- Major blackjack tournaments occasionally have prize money that exceed six-figure sums.
- Although having a solid understanding of casino strategy would be a good start, understanding the tells of your fellow players will stand you in the best stead when attempting to advance through the rounds.
Blackjack Tournament Formats
There’s a few different blackjack tournament styles used covering standard elimination and non-elimination competitions, here’s just a few:
- Standard Elimination Tournaments – This format is the most popular format of tournament Blackjack where players only play against other players, with eliminations occurring after each round.
- Non-Elimination or Accumulation Tournaments – Although you’re still playing against other players there is no way you can be eliminated from this tournament until the very end. Players compete against each other across seven rounds, with the winner being the player who has accumulated the most chips over this duration.
- Elimination Procedures – Elimination tournaments are said to be more exciting for televised tournaments as it breaks up the action a bit. Players with the lowest amount of chips after hands 8, 16, 25, and 30 are eliminated from play.
- Live-money Tournaments – These blackjack tournaments operate in a slightly different way to your standard prize event. Players can cash out their chips for their value at the end of the game, this means that during play, players are betting their own money on each hand.
- Major Tournaments – These are the big money tournaments and often have larger entry fees than standard mini tournaments, along with larger prize pots. These tournaments cover a range of professional competitions in many land-based casinos as well as online.
- Sit and Go – These tournaments are perhaps the most popular of the online tournament circuit and only begin when six players are sitting at the table
Blackjack Tournament Strategy
The betting and playing strategy that you must develop in blackjack tournaments is slightly different to your usual online play and requires a set of different skills to help you beat other players rather than just beat the dealer. All things considered, arguably the best place to start with learning blackjack strategy is a blackjack chart. This will give you a familiarity with each individual hand and an insight into when to hit and stand. Here’s a few more things to consider when playing tournament blackjack:
- Always ensure you’re keeping track of the chip count of other players. This will enable you to decide when it’s necessary to bet high, and when to bet low as a means of avoiding elimination.
- Understanding different betting positions across the table. Obviously, if you’re in the first position on the table, then other players can learn a lot about your hand by the way you bet, likewise if you’re in the other seats across the table. This is also vitally important when determining how to bet in the final rounds to avoid elimination.
- It’s important to have a solid understanding of the blackjack chart, but it’s also healthy to acknowledge when’s best to play more unorthodox hands and deviate from the basic blackjack strategy slightly. For example, if another player is sitting on a hand of 16, there’s probably no need to force your hand, with it perhaps being more beneficial to just stand and remain in the game and wait for other players to go bust.
- If you fall drastically behind, it’s wise to make a few larger bets in attempt to catch up to other players. Get yourself in a good position to advance prior to the final hand.
- Another betting strategy in a blackjack tournament is betting against the leading player. This means that when the leader bets small, you bet big, and vice versa. However, this works if you win, but if you lose then it could put you further behind in the tournament.
Different Betting Positions in a Blackjack Tournaments
The betting position is your seat at the table and the order in which each hand is dealt to the competing players in the blackjack tournament. The position you’re sitting at goes a long way in determining the strength or weaknesses of other players hands, so positions are rotated throughout the tournament.
This is done by placing a button in front of the first player, and moving the button following each round to the next following player. This allows each player to have the opportunity to be both first and last across numerous hands. When considering your betting position, it’s always helpful to learn how to calculate what your position will be the final round to allow you to bet more aggressively throughout the tournament as a means to make up for any disadvantage you will suffer from being first in the last hand.