Blackjack Tournaments are becoming a more frequent addition to programs run by live casinos and the virtual ones online. Although the game is basically the same, competing in a blackjack tournament is a lot different from playing solely against the dealer, and it is well to know how they work, and the best approaches to take before you enter one.
There are two different tournament formats – Elimination and Non-Elimination:
Elimination Blackjack is the most popular, and in this instance there will be a number of tables playing for a set number of hands or time. At the end of this period, the player(s) who has accrued the most chips proceed to the next level and the others are eliminated.
Non-Elimination Blackjack differs from this in that you are playing to accumulate the most chips against all the other players during the allotted period.
Normally the winner(s) of the competition take the pool of entry fees less a rake for the casino. Each event, and each round within each event, is started with players having an equal number of chips (or bankroll) and some casinos will play the qualifying rounds early in the day with the final table played much later, to encourage you to stay and play some blackjack while you are waiting!
There are a number of useful tips you may like to be aware of when you first start playing blackjack tournaments. First, don’t worry about other players who are betting aggressively from the beginning. Even if they develop a table lead, you should still be able to increase your betting later in the round and you have the benefit of knowing what you have to aim for. If you do take the lead, the best advice is to match the size of the bets on the table. That way, if you both win, or both lose, you will still be in the lead.
The most crucial hand is the last one. How you bet is dependent on whether you are first or last to bet and whether you are ahead or behind. If you have to bet first and won of your opponents can catch you by making the maximum bet, then you must also make the maximum bet. Most players behind you will take an all-or-nothing approach. If however, you have an unassailable lead, do not risk it by betting any more than the minimum.
Many online casinos offer low buy-in tournaments, which offer an excellent opportunity to try out tournament play and see if you are ready for the high rolling live casino experience.