When you think of an exciting casino table game tournament, poker might be the first thing that springs to mind. However, another casino classic, blackjack, has tournaments that rival the high stakes poker ones in both entertainment and competitiveness.
If you are used to playing table blackjack in a physical casino or online trying to beat the dealer, a blackjack tournament can seem quite different but also show you a fun twist on a fantastic game. The best online blackjack casino tournaments attract fans of the game for several reasons, including the prize pot, and the opportunity to refine their blackjack strategy.
Whether you’re intrigued by the concept and want to try your first tournament, or you are looking for the best online blackjack casinos for tournaments, we have set out everything you need to know and what to expect.
Tournament blackjack differs from regular casino blackjack in a number of ways. There are also several formats for playing tournament blackjack. The two main formats to look out for are the traditional tournament blackjack, and elimination blackjack.
The traditional or accumulation format was used when tournament blackjack first became popular. You will still find this format in many online casino blackjack tournaments. It is a simple approach to the game; each player starts with an equal stack of chips. There is a time limit set, and hands of blackjack are played until the time runs out.
While you can, and should, try to beat the dealer to win chips, you also need to pay attention to the success of your fellow players. To claim the prize pot, you need to be the player with the largest stack of chips at the end of the time limit. This version allows players to take part in the whole tournament, as there is no potential to be eliminated early on.
It is quite common to see the elimination format in casino-based and online casino blackjack tournaments. There are a number of variations in the elimination format. In one version, each player is given a stack of chips and bets using these chips for a certain number of hands. After the set number of hands, the player with the least chips is eliminated, and another round starts. The last player left standing is the winner.
You can find single table tournaments that play the traditional and elimination format or multiple tables that eliminate several players each round. Typically, there will be several tables, and after each round, the top two players from the table will advance to the next stage. They will join winners from other tables to play the next game.
The tournament continues in this format until the last table is formed. The final game is played with the same number of chips, and the same number of hands, usually 20-30. After the set number of hands played, the person with the most chips wins the tournament and the prize pot.
Play and Strategy
The tournament format of blackjack in online casinos calls for a different style of play and strategy. While the general rules of the game, including card values, are the same, there are some differences.
Instead of always dealing to their left, the dealer will alternate the starting position for the deal. This is to keep the game more fair and equal, as the player going last has an advantage over the others. The last player sees how much others have bet and the outcome, giving them more time to consider their hand.
When you are looking for an online tournament, you will see the listings for different options in rows. If a row is colored green, it means the tournament is open and has started, but usually, you can still join. There is often a time limit for each player to make their decision and play.
Whether you are playing traditional or elimination blackjack, your main aim is to gain a bigger pile of chips than your opponents. Since you are all playing against the dealer, there tends to be little variation in the win and loss rate, meaning players end up with similar piles of chips.
What is required to stand out from the crowd then, is to do something different. This means your blackjack strategy should involve noticing what your opponents are doing and respond accordingly by changing your play. If they are placing smaller bets, you need to place larger wagers to differentiate yourself. You should pick your moments for making large bets, for instance when you play last and have a slight advantage.
For elimination blackjack specifically, you will start each round with the same number of chips. That means you only need to grow your stack enough not to be eliminated. If all the other players at the table have smaller piles than you, your strategy will change. You need to make sure your stack stays bigger, but you don’t need to place big bets for bigs wins, which can seem counterintuitive.
How to Play and What You Can Win
You can visit your favorite online casino to see if they have blackjack tournaments. If you want a specific type of tournament, or what a tournament at a particular time of day, you can search for open tournament listings. You might be able to find smaller tournaments with smaller prizes scheduled every day of the week.
Each listing should show the prize, the end time, the name of the tournament, the casino, and the entry amount. Many tournaments online are Sit ‘N’ Go, which means they run whenever there are enough players to take part.
To enjoy the best online blackjack casino tournaments, we would recommend approaching tournaments that offer competition points or winnings based on amounts wagered with caution. Responsible gambling with fairness among all players, and a prize pot worth more than you wager is more enjoyable for all.
Now you have everything you need to go out and find an online blackjack casino tournament. Remember to read the rules for the specific tournament you are entering, as each casino and each tournament can do things differently. Choose the format that you think you will enjoy and adjust your strategy accordingly.