If you've been a blackjack player for some time you may have considered participating in a blackjack tournament at one time or another. The most thrilling thing about making the transition from the tables to a tournament is the fact that the latter requires more strategic game play.
Unlike blackjack games where the dealer is your sole opposition and focus, in a tournament setting you will also have to be aware of other players chip stacks and wagering strategies as well as your own. Also bear in mind that blackjack tournament strategy differs quite significantly from standard blackjack games.
If you're a tournament novice and are seeking to master the betting aspects involved it is important that you examine the rules of the event prior to playing. Here we take a look at what you should know before you enter.
Blackjack tournaments are usually classified as either elimination or leaderboard tournaments. Leaderboard tourneys are the most common type held by online casinos. In these tournaments, you will face the dealer alone and have to accumulate as many chips as you can with the aim of moving up the tournament leaderboard.
Elimination blackjack tournaments as the name implies, involve rounds wherein players who bust or don't have enough chips to proceed at the cut-off time are eliminated. These tournaments can consist of many rounds with between 8 and 25 hands being played in each.
If you're playing in an elimination tournament you will need to know how many players will move on to the next round in order to properly formulate your betting strategy. In many tournaments just one player from each pool advancing to the next round which means that you either have to rack up an impressive lead from the outset or wager aggressively when you are down to even stand a chance of winning which means the odds are against you. The most important thing to do is determine where you need to rank to keep on playing.
As we've mentioned above, the number of hands played can differ quite considerably from one tournament to the next so it is important to find out how many hands will be dealt in each round. This will help you to accurately allocate your bankroll and adjust your bets so that you can come out on top at each stage.
If for example there are 10 hands in a round, and the table leader has 3000 chips while you have 2250 and there are only 2 hands left you will then need to adjust your bet rather aggressively to make up the 750 chip deficit.
If you're looking to start out slowly, knowing the minimum betting limit will help you to plan your strategy. More importantly, however is to know what the maximum bet is on a hand so that you can judge your opponent betting behaviour and if necessary, adjust yours to catch up if you are lagging behind. This is crucial as you will be able to then determine when to adjust your betting strategy before the round comes to an end and this can be the difference between staying in or being eliminated from the tournament.
Normal blackjack games generally pay out at 3:2 or 6:5 but this is not a given in a tournament setting. Oftentimes tournament payouts for natural blackjack are given at 2:1. Blackjack tournament rules also differ from one event to another and from one online casino to the next so don't take anything for granted when it comes to payout rates ‐ always check these before you enter.
If you have any questions regarding tournaments after you've read the rules and full terms and conditions, contact the online casino's customer support team who will gladly assist you so that you can ensure that there are no nasty surprises waiting for you.