Whether it’s at a brick-and-mortar or online casino, blackjack tournaments up the ante by putting players against players. So, how can you win the most chips and get the big prize?
We’ve compiled this guide to include everything you need to know, including the rules, strategies, and everything else you need to know. Plus, our list of premium sites that offer online blackjack tournaments to their players.
Blackjack tournaments are competitions run by online or land-based casinos that host multiple players. To enter, you have to pay a fee to enter and play in the tournament, which lasts about three days.
However, these contests have varying rules and payouts, so it’s important to do some research before signing up. When you play in a blackjack tournament, you’re up against the other players, not the house. So, you need to understand the rules and what’s expected of you.
How Do Blackjack Tournaments Work?
When playing blackjack in tournaments, you’re not against the dealer. You and the other players will play the same number of hands with a set bankroll. Only the table winners will progress to the next round and the final table.
Since you’ll be playing blackjack with a predetermined number of hands, you’ll need to have a strategy in mind to have the most chips left. The number of chips will decide who wins the table and progress to the next round.
Types of Blackjack Tournaments
There are a few types of tournaments you’ll come across at casinos, including these popular formats:
Traditional Elimination Blackjack Tournaments
This is the most likely format you’ll find when you look for blackjack tournaments to enter. In this type, you’ll only play against the people at your table. Only the table winner will advance, but some competitions allow you to pay another buy-in fee to play again.
Accumulation or Non- Elimination Competitions
Here you’ll be up against every other player in the tournament to get the highest amount of chips after several rounds. All of the leaders will be tracked on a scoreboard so you can see how many chips you need to get ahead.
This type of competition became popular because of the widely televised Ultimate Blackjack Tournaments. In the UBT format, the person with the lowest chip count after round eight, 16, 25, and 30 will be eliminated from play (no re-buy).
In most blackjack tournaments, the chips don’t have a real-life value, but these do. You have to buy chips with your own money and play at the table. So, if you go all-in on the maximum bet, you will lose part of your stake.
These are the most common contests at online casinos, held daily or weekly where you have to pay an entry fee. Usually, there’s prize money worth $2000 or less, depending on the casino.
These tournaments carry higher entry fees and take more than a day to play out. Since the fee is higher, the prize pool is also sizable (six figures or so). Land-based casinos that offer these contests will host them over a weekend or offer discounted rooms.
Sit ‘N’ Go Blackjack Tournaments
Last but not least is Sit ‘n Go blackjack tournaments, which are usually continuously running competitions. There need to be at least six players at the table to take part in it, but there can be multiple tables.
Standard Competition Rules
While there are differences between the many tournaments you can find, there are usually some standard rules. You have to pay a fee, and you need to understand the rules of the particular contest you’re entered into. These are the basic blackjack tournament rules we’ve found:
Generally, the top two players will progress to the next round
There will be between 20-30 hands dealt per round
Players start with the same amount of chips
Later rounds will allow one player per table to progress
The final match up will be between two players
Blackjack Tournament Strategy
Like poker tournaments, some players swear by strategies to get the most chips. However, there are no guaranteed tactics that will get you the prize.
While there’s nothing wrong with testing out a system, you have to remember that your odds remain the same. With that said, these are some factors you should use with a basic strategy:
Keep track of the chip counts on your table regularly
Strategize when to bet the minimum or maximum limit
Learn when to match your opponents’ wagers
Figure out the bankroll of each player when you’re in a blackjack tournament online or live
Know when to deviate from your strategy to get the best chance of winning
Pay attention to where you sit because betting positions are vital