If you have decided you want to choose blackjack as your game of choice, did you know that in addition to traditional blackjack games, online casinos also offer blackjack tournaments? These games allow you to test yourself against other players like poker tournaments and not just the dealer. They provide a fun, fast, and potentially even profitable twist on a classic table casino game.
There is no substitute for experience in blackjack tourneys the best way to learn how to play blackjack tournaments is to get out there and play it. A good plan would be to start with the free blackjack tournaments to build a strong foundation of basic strategy, then you can progress onto the low, mid and higher stakes tournaments.
Free Online Blackjack Tournaments
Just because you know the rules does not mean that you’ll play blackjack games and tournaments well. In fact, it is wise to start out by playing the blackjack tournament freerolls, so you will get used to the online casino’s software and familiarize yourself with basic strategy.
Even though they cost nothing to enter, you are still able to win free cash. It allows you to play online blackjack tourneys for free and within only a few weeks or months of practising you should improve your blackjack skills enough to start thinking about playing the blackjack tournaments with bigger prize pools.
Low Stakes Blackjack Tournaments
Yes, it might be boring to play with stakes of £1 per game, but this is the most effective method to determine if you are prepared for the real money blackjack tournaments or not. If you are tempted to play small stakes blackjack tournaments online, just remember that bankroll management is of great importance to reduce the risk of losing your entire bankroll.
From the moment you begin playing the low stakes blackjack tournaments, just because the buy-in may not be that much, you need to learn the basic principles of bankroll management. If you can’t win with low stakes blackjack tournaments where the players are not so experienced, you can be sure that you won’t stand a chance with the larger buy-in blackjack tournaments.
Medium and High Stakes Blackjack Tournaments
So, if you are winning in the small stakes online blackjack tournaments and finding them to be a little bit boring – if your bankroll allows for it, you should get to the medium and high stakes BJ tournaments and start raising the stakes a little. Expect to be playing against a different category of players, so you really need to be playing your top game, but if you manage to win some serious online blackjack tournaments at this level, your bankroll for playing blackjack will receive a massive boost.
The Three Popular Formats of Blackjack Tournaments
There are typically three types of blackjack tournament formats, elimination, non-elimination, and another one where you try and earn the most comp points.
In elimination blackjack, you are playing against the other players on your table, and after a certain number of hands, the lowest chip stacks are eliminated and a new round begins with the remaining players. But with non-elimination tournaments you are competing against all the other players in the tournament. Every casino will have a leaderboard to track your ranking throughout the tournament.
Some casinos allow blackjack players to earn comp points for every bet they make on blackjack games. As the tournament progresses, players can track their ranking on the leaderboard for the promotion and the top earners will earn prizes. Bet365’s Blackjack Bonanza is a great example of this type of blackjack tournament.
Most blackjack tournaments have multiple tables and are played out in an elimination format where the table winners advance until only one winner remains, although you will occasionally see single table blackjack tournaments. Sometimes casinos will offer a guarantee a prize pool regardless of the number of entrants so there can be some nice overlays when the tournament doesn’t very many players.
How to Play Blackjack Tournaments
Regardless of the format or buy-in level, players wanting to participate in real blackjack tournaments must pay the buy-in before the tournament starts. Each player will start with a fixed amount of chips and their buy-in goes towards the prize pool.
Once the tournament starts, you will take a seat at the blackjack table alongside the other players participating in the tournament and the goal is to accumulate as many chips as you can without going bust. The winner is determined by the player that ends up with the most amount of chips.
The payouts are according to the payout schedule, which outlines how much first, second, third pays, and so on. In a $1,000 guaranteed blackjack tournament the payouts could be $300 for first place, $225 for second, $150 for third, $100 for fourth, $75 for fifth and $50 for sixth.
Blackjack Tournament Strategy
When playing blackjack tournaments, since there are time constraints which can not be avoided, this means you are probably going to bet bigger than you normally would in order to accumulate the most chips. But like most forms of gambling, it requires analyzing the risks and rewards of making such big bets. Whilst basic strategy is important in tournament blackjack, not making costly errors when playing your big bets is even more crucial to have any chance of winning the tournament.
Tournament strategy is also very important. The way you should approach elimination blackjack tournaments is not dissimilar to how you should play poker tournaments. You can’t win a tournament early on but you can certainly lose it. So it pays to play fairly conservatively during the early stages, but be more aggressive with your betting when it is needed to try and create a sizeable lead over the rest of your opponents. By playing within your bankroll, you will be able to more comfortably make big bets to give yourself every chance to get your hands on the first place prize money.
It also helps to read about blackjack strategies from the experts. One of the best blackjack strategy books is Play Blackjack Like the Pros by Kevin Blackwood. One of top strategies Kevin advocates in his book is to bet the opposite of what your opponents are betting. For example, you should bet big if your opponents bet small, etc. This strategy is not dissimilar to playing poker tournaments. At a table full of TAGs, you should play a LAG style, and vice versa.
Where to Play Online Blackjack Tournaments
Now you know all about blackjack tournaments and how to play them well, you might be looking for a good place to play online so you don’t have to worry about travelling to a brick-and-mortar casino. Many well-known casinos online host a great selection of blackjack games and tournaments. And while not all online casinos will have regular blackjack tournaments in their schedule, you can count on there being at least a few bigger events with attractive prize pools up for grabs every year.
New online casino players always have lots of questions, so if you’re just getting started we’d highly recommend that you check out these online casino guides for beginners.