Blackjack tournaments offer a new and exciting way to play the all-time favorite casino game, blackjack. Casinos regularly host blackjack tournaments so if you are interested in participating in one soon then fear not, you can.
If you know how to play classic blackjack then you are about 75% ready to buy in at a tournament. The remaining 25% has to do with some rules and casino-specific procedures that you must familiarise yourself with before you play. Fortunately, you don’t have to search far for that information as we have it readily available for you. Continue reading for more on what to expect when you play in blackjack tournaments.
We’ll start at the beginning for our first-time tournament players out there. A blackjack tournament is a blackjack game that’s based on traditional blackjack but has some unique rules that don’t always apply in traditional games.
Tournaments are facilitated at single or multiple blackjack tables that operate simultaneously. Single blackjack tournaments only have one table available while the multiple version offers several tables. A tournament consists of about three rounds, and you have to win each round to progress to the next round. You will continue progressing until the final round when a winner is announced.
The aim is to beat both the dealer and other players. The winner will walk away with the overall pot, while other players who place second, third, etc will walk away with lesser amounts. Casinos usually have a fixed payout structure. Check out what the pay structure is so you know exactly what’s up for grabs.
Rules of the Game
Blackjack tournaments last longer than regular blackjack games. And, it takes a while before the ultimate winner(s) are announced. The specific rules might differ from casino to casino but generally, the top 2 players that have the most chips from each table will progress each time. And, there are about 20 hands being dealt in each round.
The rules state that every participant will begin the round with the game amount of chips to make the playing field even and fair. How many of your chips you choose to bet each time is up to you.
In the later stages of the blackjack tournament, things may switch up and become tougher where only one player advances to the next round, not two. This is because at the end there can only be a face-off between two players of which one will be named, winner.
How to Play Tournament Blackjack
Getting started in a tournament isn’t as complicated as it may seem. First, you have to find a casino that offers blackjack tournament games and sign up.
After you’ve signed up and opted to play tournament blackjack, you’ll have to make a deposit using any of the payment methods provided by the casino. From your deposit, you’ll pay the buy-in fee at that casino, and the rest of the money will be used as bankroll during the game.
The game officially starts when every player makes their initial bets. To stay in the game, you must at least match your competitor’s bets. The dealer will then deal the first set of cards.
At this point, based on the cards you have, you’ll decide whether it’s best to hit, stand, double down or surrender. This part of the game may play out a little differently depending on the casino you’ve chosen to sign up with.
Players who made it through that round will move onto the next round, while those who went bust, or doesn’t have enough bankroll to meet the minimum bet will be eliminated.
The next round will resume in the same manner until the game reaches the final round where a winner is announced and awarded the pot.
Types of Blackjack Tournaments
There are many different types of tournaments, each with its own format. We’ve identified five of the most common one’s for you below.
Elimination tournaments are the most commonly offered ones. It follows a process of elimination. In an elimination tournament, you compete against other players and the player with the least amount of chips and the worst hand per round will be eliminated. In some instances, you will be allowed to re-enter a tournament after paying the entrance fee again.
Accumulation tournaments are better known as non-elimination games. Here, you also compete against other players, but instead of eliminating the player with the least amount of chips, they simply place that person last in the race. The goal is to collect as many chips as possible. There are usually leadership boards everywhere that state how many chips each player has at any given point in the game. It also helps you identify which players you need to look out for or beat. The player with the most chips at the end wins.
Mini and Major Tournaments
Mini tournaments happen at a smaller scale (meaning fewer players) but is very enjoyable still. Casinos both online and land-based host these on a weekly or monthly basis. The buy-in fee for these is generally super affordable. You shouldn’t pay more than $25. But, understandably, the prize pools are significantly smaller too, and usually averages at about $2000. Mini tournaments don’t last longer than a day.
Major tournaments are the opposite. They usually last more than a day and are held throughout a weekend. The buy-in fees are much higher too. But that also means that the eventual prize money is better than in mini-tournaments.
Sit n Go Tournaments
Sit and go’s are like impromptu games. Casinos sometimes set aside time slots and dates all throughout the week for players who would like to play on a certain day. You have to register for a spot and the game will commence only when 6 or more players have registered to play.
Strategy in Blackjack Tournaments
Strategy works a little differently in a tournament game because you have to consider other factors. In a normal online blackjack game, your main goal is focusing on winning every round without worrying about whether you’ll have enough bankroll for another game.
When you play tournament blackjack you have to be smart with your moves but also your bankroll because whether you proceed to the next round will depend on whether you have the minimum buy-in amount. You also want to be the player with the most chips in the final round to win. So, bankroll management should be your primary strategy. You can also use all other rules on when to split, double down, hit, surrender or stand to help you get ahead.
Freeroll Blackjack Tournaments
A freeroll blackjack tournament is different from a tournament where real money is at stake. Tournaments where real cash is at stake is called buy-in tournaments (hence a buy-in fee is required). Free tournaments on the other hand require no buy-in fee, but you still stand a chance to win real money. This may sound too good to be true, but there is no catch.
A freeroll blackjack tournament works just like its buy-in counterpart and the rules are more or less the same too. There is no buy-in fee but you still need to have chips to place bets, and only the top two or so players from each round will move onto the next.
Play Blackjack for Real Money
Now that you know all there is to know about playing in a blackjack tournament, feel free to visit any of the online casinos that we list above. When you sign up you will receive an amazing welcome bonus along with other great rewards along the way. You’ll have access to live blackjack games too!