Determining Your Play in a Blackjack Tournament

When playing blackjack at a normal table or even when playing blackjack online, it is best to follow basic strategy. But this strategy is based on what the dealer has. And this does not always work when playing in a blackjack tournament.

Let’s say that in a normal game of blackjack you were dealt a 12. Since this is not tournament play you do not need to be concerned with what the other players at your table are doing with their hands. If they win and you lose it has no impact on you as a player. You would lose your chips and that would be the end of the round. Move on to the next and hope for better cards.

But in a tournament, while you should consider basic strategy, you sometimes need to make adjustments to how you are playing it, especially if you are the leader and the chaser–the next closest player–is not too far behind you. Sometimes to keep your lead you need to play how the chaser plays so that the same outcome is likely. Meaning if he wins, you win, and this will allow you to hang on to your lead even if he wins. We call this blackjack tournament strategy.

We will take that same hand, a hard 12, and put that back in your hand. Only this time you are in the lead at a blackjack tournament. The chaser is only $100 behind you. As the leaser you are going to be betting last so pay attention to how the chaser bets and plays. He bets $450. This means that you beat $450 since you lead is not a huge lead. He is dealt not a hard 12, but another hard hand, we will say a hard 16. And the dealer has a 7 showing.

With that 3 showing the chaser is going to stand, which is according to basic strategy. According to basic strategy you should hit your hard 12 against a dealer 3. If you were to hit though you will most definitely not generate the same play and potential outcome, which is the whole point to this bit of blackjack tournament strategy.

You want to make the same play as the chaser. So in this instance you would stand because he stood. This way if the dealer busts you both will win and you did not put your hand in jeopardy of hitting and busting.

There will be times in tournament play that you have to make decisions based on what the other players make. Just like in the above case, this sometimes means adapting your strategy when in a blackjack tournament. You do want to hang on to your lead do you not?

Silver Dollar Blackjack Tournament

There is nothing that boosts the excitement of online blackjack more than playing in a blackjack tournament. Well, winning with a natural off of a good sized wager is great high too. But it is not the same as the unknown thrill of tournament play—will you win or lose?

Thankfully there are some fun online blackjack tournaments to play in. And while I do enjoy the little $0.99 tournaments that Go Casino hosts, it is not the same as a full-fledged big money blackjack tournament. The $0.99 tournaments are good as practice for the experienced player, and good for the novice tournament player to begin getting their feet wet with.

But sometimes experienced online blackjack players want more.

And Silver Dollar is certainly offering more.

Every Friday Silver Dollar hosts their Weekend Blackjack Classic. As you can well guess, this online blackjack tournament spans the course of a whole weekend, starting on a Friday and ending on a Sunday.

Now when I was talking about a full-fledged big money online blackjack tournament I was referring to tournaments that do not offer the winning player a portion of the pot, but a cash prize instead. And that is exactly what Silver Dollar is offering their players.

The Weekend Blackjack Classic has a prize pool of $5,000. Yes, the winning player will get the biggest chunk of that $5,000 cash prize. And that is a lot more than what a player could win from a low-key Play for the Pot type of online blackjack tournament.

Silver Dollar is using the US Blackjack created by Vegas Technology variation of the game for these tournaments. This means that there are no side bets—other than insurance—and that the dealer does not check for blackjack at the beginning of the round.

For players who are interested the entry fee for the Weekend Blackjack Classic tournament at Silver Dollar is only $10. Think about it–$10 for a chance to win a piece of that $5,000 prize pool.

Online Blackjack Tournaments

Recently I wrote a short series about blackjack tournament strategy. This can be owed to my rediscovering the fun of playing in an online blackjack tournament.

Blackjack is a player versus dealer kind of game. You might have other players at the table but their hand does not affect yours. You could win and they could lose and that is just the way blackjack goes.

But on occasion blackjack players want a little more from their favorite online casino game. And this comes in the form of a blackjack tournament. In a blackjack tournament suddenly those other layers matter. It matters what they are wagering and how they are playing.

In a typical brick and mortar blackjack tournament there will be several rounds of play. The rounds will either be timed or have a certain number of hands to play per round. The player with the highest chip count will advance to the next round. This keeps going until there is only one table, and the player with the highest chip count wins.

Online blackjack tournaments will typically work a little bit differently. Players sign up and then sign on at the start of the tournament. Since online tournaments have a set time limit, players will usually play until the time limit runs out. Whoever has the highest tournament balance is the winner.

Playing in an online blackjack tournament does not offer the same pressure as a blackjack tournament in a brick and mortar casino because you are not actually face to face with the other players. This makes online blackjack tournaments a good way for novice blackjack players to get into tournaments and become comfortable with competing with other players.

If you are looking for an inexpensive blackjack tournament at an online casino to try I recommend the tournaments offered at Go Casino. They fun for twenty-four hour periods every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The entry fee is only $0.99 and it gives you 50 tournament credits; rebuys are allowed for $2.49 for another 50 tournament credits.

Low Entry Online Blackjack Tournament

Many online blackjack players enjoy taking a break from regular game playing and take some time to play in an online blackjack tournament or two. Some of these players are serious high rolling players and they will seek out online blackjack tournaments with higher limits.

But not everyone wants to play in such a tournament; they would rather play in an online blackjack tournament with less pressure—especially if they are just breaking into online tournament play.

For online blackjack players who are new to tournaments or who are just new to playing their favorite casino game online, low entry tournaments are a nice alternative.

And thankfully there are a couple of online casinos that offer low entry tournaments. How low is low? Try a $0.99 entry fee. Now, that is low. In fact, it does not get lower than that unless you are playing in some low entry online slots tournaments. But you are a blackjack player, and $0.99 is as low as blackjack tournaments online get.

These online blackjack tournaments happen every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8pm on the starting day to 8pm on the next day. In other words, these are 24 hour tournaments. Players are given 50 tournament credits to play with; rebuys are $2.49. Players are playing for a percentage of the Pot. As for the variation of online blackjack being used, it is Vegas Strip.

This type of online blackjack tournament is great for those that are novices at online tournaments and for those who like the thrill of a tournament but do not want to drop a large entry fee or “invest” a large entry fee.

Now the names of the two online casinos that were nice enough to offer novice tournament players and for-fun tournament players to play for such a low cost: Online Vegas and Go Casino.

Online Vegas is a Vegas technology powered online casino and licensed out of Cyprus; it has a payout percentage of 97.8%.

Go Casino is newer online casino licensed out of Curacao with a payout percentage of 97.1%, it also is powered by Vegas Technology.

To get in on this $0.99 online blackjack tournament action every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, click over to Online Vegas or Go Casino.

Betting in a Blackjack Tournament

Being that you are playing against other players in a blackjack tournament, your bankroll becomes very important. This is because advancement to the next round is based on who has the largest bankroll at the end of a blackjack tournament round. And ultimately the winner of a blackjack tournament is determined by the size of their bankroll.

So it is an understatement to say that your bankroll is just as important as your blackjack strategy in a tournament.

It does not matter whether it is a blackjack tournament that you have paid an entry fee to and are playing with that money, or whether you are playing with the nonnegotiable chips of a tournament. Your bankroll is just as important as your blackjack strategy.

That being said, let’s look at how players approach their betting strategies for blackjack tournaments.

Usually players will take one of two approaches to their betting strategies when playing in blackjack tournament. Some will start out betting conservatively. These players are of the sort who are hanging back to see how everyone else is playing, observing them you could say. Then near the end of the tournament round they will break out with the necessary betting to either over take the table leader or to hang on to their lead if they already had it.

Other players will dive head first into the tournament round and bet aggressively to try to gain a lead. These players are the sort who try to make table leader right away and then spend the round defending their place.

Both betting strategies have good points and bad points.

Going the conservative route will help you preserve your bankroll, but if the table leader is too good at defending their place you will not be able to overtake them. So even though your bankroll is stable, you may not have the time to overtake.

On the other hand, if the player who goes the aggressive route is not careful he could wipe out his bankroll if the cards have poor run. At that point he would be hard pressed to keep up with the table and try to regain the lead.

Think carefully before you choose which betting strategy you want to use. Or you could even find some online blackjack tournaments with a low entry fee and try both out to see which one you are more comfortable with before playing in a higher blackjack tournament.

Blackjack Tournament Tips—Being the Leader and Staying the Leader

Blackjack tournaments present a different experience to the average blackjack player. Once in a blackjack tournament, a certain foreign competitiveness is felt that is not normally present in regular blackjack games. This is because blackjack tournaments—online or not—put us into direct competition with other blackjack players. Something that does not normally happen.

Blackjack players will wager and play their way to be the table leader. And once you are the table leader you want to stay the table leader. What can you do to defend your place at the table?

Once you have succeeded in becoming the table leader pay careful attention to what everyone else at the table is betting. You are now going to need a betting strategy. Do not confuse that with a betting system. You do not under any circumstances want to use a betting system. You only need to use a little bit of betting strategy. And the betting strategy to use as the table leader is quite simple:

Match your wager with that of the player who is closest on your tail.

It is really that simple.

The reason you want to match the wager of your closest opponent at the table is because if you both lose then your opponent is no closer to gaining on your lead. Also if you both win he is not any closer to catching up to you. Sure he might have just won $50, but so did you. He has not gained any advantage.

Now if you win and he loses then you have just increased you lead against your closest opponent even more.

If you lose and he wins then he is a little closer on your lead; but if he over takes you in this same scenario, his lead is not that much ahead of you, and you can increase your wager to overtake him and become the table leader again.

Where did the World Series of Blackjack go?

I was thinking the other day about how much I miss sitting down and watching the World Series of Blackjack. What happened? It seems that the World Series of Blackjack has disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle. The last season premiered on June 4, 2007. Alice Walker was the winner and went home with her $500,000. And one would think that in 2008, Series 5 would begin. No. It didn’t.

So what happened? Their site still lists the current tournament as the 2007 Series 4 tournament. And visiting GSN, who televises the event, only revealed that the show isn’t even listed on its site anymore. So what do we, the people who love blackjack and wish to watch it on TV, do?

We can speculate.

Perhaps it just wasn’t popular enough. In which case it should have been promoted more. They could have promoted it themselves. GSN, who created the series and televised it, could have promoted it more—I mean, it was their idea yes? AOL could have promoted it more, considering it was through AOL Games that six lucky contestants could win their way into the tournament series.

Or perhaps there just weren’t enough people to play. It is an invitation only series (the exception being the AOL win-ins). Maybe that was the problem. Maybe those of us that did know about the series just wanted a chance to play too. After all the World Series of Poker allows for entrants to win their way in through various satellite tournaments that anyone can enter. But the World Series of Blackjack is invite only…except for the AOL win-ins of course. So perhaps being invite only is what caused to disappear. I mean, who likes being excluded?

Again, one can only speculate. You can try looking for the answer. I have yet to find it. So maybe it was lack of promotion, or lack of interest due to its closed nature…or maybe it did disappear in the Bermuda Triangle. But I hope you miss it as much as I do.