Blackjack tournament play is a whole different ball of wax, as they say. While the goal remains the same to beat the dealer’s hand, the winner of the tournament must be keenly aware of his fellow players. For this reason, you must “compete” against the other players at the table to win the tournament.
Each round of the tournament can have anywhere between 15 and 20 blackjack hands played. The number of players, rounds and chips will be determined before each round. The player with the most chips in each round will proceed to the next round of the tournament.
An advantage is given to the last player that plays since they have had more chances to see the cards already played. For this reason, the order of play and betting rotates each hand. A “button” is placed in front of the first player, and this rotates each hand to offer the advantage equally.
All these differences are substantial when calculating your strategy for a blackjack tournament. The key to success in any tournament begins with effective management of your bankroll. There is so much written about this subject now. Thanks to the flood of online casinos, blackjack players are smarter than ever. The basic idea for managing your risk used to be to keep your bets small and conservative until the end of the game is approaching. This gives time for the inexperienced and wild bettors to fail out. However, when everyone at the table is hip to the program, there strategy is ineffective.
After surveying the style of play amongst your fellow players and determining that the conservative approach won’t work, you can implement a different tactic. Mix up your bets with small and large bets to get the most out of the hand. Big stacks of chips are earned for big risks. Do so only when you have good reason to believe you are making a wise risk.
In order to feel confident about your decision making skills in blackjack, you must have some skills to begin with. Not everyone will be an Ivy League card-counter, but they should know the basics. The basic blackjack strategy is a chart that should be memorized inside and out. Once you are solid on the basic strategy, you should develop a system to count cards. There are simple and very complex methods of doing this. It is not illegal, but it is not cool to let the casino know that you can count cards. Card counting is the only way to take the odds away from the house and put them in your favor.
To win in a blackjack tournament is really two-fold: be knowledgeable of blackjack strategy, and also have a strategy for managing your bankroll. By making it to the final table to challenge the top players, you will finally see the best players try and walk away with the grand prize.