Blackjack Tournaments: Strategy, Rules, And Tips


Regular blackjack is a game where all players are on your side and have the same goal: to win money from either the dealer or the house. It is a friendly game that encourages each other and often involves a friendly chat.

Blackjack tournaments are where all that good will goes out the window. All players are now competing against each other to beat the dealer. To win, you must defeat them all.

What is a blackjack tournament?

Blackjack tournaments are great fun. They are popular in brick-and-mortar casinos and online. You must pay an entry fee and collect as many chips in a period as possible to participate. You can also outlast your opponents by playing a series of knockouts.

You can lose your entry fee, so don’t be discouraged. Although they can be very competitive, these tournaments offer entertainment and minimal risk. There are sometimes free tournaments. However, larger prize pools can be found when more players pay the fee, possibly hundreds of thousands.

The winner of the game is the one who has more chips or eliminates all others. Before you pay to play, make sure you read the rules of the blackjack tournament. The structure and nature of each tournament are different, as well as the blackjack rules. If you are allowed to surrender or must the dealer stand on soft 17.

How do they work?

You are playing against other players in a blackjack tournament of blackjack, not the dealer. Your opponents and you both start with the same bankroll. You play the same amount of hands. The round ends with a set number of hands. The winner of the round is the player who has the most chips. Sometimes, the two top players with the most chips advance.

After the initial field is reduced to a small number of players, a final table of six or seven players is formed. This last round determines who will be the tournament champion. The winner usually takes the largest share of the prizes, while other finalists get less.

However, tournament players want to be “in the money,” which means making it to the last table. The bottom line is that you want to have more chips than your opponents at the end of each round.

To advance in a tournament, you don’t have to win a lot of chips. Let’s say you start with 5,000 chips but end up with 500 chips at the end. You will advance if your bankroll is higher than that of your opponents.

In tournament play, you must not only play against the dealer’s upcard; you also need to monitor your opponents’ bankrolls to see if they are ahead or behind you in chip count.

Tournaments Formats

There are many formats for tournaments.


This is the most common format. These tournaments are played against only the players at your table. The table winners advanced and the other eliminated. However, in many elimination tournaments, you can pay a fee to re-buy and play again.


You will compete against other players to try and win as many chips as possible. So that all players can see how much they must win to surpass the tournament leaders, the leader boards are frequently posted to the leaderboards.


The televised Ultimate Tournaments made this format famous. It was designed to make tournaments more entertaining for both players and viewers. The UBT format saw the player’s elimination with the lowest number of chips after the hands 8, 16, 25, and 30 were played.


The playing chips are of no value in most tournaments. In live-money tournaments, however, the players must purchase the chips. They can then be exchanged for cash at the tournament’s end. Live-money tournaments are where you risk your money.


These tournaments are held weekly in land-based casinos and often daily in online casinos. These tournaments have a low entry fee of $25 or less and take less than one day to complete. The prize pool is typically $2,000 or less.


These tournaments are more expensive to enter, take longer than one day, and often have a large prize pool (often six figures). Major tournaments are usually held over weekends at casinos that offer discounted or free rooms. They also offer a banquet and a gift.

Strategy that works

Your primary blackjack strategy will not significantly differ. This means that you need to evaluate your hand against the dealer’s perceived strength (based only on one of his cards).

You will be able to win in tournament blackjack if you have a solid understanding of the probabilities of how a hand will turn out. There will be others who have a similar strategy to yours, and they may even be playing for fun.

It takes a bit more thinking to win blackjack tournaments. The goal of the game is to accumulate as many chips as possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take too many risks or hold onto more cards than you should. It’s about getting more chips at the table with each hand and maximizing your chances of winning.

To win double the amount, you must increase your opening range. Splitting pairs is another option. Why split when you can win more than twice? Blackjack tournament strategy recommends that you split this hand and play two hands, starting with a 10, to win twice.

Blackjack tournament tips

Although this list isn’t exhaustive, these top tips will increase your chances of success.

Pay attention to the time. Be aware of how long each elimination round takes or how long it takes until the end. You can stake more chips if you have more chips at the end.

Expand your range during critical times, if you know that you need an extra surge of chips to make it happen, you can double down on less common starting cards or split any two cards.

If you are lucky enough to reach the top of the leaderboards, be aware of your opponents and manage your risk to maintain a lead. This stage is not the time to be reckless.

Have fun. This is entertainment. You won’t lose any money in your first blackjack tournament, but there will be one more soon.


You now know what to expect if you are new to blackjack tournaments after reading this guide.

Now you know the differences between blackjack tournaments and cash games. You also know how to play them, what tournament variations you have, and strategies that will help you beat your opponents.

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Name: Blackjack Tournaments: Strategy, Rules, And Tips

Posted On: 15/07/2021

Author: Cameron Riddell

5/5 - (1 vote)

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