Although you won’t come across as many blackjack tournaments as you will poker tournaments, they do exist and they are in plenty supply if you are looking in the right places. Online blackjack tournaments are rife on Fortune Lounge Group, whereas you can find offline blackjack in a number of Vegas casinos.
Blackjack tournaments are a little different to other tournaments and they are also a little different to standard games of blackjack. The worst thing you can do when entering such a tournament is to play it like you would a normal game of blackjack. There are some simple tricks and tips to keep in mind to help you though, as discussed in this article.
Watch your Opponents
Professional blackjack is all about the dealer, as you should be focusing more on the dealer’s cards than on your own. After all, you are playing against the dealer and whether they go bust or score weak, will decide what sort of hand you can put together and whether you need a strong one or can get away with a weak one. In tournament play you should focus on your opponents just as much.
Keep track of their hands and their play. Pace yourself based on what they are doing. Are they being reckless and missing a lot of hands? If so, play it slow, they’ll drop out soon. Are they hitting a lot of hands and stacking the chips? If so, pick up your play, because you have a lot of catching up to do. There are also times when it is essential to watch your opponents, as discussed next.
As with poker tournaments, there is a money bubble whereby the next person to go out, does not get anything and everyone else is guaranteed something. There is no need to be loose and reckless here, as often advised in poker, because there are no hands to fold. This is a great time to pick up big wins though, because whilst your opponents will be playing it slow and betting small to survive, you should focus on doing the opposite so that you can make life easy for yourself after that point.
The Finish Line
When the finish line is in sight, you should know the stacks of all players around you. If you are the last to act in the last hand, and all of the other players can not beat you even if they win their hands, then you should get in and out quickly. Don’t lose money by betting big, doubling or splitting, because there is no need and you are putting yourself at risk. In such situations, always know what it takes for you to be beaten, and make sure you never give your opponents the chance. If you are the one chasing the leader, then let them know you’re there. Bet big, take risks. Force them into action, because if you do and if they lose, then they’ll be doing your job for you.