Blackjack Tournament Strategy
By Jordan Walters
|The game of blackjack offers
players the best chance of beating the casino. The house starts with an advantage of
roughly 0.5% vs. someone using basic strategy. However, while the online casinos take that
one-half percent, they usually supply you with generous bonuses to play, giving you the
mathematical advantage. The casinos hope that players will make frequent strategy errors
or that they will play a different game with worst odds.
The rules of the game often vary one casino to another and depending on the software used.
So, the actual house odds vary depending on the rules and the number of cards.
That said, the basic blackjack strategy stands. One important advantage to online
blackjack is to print out a strategy odds card and use that. And second, never buy
insurance, it's a waste of your money.
If you are planning on competing in an online tournament, here are some basic blackjack
Don't get in a big hole early. Oftentimes players want to get out to a big lead, but
remember: you can't win any tournament after a few hands, but you sure can lose it. Bet
somewhat conservatively and monitor your opponents' betting. Then, when you have a read,
start betting bigger.
Another reason to start somewhat conservatively is to have plenty in reserve if you need
to double down or split the cards. Frequently, these moves require you to have more money
to bet in order to make them.
A good hint is to keep half your bankroll in reserve.
Obviously if the perfect split arises, go for it, but if not, save it. To win a table,
you'll usually have to risk much of your bankroll at some point. The key to long-term
success is to make sure that you get full value for every big bet you make (one exception
to this: if the entire table is being timid, sometimes it's wise to make one early big bet
to make a statement). So weigh your choices carefully. After all, once you run out of
money, you can't go buy more chips. You're done.
OK, most players will have the same result on most hands, since you are really playing the
dealer. So, try to bet so you will gain on your opponents' tally, win or lose. This is why
it's key to monitor your opponents in online tournaments, whereas you can pretty much
ignore others at a real-life table when it's just you playing against the dealer.
You probably aren't going to win your first blackjack tournament. Don't be discouraged.
Practice really does make perfect, even if blackjack still is a game largely based on
luck. Start off with low-level tournaments to get a bead on how they work, the pace, etc.
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