When it comes to blackjack tournaments there are completely different strategies involved compared to table blackjack games. The recent popularization of shows like The World Series of Blackjack, Celebrity Blackjack and The Ultimate Blackjack Tour blackjack tournaments are likely to gain a bigger popularity, and there will be a need in new strategies to succeed.

Playing VS. Player

The major difference between regular table blackjack and blackjack tournaments is that the latter involves players competing with each other. In a regular casino-table blackjack game, the players are completely on their own and are playing independently against the dealer. In blackjack tournaments on the other hand, the players deal with each other in direct competition. And knowing how to beat other players is fundamental for your winning strategy.

Positive Expectation

Another major difference between casino-style blackjack and tournament blackjack is overlay. Overlay is simply a positive expectation situation for the players. The majority of blackjack tournaments have entry fees used to shape the tournament prize money, and when the casino adds any extra money to the prize pool it is a positive expectation for the tournament participants.

Simple Tournament Tips

When you take part in a blackjack tournament, you see that you’re required to play way more aggressively compared to the regular casino blackjack games. Here are some general tips you will find useful when playing blackjack tournaments:

– Win all or die trying. In contrast to ordinary casino-style blackjack, where you can play defensively and still win big, blackjack tournaments give you much less space to maneuver. To win you have to make it to the next round, and there are no options. So do everything to make it through.
– Risk everything if you’re loosing. When you are left behind by other players you should play more aggressively, betting more to catch up with the rest. Remember that your goal is to make to the next round, not to win small bets.
– Stay calm if you’re winning. When you’re ahead of other players you can afford yourself to relax and go with the flow. Don’t place big bets and risk to lose your leading position. You have to stay on top for the rest of the round, and the less you’re risking the more likely you’ll end up in the next round.

Ken Smith’s Tournament Strategy

One of Ken Smith’s famous strategies that made him a famous blackjack tournament player was his contrary betting strategy. The strategy was about betting the opposite to other players. For example, if the player is betting big, Ken would bet small, and on the contrary, when the other player is betting small, he would bet big. This strategy takes the straightforward advantage of a blackjack tournament essence — a good hand won’t win you the round, but a good bet will.

By Elizabeth Tudor
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