There is a new twist on the classic casino card game of blackjack. Forget trying to beat the house. Why not play tournament blackjack instead and try to beat other players by compiling the highest chip stack and grabbing your share of the prize pool.

If you have played in a sit and go poker tournament you will be at home playing tournament blackjack as essentially the same principles apply. You are playing to win the tournament or survive long enough to finish in the money. The number of places taking home a share of the prize pool is mostly dependant on the number of entries so do make sure you understand the payout structure before you take your seat.

When play begins each player starts with the same number of chips and continues for a pre-determined number of rounds. This sequence goes on until there is a winner and that winner is the player with the most chips at the end of the tournament.

Players are eliminated when they run out of chips or at given points in the blackjack tournament of they do not have enough chips to continue. As with the payout structure do make sure you understand the format of the tournament and any requirements

Because this format of blackjack is about chip accumulation and survival to beat your opponents you will need to rely on more than just basic blackjack strategy to win or take home a share of prize money.

Chip stack management is very important as is keeping an eye on the chip stacks of your opponents. As with normal blackjack you may still hit, stand, double down and take insurance though you are now doing so in a tournament environment. And must take a view on the size of your wager depending on tournament conditions, the size of your stack compared to other players and your position in the tournament.

Sometimes you will have to take a risk and bet big to stay in or move up the rankings towards that tournament win or in the money finish. Tournament blackjack is fast paced and will force you to bring a new dimension to your game by thinking much more strategically about what you are doing.

By Andy Machin
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