Blackjack Tournament Strategy

Just because you know the rules of blackjack, that doesn’t mean you know how to win. Similarly, just because you know how to win at blackjack, that doesn’t mean you know how to win a blackjack tournament.

Blackjack tournaments introduce several unique game mechanics, and the best players know how to adjust their strategy accordingly. If you’re entering a blackjack tournament, then you’re playing to win. Here are some tips for doing so:

Basic Betting Strategy for Blackjack Tournaments

Blackjack tournaments differ from traditional blackjack play in that players are not just competing against the dealer, but other players and the clock as well. Because the goal of each round of a blackjack tournament is to get through the last hand with more chips than your competitors, betting obviously plays a major role in advancing to the next round.

Different players will recommend different strategies, but the general consensus is that players should bet relatively conservatively at the onset, and make bigger bets as necessary. As play progresses, your chip count in relation to the rest of the table will dictate how aggressive your betting will get.

If you are trailing a chip leader, then a big bet is the only way to achieve the big swing you need to catch his or her lead and advance to the next round. Similarly, a chip leader will likely want to simply match the bets of his closest competitors. That way, if both lose the hand, the lead remains constant.

Blackjack Tournament Strategy – Be Aggressive

Of all the blackjack tournament strategies out there, the least effective is to play conservatively. While this may work great for normal blackjack play, the short-term dynamics of tournament play make it a poor choice when competing for the biggest chip count. Conservative tournament players are essentially hoping all the other players will be dealt poor hands. This is hardly ever the case.

Basic Play Strategy for Blackjack Tournaments

Though tournaments require you to compete against other players to win the round, each hand remains a competition between you and the dealer. As such, traditional card playing strategies hold true for blackjack tournaments. Expert players know which hands to hold on, hit on and split on. For beginners, having a basic blackjack strategy decision chart on hand will help you hold your own against the pros. Such charts are easily available online.