Playing Blackjack Online Tournaments

Published on: January 15, 2012 

Slots games are by far the most common for online tournaments. However there are online casinos, like those powered by Microgaming, that offer online tournaments in blackjack. These events enable blackjack players to pit their strengths against each other and therefore are very popular.

Blackjack online tournaments require a slightly different preparation and frame of mind than online slots tournaments. Slot machine is entirely a game of luck. The only skill the online tournament player needs is bankroll management, which is when to get aggressive and when to proceed in a conservative manner. However, the basic game of blackjack requires players to make optimum moves in order to get best results. Hence being able to wager using optimum strategy is a must. In blackjack cash games players can get away with near optimum strategy. The optimum strategy would result in an average return of 99.5%. The strategy being adopted by the player may result in an average return of 99%. In cash games, over a $1,000 chip stack the player would expect to be worse off by $5 if he follows his own strategy instead of the optimum strategy. This may not be enough of an incentive to take the trouble to follow optimum strategy. But in online blackjack tournaments this $5 difference in the final chip stack can make a difference in the position on the leader board and result in the player getting a much lower share of the prize pool. Or in the worst case he may not get anything at all. Hence the use of optimum strategy becomes a must in online blackjack tournaments.

It is recommended that even expert blackjack players, who have memorized and internalized the blackjack strategy card, should refer to the strategy card while wagering in online blackjack tournaments. It would be suicide for players who are less than experts not to refer to the blackjack strategy card. Every blackjack variant has a different strategy and hence a different strategy card. Blackjack tournament players must ensure that they have the right strategy card for the variant being used in the tournament.

Online blackjack tournaments can either be time based or number of deals based. In time based tournaments the player’s chip balance at the end of the given time is his score. Players who can play faster and get more deals in the given time will be at an advantage. Hence being able to use the strategy card quickly is helpful. It is advisable to have a print out of the strategy card rather than toggle sites on the computer screen. Some amount of practice in using the card will go a long way. If the software allows, players should disable dealing animations and play at the highest game speeds.

The kind of online blackjack tournaments based on the same number of deals played by all players are usually multi level elimination tournaments. After the first round the designated number of lower players is removed. This repeats till the final round is reached. At the end of the final round the designated number of top players shares the prize pool. A prudent approach in the earlier rounds is not to wager aggressively aiming for the highest spots and run the risk of being eliminated. It would be better to be conservative and try and keep above the level that will be eliminated.

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