Betting Strategies for Blackjack Tournament Play

21 April in Articles

When you enter a multiplayer blackjack tournament, the most important thing to master is the system you will use for managing your money. In other words, you need to bet with a winning blackjack strategy. It is important to remember that when you play in a tournament, you are not just betting against the house. You are also betting against the other players in the tournament. The winner of the tournament will be the player with the most chips at the end of the final hand. If you want to be that player, you need to find a winning strategy and stick with it.

Some blackjack enthusiasts play with a “win at all costs” mind set. That is useful to an extent, but it is not the be all and end all of winning a blackjack tournament. For example, you don’t want to bet everything on the first hand because the first hand is the easiest hand to lose. You want to be in a position where you can still win the tournament even if you lose the first hand. The first hand is difficult to win because the odds are against you. None of the cards have been dealt, so anything is possible. There are likely to be three or six or more decks in the shoe, and it is much harder to predict what will happen when you haven’t seen any cards yet. Later in the game, if you have been carefully observing what is happening, you can play with more of a “go-for-broke” strategy if you need to (if you are not already the table leader, for example).

As play progresses, always watch to see what cards other players have in front of them. Count chips as well so you know how you compare and what you need to do to get out in front of the pack. Most tournaments have a limited number of rounds, so that is another factor to keep in mind. Suppose, for example, that you are playing in a six round tournament. There are six other players at the table, and only the players with the most chips go on to the next round. You want to have the most chips at the end, but it isn’t necessary to be in the lead the whole way. To accomplish your goal, you need to play with some aggression, but don’t overdo it. Just play consistently and fearlessly. Avoid drawing too much attention to yourself by doing things like betting half your chips on one round and only the minimum amount on the next round.

The best way to figure out how much to bet is to be aware of the cards that remain in the deck so that you can estimate your odds of winning each round. When the odds are in your favor, you should bet a little more. When the odds are against you, bet less. If the odds are average, have a “medium bet” that is your “default” bet. Your default bet should be the amount that you bet in the first round as well. Then raise and lower your bet appropriately but without being too obvious or predictable. The other players will be watching you just like you are watching them.

In most blackjack tournaments, the deal and the bet will rotate. In some rounds, you will bet first. In some rounds, you will bet last. In other cases, you will bet in the middle. The same goes for the deal. You have the betting advantage when you are the last player to bet. You may also play in a tournament with hidden bets. Always use your hidden bet when it will benefit you most. That is likely to be toward the end of the tournament, not in the beginning.

Whether you win or lose the tournament, use it as a learning experience. If you are eliminated early, stay and watch the action so you know what to do to improve next time. Also watch as many tournaments as possible before you play in one yourself. You can learn a lot by watching what experienced players do to win!

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21 April Articles

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