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Blackjack Tournament Strategy

In the previous article we have introduced you to blackjack tournaments – an exciting, advanced type of blackjack entertainment. Now, we will reveal more about the strategy that will help you stay ahead of your opponents in these events – because blackjack tournaments are all about winning more than anyone else at the table!

Keep your attention divided.

While in the regular games all your attention is on the cards and the dealer, in tournaments it is important to keep an eye on your opponents’ progress as well. Always be aware of your current standing in the game, and adjust your bets accordingly.

How to bet:

In the beginning, it is wise to bet cautiously and avoid unnecessary risks. Then, once you establish your “rank” among the players, adjust your wagers. If you are in the lead, place smaller bets that will still allow you to maintain the advantage. If you are falling behind, risk with larger bets – you can also try betting opposite of your rivals in an attempt to catch up.

There can be only one winner.

In a tournament, being eliminated in Round 3 is equally bad as being eliminated in Round 1.  Sure, the longer you stay in the game, the better you will feel about your gambling skills, but in the end the material result will be the same. This means that you have to play more ambitiously than you would in a standard blackjack game – feel free to make some bolder decisions when you have nothing to lose, and especially if you are approaching the end of the round.

Finally, remember the basic blackjack strategy.

Don’t let the tournament sway you from the basics – always follow the rules of the basic blackjack strategy.

 

We hope that this will help you win a few tournaments and find even more fun at your favourite blackjack table!


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An Introduction to Blackjack Tournaments

blackjack tournament

Blackjack tournaments are organised casino multi-table events in which blackjack players compete until only one winner remains. These tournaments can be hosted in land-based casinos and online casinos, and while some of them are invitation-only events, most are open to all interested players. So, should you be interested in blackjack tournaments?

It all depends on what your goal in blackjack is, or rather, what you hope to get out of the game. If your primary objective is to win money and beat the odds with minimum risks, then you will have better chances if you stick to the standard blackjack game where you are only up against the house. However, if you are a thrill-seeker and are looking for a new way to spice up the game, a tournament could be just what you need.

The tournament play raises the unpredictability of the game’s outcome and adds more excitement, especially if you are motivated by rivalry. So, how does this actually work?

The game setup is very similar to the standard blackjack game. The players sit at the table according to the tournament schedule and do their best to win as much as they can against the house/dealer. Each player starts the round with an equal amount of chips, and each gets the opportunity to play a predetermined number of hands. At the round’s end, the players’ winnings are compared – the player who wins the most is the round winner and proceeds to the next round, while other players are eliminated from the competition.

For your first blackjack tournament, we advise you to choose an event that does not require a registration fee. This way, you can measure your worth against other players with minimum expenses. Afterwards, if you decide that you are ready for greater challenges, you can look for elite tournaments with higher stakes and registration fees.


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What is “The Rule of Charlie” in Blackjack?

Rule of Charlie

The “rule of Charlie” is a blackjack rule which adds a special flavor to the classic game of blackjack. Playing a blackjack game with this innovative twist is a great way to increase your odds of winning while at the same time breaking free of your standard blackjack routine.

So, what is “the rule of Charlie” about? Basically, it comes down to the player winning if he is dealt a specific number of cards without busting – in other words, without going over 21. Depending on the number of cards required to achieve that, these Charlie Rules are often called a “5-card Charlie”, a “6-card Charlie”, a “7-card Charlie”, and so on. Since getting 4 cards without busting is a common occurrence, there are no 4-hand Charlie rules.

5-card Charlie means you got dealt 5 cards without going over 21. On average, this happens once in every fifty hands dealt, which is why a 5-card Charlie won’t be found at many blackjack tables. For a player, this is probably the best Charlie rule as it lowers the house edge by 1.46%. At the same time, the chance of getting 5 cards without busting is a lot bigger than getting 6 or more cards without busting! A note of warning, though: when you see a blackjack game with a 5-card Charlie rule, take a close look at the rest of the rules, because casinos often compensate for the loss of house edge by adding other disadvantages for the player.

6-card Charlie lowers the house edge by 0.16%, while a 7-card Charlie lowers it by 0.01%.

You can find “the rule of Charlie” everywhere: in some land-based casinos, and especially in different variants of online blackjack. Keep one thing in mind, though: don’t focus all of your attention to the Charlie rule – the main goal in blackjack is still to beat the dealer!


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Recommended Literature for Advanced Blackjack Players

Blackjack Books

Many books have being written on Blackjack – some of them aim at beginners, while others explore complex aspects of the game. Since finding the right piece of literature can be difficult in this sea of choices, we have put together a list of books that will help you master advanced strategy.

Modern Blackjack – An Illustrated Guide to Blackjack Advantage Play by Norm Wattenberger is an extensive guide that will guide you through various Blackjack strategies. And the best thing is – it’s a free online book!

The Theory of Blackjack by Peter Griffin is well suited for experienced players who want to learn more about mathematical aspects of the game. You can learn how card counting systems work, as well as perfect your understanding of mathematics behind the basic strategy.

Burning the Tables in Las Vegas by Ian Andersen – learn A to Z on advanced strategy from one of the top Blackjack players of all time! The book also offers tips on how to camouflage your advantage play in casinos.

Professional Blackjack by Stanford Wong is a classic book and comes from a famous Blackjack theorist. Among many things, it extensively covers Hi – Lo card counting system. A great piece of literature for (aspiring) professionals.

The Big Book of Blackjack by Arnold Snyder covers a wide range of topics: from history to various strategies. Arnold Snyder is a renowned Blackjack player and author.

Blackjack Attack, 3rd Edition by Don Schlesinger is another favourite that covers statistical and mathematical aspects of Blackjack. The book is allegedly used by many pros as a Blackjack math guide.

Of course, these are not the only great books out there, so feel free to explore other recommendations as well!


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Different Blackjack Variations Online

Being one of the most popular casino games of the moment, Blackjack online has a lot of variations. While all these games are essentially Blackjack, they come with a variety of specific rules, features and bonuses. Here’s a quick introduction to the most common Blackjack variations online.

 

Microgaming’s Classic Blackjack (Gold)

As the name says, the basic Blackjack game; played with a single deck of cards. There is no Surrender option. Gold variant comes with enhanced graphics and sounds.

 

Playtech’s Classic Blackjack

Another standard Blackjack game with no Surrender option, but this one is played with 6 decks of cards.

 

Vegas Strip

Similar to conventional Blackjack, but played with only 4 decks. However, here the player can split the aces only once, and cannot double down after splitting.

 

Blackjack Surrender

Similar to Vegas Strip, but allows the player to Surrender the hand (early or late), and also incorporates the 7 Card Charlie rule.

 

Atlantic City Blackjack

Uses standard rules and 8 decks of cards. The dealer stands at both hard and soft 17, which significantly lowers the house advantage. Other rules can sometimes vary between different casinos.

 

Blackjack Switch

One of the most popular variations, this game is similar to basic Blackjack. However, here the player is dealt two hands and is allowed to switch the second cards between the hands. Keep in mind that in case of Blackjack tie, the dealer wins.

 

Progressive Blackjack

The same as Classic Blackjack, with the added option to place a small side bet that accumulates toward a progressive Jackpot and other bonus payouts.

 

Double Exposure Blackjack

This game lets you see both of the cards in the dealer’s hand. Double Exposure is played with 8 decks of cards and has several rules changed to cover for the dealer’s disadvantage.

 

European Redeal Blackjack

A new game that introduces Redeal button – an option you can use up to 5 times in each session. With this, for a small fee you can re-deal your hand, the dealer’s hand, or just ask for a single card to be dealt again.

 

Spanish 21

Typically played with 6 or 8 decks from which all tens are removed. Various rules are changed to favour the player: e.g. a 21-point tie is always won by the player. There are also bonuses: getting a 7-7-7 wins you special payouts.

 

Triple Sevens Progressive Blackjack

Speaking of sevens, this is another game that gives bonus payouts for them. The players can also win a progressive Jackpot if they get three diamond sevens.

 

Hi Lo 13 Blackjack

A European Blackjack game in which side bets are placed, betting whether your first two cards will add up to 13, less than 13 or more than 13.

 

Perfect Pairs Blackjack

Here, side bets result in payouts whenever your first two cards are a coloured pair, a mixed pair, or a perfect pair. Played with 4 – 6 decks.

 

High Streak Blackjack

This variation awards you with special Jackpots for Blackjack winning streaks.

 

Multi-Hand Blackjack

All variations that let you play with several hands simultaneously.

 

Pontoon

A British variant of Blackjack, with slightly different rules.

 


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