How Do Blackjack Tournaments Work? How To Win Them?

Blackjack tournaments are quickly gaining popularity right now and it is very easy to understand why. They are very easy to understand, similar to the Blackjack game everyone knows, and yet, different enough to make the entire experience exciting. There are free Blackjack tournaments available to practice and, similarly to the more common poker tournaments, you could win a lot of money in the ones with an entry free. But, in order to do that, you need to understand Blackjack tournament rules and Blackjack tournament strategy.

How Do Blackjack Tournaments Work?

Before you can play the best online Blackjack for real money at online Blackjack casinos in a tournament format, you have to understand how online Blackjack tournaments work. Every single tournament you join will have a structure, specific rules, a buy-in, and more. Tourney variants can introduce some nuances to gameplay but some specific Blackjack tournament basics remain the same:

  • You enter the Blackjack tournament by paying a flat fee. The house takes a very small percentage of it, just like with Poker tournaments, and everything else is added to the main prize pool.
  • Tournaments will feature many tables, one table, eliminations, or, more rarely, non-elimination.
  • Players play against players. When you play Blackjack games online for cash, you play against the house.
  • All players start with the exact same number of chips.
  • After every hand, the lead-off position changes.
  • You are paid based on tournament finish position.

The two most common ways to win an online Blackjack tournament are:

  • Winning more chips than all other opponents.
  • Outlasting opponents.

Blackjack tournaments can end:

  • When all planned rounds are over.
  • Everyone is knocked out except one player who becomes the winner.

Every single experienced Blackjack player can understand why tournament strategy has to be different since knowing how blackjack works is not enough to be successful in online Blackjack tournaments.

Blackjack Tournaments Versus Cash Online Blackjack

The biggest differences between the two appear in:

  • Objective – In cash casino Blackjack games, you have to beat the dealer while in tournaments you have to beat the other players.
  • Risks – In cash casino Blackjack games, you lose anything you can wager while in tournaments you only lose the buy-in and potential re-buys.
  • Rewards – You can win money in every single hand with casino cash games and lose money while in an online Blackjack tournament what you can win is all about the prize pool.
  • Strategy – Cash Blackjack games offer the best results with the use of optimal strategy you can always use when you play Blackjack for money. In tournaments, the strategy is very fluid, with huge differences based on different stages of the game.

Important Skills to Master When You Play Online Blackjack Tournaments

Blackjack tournaments can be tricky. They are not as simple as simple and fun online slots to enjoy and play for free. They are not even as simple as when you play Blackjack for cash. To be a very successful online Blackjack tournament player, you need the following skills:

  • Knowing how to monitor the chip counts of other tournament players and how this impacts your strategy.
  • Knowing when you should bet small and when you should bet big.
  • Knowing when you should correlate your bet (this means betting like your opponents).
  • Knowing when you should raise your bet.
  • Knowing how to determine bet outcomes to then calculate balances based on possible outcomes.
  • Knowing how betting positions change the game.
  • Mastering basic Blackjack strategy.

Tips To Help You Win Blackjack Tournaments

Winning Blackjack tournaments is something that requires time and patience. Even if you are a highly experienced cash Blackjack player and you know the perfect strategy, the difference in tournament strategy influences what you have to do to win. As with poker tournaments, ending the game in a position that pays money is more important than winning hands, which is a huge part of regular cash play.

To help you win more online Blackjack tournaments, here are some important tips to remember:

  • Always take a position into account

Who bets first counts in Blackjack tournaments and you need to know how to react based on where you are on the table in comparison to the first bettor. And the tournament’s final hand is always the most important. Based on position, you have to adapt and become more aggressive or act exactly in the opposite way.

  • Bet appropriate when behind

Being behind the leading player means you need to make a couple of larger bets so you can catch up. This is much better than placing smaller bets until catching up. Be careful with maximum betting limits and try to remain at a betting distance of at least one maximum bet from the chip leader.

  • Betting as the chip leader

Regardless of Blackjack tournament rules, your goal should be to become a chip leader since this allows you to change your strategy. You will have more freedom. Try to bet a little so you do not lose too much.

  • Opposite betting

It is easier to catch up to someone with more chips when you bet exactly the opposite of what they are betting. However, when half of the tournament is over and the difference between you and the chip leader is more than a maximum bet, it is time to place bigger bets.

  • Other things to remember

Optimum betting strategy in Blackjack tournaments can be tricky to master, but with practice, you can be successful. Some other things to remember include betting big if you are playing the last hand. This is why it is so common to see many players all in at the very last hand. If the others at the table go all-in, you are better off doing the same.


If you play a free Blackjack tournament or a major Blackjack tournament, the approach should be the same. There are several free Blackjack tournaments available right now on the internet and you can play them to practice. But the big gains come from the larger entry fee tournaments where using the best Blackjack tournament strategy is vital for success.

Take it one step at a time, practice in many online Blackjack tournaments, and you will eventually be successful.