Blackjack players either make wild bets that knock them out of the casino tournament early, or bet too conservatively and watch others pass them by. Obviously neither of these situations are favorable, so let’s look at some better strategy you can use during blackjack tournaments.
Practice Risk Management
While the concept of risk management is important throughout gambling, it is especially important in blackjack tournaments because you only have one casino chip stack. The idea here is that you only want to risk the minimum of what you need to accomplish your casino goal. Sure there are exceptions to this rule (discussed in the next tip), but you should never put more chips into play than you need to. For instance, if you trail the table leader by $25, making a $50 bet is enough to grab the lead without risking too much. However, making a $100 bet is putting too many chips into play just to take a big lead.
Know when to go All-In
In almost every blackjack tournament, there will come a point(s) where you need to go all-in just to stay in the hunt. Of course, knowing when this point has come is key to being a successful tournament player. The best time to make an all-in bet is when you’re slightly trailing the main pack of leaders, yet close to the point where losing regular big bets will render you ineffective. For example, if you have $350 and you’re $300 behind the top players, a $200 bet would gain some ground. However, you would still be $100 behind the leaders, and if you lost the bet, you have a puny $150 stack. So the best idea would just be to go all-in here.
Sit at Third Base when Possible
Some online casino blackjack tournaments give you the option to choose your seat; in this case, you should always opt for the last seat. Being in this position enables you to see how all of the other players are betting; this plays a big part later on in tournaments when you either need to catch up or maintain a lead. Many online tournaments rotate players down the line so that everybody gets a shot to sit at third base. In this instance, you should make conservative bets at first base and other early seats, then consider making bigger bets in the later seats.
Differentiate yourself from the Table
One of the best ways to stand out in a casino blackjack tournament is by differentiating your bets from the rest of the players at your table. This method is especially effective in elimination blackjack where players gradually drop off of the table during the course of play. To illustrate how this strategy works, let’s assume everybody at your casino table is making big bets of $25 and $50. To differentiate yourself from them, you could make $5 and $10 bets while hoping that the dealer goes on a hot streak. Likewise, you could also make big casino bets on a conservative table to grab a big lead when/if you start winning.
Learn Good Strategy
While betting strategies are what will separate you from the rest of the casino players, make sure that you know optimal blackjack strategy. Learning good blackjack strategy isn’t as tough as you would think, and beginners can even use a blackjack hand chart in the beginning until they’re better players.