A quick guide to entering blackjack tournaments


Blackjack is a firm casino favourite. The card game, known in some circles as twenty-one, is the world’s most widely played casino banking game and is popular on both sides of the Atlantic. For this reason, there are a host of excellent real world and online blackjack tournaments to enter. The game of blackjack has replicated the tournament format success of poker, which is a few years ahead in terms of player numbers and the sheer scale of events. Here’s our quick how-to-guide on the different blackjack tournament formats you could try out, how to enter and how to up your game.

The different types of blackjack tournament

Although blackjack itself is an old game, the notion of blackjack tournaments is a relatively new one online and in the real world. Online tournaments are great for convenience and ease – you can get going at any time of day, wherever you happen to be playing from. Some online tournaments are ‘freerolls’, which in essence means that you have the chance of winning cash without risking any of your own. Freerolls are sometimes offered to first-timers or as rewards for committed players.

Live casinos (and less frequently online ones) sometimes run elimination tournaments. These tournaments work on a knock-out basis. Although hundreds of players may take part in any given elimination tournament, you will only need to beat those you’re sharing a table with.

Entering tournaments – what you need to know

When you play in a blackjack tournament, the first thing you must do is pay for your buy-in, which is usually done at the cashier’s window when you’re at a live casino. The cashier will give you a card that tells you which table you’re playing and allows you to pick up the chips you’ll use. It’s important to be ready and seated at your table before the game begins; if you’re not you will forfeit your right to play. Tournaments always play a certain number of hands per round – usually 50. Once the hands are over, the player who has the highest number of chips around the table gets to move up to the next stage of the tournament. The process continues until there is only one table still in play… Those who reach this highest table, even if they don’t ultimately win the tournament, will most often all win a monetary prize.

Playing blackjack to win

Anyone who plays blackjack needs to have a good strategy and the ability to accurately count cards. If you really want to read up on and excel at blackjack you might want to check out this excellent blackjack guide written by Henry Tamburin Ph.D and a leading author in casino games. However, in order to be successful at the tournaments players need not only to beat the dealer, but to beat the other players by forcing them to bet more than they really want to. A constant awareness of how many chips the other players are holding compared to your own stash is essential.


Taking part in a blackjack tournament can be a thrilling and lucrative experience. By following this guide and taking some time to prepare, you could find yourself scooping some serious wins!