Blackjack Tournament – Best Strategies for Winning

Article by Simon Day
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Last Updated: Jul 9th, 2024 Share On Your Network:

You might have played blackjack in a land-based casino or online, but have you played a blackjack tournament before? If not, you might enjoy this variant of the classic game.

There’s one key difference between playing regular blackjack and a tournament: a tournament is against other players rather than the dealer. Usually, blackjack tournaments start with several players, and they’re slowly eliminated until the final grouping. You’ll need to apply some key blackjack strategies to aim for a win. 

There are different types of blackjack tournaments, and each has its own set of rules, but put very simply, the aim is to have more chips than any of your opponents at the end. If you manage that, you’ll win and get the most significant share of the prize pot.

If all this talk of tournaments has piqued your interest, continue reading our Betsquare guide for some blackjack tournament tips and tricks that could set you on the way to a big win.


Key Blackjack Tournaments Tips 

You might already know that blackjack differs slightly from other games because it has a strategy element. Tournaments are no different from regular blackjack – there are some critical blackjack tournament strategies that you can apply to help you win. These are our top blackjack tournament tips:

  • Understand the entry fees and potential payouts 
  • Have a good handle on basic blackjack strategy 
  • Adjust your bets when necessary
  • Pay attention to what cards your opponents have 
  • Know the minimum and maximum bet amounts
  • Know the rules and don’t break them 
  • Enjoy yourself and take the opportunity to socialise with other players

Understanding Blackjack Tournaments

Usually, if you play blackjack (online or in person), the aim is to get a hand closer to 21 than the dealer without going over 21. That’s simple, and each hand stands alone. Whether or not you win one hand doesn’t have an impact on the next hand.

A blackjack tournament works a little differently, as here you’ll be playing against other people rather than a live or virtual dealer. There are a few different blackjack tournament formats, which we’ll delve into later in our guide, but the most common format starts everyone off with the same number of chips, and to win, you’ll need to accumulate the most. The blackjack chips don’t typically have a monetary value, although you might be playing for real money prizes. 

The most common type is a knock-out tournament, which is played over several rounds (each with multiple hands), with players being knocked out along the way. 

This means that one or two players will advance to the next round after several hands, with the rest losing their chips and the money they paid to participate. Another standard blackjack tournament format is points-based, where you’ll get points every time you win, and players with the least points are eliminated.

No matter the format, you’ll have to follow some essential blackjack tournament tips to give yourself the best possible chance of winning.


Various Blackjack Tournament Formats

We’ve already told you about some of the main blackjack tournament formats, but depending on where you play, you might find a few other variations, like the ones below: 

Knockout Tournaments

A knockout tournament is one of the most popular versions of a blackjack tournament, and it’s often available online (which is super convenient because you can play from your desktop or mobile phone at any time without visiting a land-based casino), as well as in person. 

In a knockout tournament, each player starts with the same amount of chips, and the player with the least chips is eliminated at the end of each round until the winner is crowned. 

Accumulator Tournaments

In an accumulator tournament, you’ll be trying to win as many chips as possible, and the person with the most chips at the end of the game will be the winner. 

During the tournament, the players who progress to the next round each time will also be based on who has the most chips. 

Points-Based Tournaments

A points-based blackjack tournament ranks players on how many points they’ve gotten during the rounds. For example, you might get more points depending on how many consecutive wins you’ve had. 

These tournaments often take the leaderboard-style format, with players winning prizes based on rankings. 

Tournaments With Elimination

An elimination tournament can remove people from playing based on different criteria. For example, if you have no chips left, you don’t hold enough chips to make a minimum bet, or you hold the least amount of chips after one of the elimination rounds, you won’t get to advance, while the other players will. 

You have a good chance of winning big when you play in this kind of tournament, but the rules might vary per casino, so make sure you check them first. 

Mini Tournaments

A mini tournament is ideal for anyone relatively new to playing blackjack. These tournaments tend to have a smaller buy-in than larger ones and occur regularly (weekly at most land-based casinos). You can use mini tournaments to learn the game and decide if you enjoy playing in tournaments.

Major Tournaments

Major tournaments are for more experienced blackjack players with a higher buy-in and a much larger prize pool. If you’re participating in a major tournament, you’ll likely base yourself at the casino for the weekend and enjoy the social and gambling aspects. 

Sit ’n Go

Sit ’n Go tournaments are popular online, and you might also find them at some land-based casinos. These tournaments are ongoing, and they begin when a specific number of players have joined. Sit ’n Go tournaments are a fun and quick alternative to most blackjack tournaments, as you’ll be paid out when you leave. 

Essential Strategies for Success

Now that you’re aware of the various blackjack tournaments, here are some essential strategies for tournament success: 

Basic Blackjack Strategy

You won’t get anywhere in tournaments if you don’t understand blackjack basic strategy. So, the first step is to research exactly how to play and how you can apply strategy to give yourself a better chance of winning. 

You can even play some demo versions of blackjack online before participating in a tournament to prepare for when you start playing for real money. 

We’ll give you a quick introduction to blackjack strategy, which you can then go ahead and apply in your tournament. To start, here’s what each of the main terms means:


  • Hit: Choose to get another card from the deck.
  • Stand: Stick with the cards you have.
  • Double Down: Make another bet equal to your original wager during the hand.
  • Split: Split your hand into two separate hands.

You should follow a few standard standing, hitting, and doubling tips. These tips aren’t just based on the cards in your hand but also on the card you can see in your opponent or the dealer’s hand. Here are our recommendations for your basic blackjack strategy of what to do when you receive specific cards in your hand:


Combined total of cards Recommended action
11 or lower Hit
12 – 16 Hit if the opponent’s card is 7 or higher
17 or higher Stand


Remember, an ace can count as one or eleven, depending on the other cards in your hand, so keep that in mind before you decide to hit or stand. 

Bankroll Management for Tournaments

Bankroll management is essential in any form of gambling, but even more so when playing a blackjack tournament. To stand a chance at being the tournament winner, you must ensure you don’t lose all your money right at the start.

To effectively manage your bankroll, you’ll have to do more than decide how much you want to wager each round. You’ll also need to closely monitor how much you’ve spent and won and allocate bet amounts based on a percentage of your money. 

You can use a couple of strategies for bankroll management in a blackjack tournament. For example, a conservative strategy involves betting precisely the same amount every time you wager on a hand.

In contrast, a more progressive strategy will have you adjusting your bet amount based on how much you’ve won or lost. Finally, you might prefer to aim for aggressive growth by taking more considerable risks.

We recommend taking a more conservative approach to bankroll management at the start of a blackjack tournament. You can do this by wagering between 1% and 2% of your total bankroll amount on each hand. 

This ensures you’ll have enough to last many rounds, even if you’re not necessarily winning. Later, you can adjust your stake and ramp things up as you get closer to the end of the tournament. 

Understanding Tournament Scoring Systems

There are different ways to win depending on the specific blackjack tournament, as the scoring systems vary slightly. 

The most straightforward format involves accumulating as many chips as possible by the end of the competition. In an accumulation tournament, the person who wins the hand collects the chips at the end.

You’ll get a specific score for every hand you win in a tournament that uses scoring to eliminate players. Players build up points, and those with the least points will be eliminated. You might get more points for consecutive wins; for example, one win might be worth 10 points, but your fifth consecutive win might be worth 100. 

All scoring systems might be different, depending on whether you’re playing online or in person and depending on the actual casino. Before you begin, it’s essential to familiarise yourself with how tournaments are scored. 

You might need to change the way you bet depending on the different scoring systems and whether or not players in second or third place also get a prize. 

Advanced Tournament Strategies

You can also use our advanced blackjack tournament strategies if you’re looking for an edge over your opponents at the table: 

Early vs. Late Tournament Play

How you approach a blackjack tournament’s beginning and end will be different. Right at the start, your main aim will be to stay in the game and not get eliminated, while towards the end, you might want to up the stakes to try to win more chips and become the outright victor. 

We’d recommend placing smaller bets right at the start (a conservative approach), while in the last three or four hands, try to match your opponents’ bets or go even higher. 

However, you should always keep a bit of your bankroll back just in case you’re confident on a hand and want to double down or split your hand for an extra chance. 

Analysing Opponents & Table Dynamics

Blackjack tournaments are a little more complex than standard play because rather than just keeping an eye on the dealer’s hand, you’ll also need to anticipate how the other players will bet so that you can get one up on them. 

The position you are at the table might have an impact on how you bet. The first bettor changes with each hand, and who goes first on the initial hand is randomly selected. Once you know this, you can work out your position for the final hand, remembering that the person who bets last is slightly disadvantaged. 

It would be best if you always kept a close eye on the chip count of your opponents. If you’re just behind a leader, it might be a good idea to place a large bet to try to catch up, while if you are the leader, you’ll want to place smaller bets so that the person in second place can’t overtake you if you lose. 

Final Table Strategies

So, you’ve made it to the final table, and now all that’s left to do is secure your win. The most important thing is to not go bust right at the start, so you’ll need to apply some blackjack final table strategy to give yourself a chance of winning. 

The other players at the table will probably start placing large wagers now, so you should try to match them and keep some chips back. We recommend increasing your bets from hand 10 onwards, but don’t go too hard. 

Hands 17 and 18 are significant, so we’d recommend betting about a ⅓ of your chips, and if you’re falling behind others, go as high as half. When hand 19 rolls around, if you’re leading, you should try to bet enough to go ahead by two stakes, and if you’re not leading, bet half your remaining chips – this is your last chance to make it. 

For the final hand, you can bet the maximum if it results in you winning the tournament outright. Otherwise, opt for a smaller bet if you can guarantee that you’ll secure second place. 

Skills You Need to Win Blackjack Tournaments

Aside from basic blackjack strategy, there are a few other skills you need to master before you’re likely to win any blackjack tournaments:

  • Know when to bet big and small – this largely depends on where you are positioned in the tournament.
  • Stay cognisant of your chip count and other players so you can adjust your bets accordingly.
  • Know when to bet the same amount as your opponents and when to increase your bets.
  • Have a good understanding of when to hit, stand, and double down.
  • It would be best if you were flexible and ready to change your bets on the fly, depending on what others are doing.

Final Words 

Blackjack tournaments are popular for Aussie casino fans, and they’re a great way to enjoy the classic casino game in an interactive environment. Plus, you’ll have the chance to land some nice wins if you’re successful. 

There are a few key blackjack tournament strategies, like knowing how big to bet and mastering basic blackjack strategy. Still, overall, if you’re familiar with the game, it shouldn’t take too long to master the tournament essentials. 

As blackjack tournaments are famous both online and at land-based casinos, there are plenty of opportunities for you to try out our top blackjack tournament tips. 


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