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Blackjack Tournament - Rules, Strategy and How it Works

Blackjack Tournament

Blackjack is a casino game where your opponent is the dealer; the goal in the game is usually to beat the dealer. This means you’re not typically concerned with the other players on your table or in the same game because you only need to beat the dealer to win. When it comes to an online blackjack tournament, you’re not just competing against the dealer but also trying to beat other players to advance to the next round. If you’re wondering how to win a blackjack tournament, this guide will explain everything. You’ll learn how online blackjack tournaments work, the basic rules, different types of tournaments, and our top tips and strategies to improve your chances of beating your opponents. After reading our blackjack tournament 2023 guide, you should be able to feel more confident the next time you join a blackjack tournament at an online casino UK.

What is a Blackjack Tournament?

An online blackjack tournament is different from a regular blackjack game because your opponents are the players rather than the dealer or the casino. It’s a fun way to enjoy the classic game of blackjack with a twist, and it’s also a much longer form of the game because blackjack tournaments involve multiple rounds to determine the winner. Whether you’re playing an online blackjack tournament or a tournament in a real casino, you’ll need to pay a fee to enter the tournament. Instead of the usual blackjack payout, which you win if you beat the dealer, online blackjack tournaments have a prize pool. Additionally, there are usually multiple winners in a blackjack tournament, but the prize isn’t split equally. The top player wins the largest chunk of the prize pool, while the rest is split differently by the other top players. Before joining a blackjack tournament UK, we advise remembering a few things. First, make sure you understand the tournament rules well because these vary. You should also check the rules of the blackjack game in the tournament because they can vary from one online blackjack online blackjack version to another, including the dealer rules, the rules for surrendering, etc. You don’t need to know how to run a blackjack tournament, but you’ll definitely need to understand how it works and the rules. In the following section, we’ll explain in detail how these blackjack tournaments work, step by step.

How Does a Blackjack Tournament Work?

As we’ve already mentioned, blackjack tournaments are played with multiple players. The minimum number of players required in a tournament is six, but there can even be hundreds of players in big competitions like the World Blackjack Tournament. Each player in the tournament starts with the same bankroll and number of chips. There are multiple tables in a tournament, and the top player (or top two players, sometimes) will advance to the next round and play with the winners from other tables. Eventually, the number of players in the tournament will decrease to six or seven players who play in the final table. The remaining players will be eliminated in several stages until only the top six or seven players are left. The players in the final table will play one last round to determine the tournament’s champion. So, how does a blackjack tournament work when it comes to prizes? Typically, multiple players get a share of the prize fund in a tournament, but the top player receives the biggest share. Prize pools can vary greatly, depending on the tournament size and type. Some may offer a prize of £500 split between the top three players, for example, while bigger online casino tournaments might offer thousands in prizes. You must end the tournament with the most chips to win the top prize. Live casino blackjack tournaments look a little different since it’s a virtual version of in-person tournaments, but it works just the same. Although you won’t be able to see your opponents, the rules are just the same, and you can follow your progress and the other players on the leaderboard. To win a share of the prize funds, your name must appear on the top of the leaderboard. An online tournament is a great way to get some blackjack tournaments practice.

Blackjack Tournament Rules

Now that you know the basic format and setup of online blackjack tournaments, we’ll explore the main blackjack rules that apply to any online or live blackjack. To highlight the rules of a blackjack tournament, we’ve included a table which compares regular blackjack games with blackjack tournaments rules below:

Cash Blackjack Blackjack Tournaments
Cost Table limits One time fixed entry fee
Loss potential Unlimited Potential to lose entry fee (plus any rebuys)
Type of chips Cash chips Practice money
Strategy to use Basic strategy Blackjack tournaments strategy
Order of play Clockwise order from seat 1 player to the left of the button starts
Aim of the game To beat the dealer To beat the other players in the tournament
How to win the game Use basic strategy or card counting Play better blackjack than your opponents
Time limit for decisions Up to the dealer Fixed (few seconds)
Win potential Max win potential 3:2 (1.5x your bet) Varies for every tournament

Although different types of blackjack tournaments exist, the main elements and basic rules of a tournament are the same. Further on, we’ll look at the other tournament formats too, but it’s important to be familiar with the rules and elements of a tournament to be prepared before you take a seat.

Seats and Tables

The number of tables in blackjack tournaments varies depending on the size, but each table usually has a maximum of six players per table. Your seat and table number will be randomly drawn, so you won’t be able to choose which table to sit at. This is done to ensure fairness for every player in the tournament.

Prize Structure

Instead of placing a regular wager, blackjack tournaments require an entry fee to enter the tournament. This way, every player gets the same number of chips to start the tournament. As mentioned, online casino tournaments usually have a prize pool that isn’t awarded to a single winner but split between the top players following a set prize structure. The top player naturally gets the biggest cut, while the other top players get smaller prizes. The prize structure is based on at least three winners, but there are blackjack tournaments where more winners can get a share of the prize pool.


Online blackjack tournaments have several rounds, each with the same number of hands. This is usually between 15 and 30 hands for each round, and players are eliminated in each one. In a Las Vegas blackjack tournament, it’s usually only the player with the most chip at the end of the round that advances to the next round.

Order of Play

If you want to learn how to play blackjack tournament, it’s necessary to understand the order of play and your position on the table. In a regular blackjack game, a dealer deals the cards, starting with the player to their left and moving clockwise around the table. This order of play remains the same for every round. In blackjack tournaments, a button like the one used in poker tournaments is moved around the table after every hand so that everyone has a chance to act first in the game.


You’ll want to be aware of the time limit in blackjack tournaments before you join because it’s the time you’ll have to make decisions. In regular blackjack, there are no strict time limits to decide what to do with your cards – the dealer will only interject if you take very long and slow down the game’s pace. A time limit is allocated for decision-making in a tournament, usually between 10 and 25 seconds. This means you’ll need to think quickly and act fast because the time is very short. During this short time, you need to determine the value of your hand, decide whether to take an additional card, analyse your opponents’ stacks, and remember how much your opponents have already bet to determine how much you should bet.

Bet Size

Like regular blackjack games, online blackjack tournaments also bet limits which must be followed. The entry fee is the same for every player, but once the game starts, players can decide how much they want to bet on a hand so long as it’s within the

Blackjack Tournament Formats

Several different formats can be used for a tournament, from traditional blackjack tournaments to the Sit ‘N’ Go format that’s become very popular in the past few years. The blackjack odds vary slightly depending on the format. For example, 10 hand blackjack tournament strategy is different than the strategy you would in a heads up tournament, so we encourage you to learn a little bit more about the different types of tournaments, such as the following:

Traditional Tournament

Traditional blackjack tournaments are the most common format, and it’s a type of tournament where you only compete against the players on your table. If you’re one of the winners, you move on to compete with other table winners. And if not, most tournaments allow you to pay a re-buy fee to play again.

Non-Elimination Tournament

Non-elimination blackjack tournaments are also known as accumulation tournaments. Unlike the elimination format, the goal is to collect as many chips as possible to get a leaderboard spot. This means that if you’re not the top player on your table, you keep playing, and your chances of winning will depend on how many chips you accumulate throughout the tournament.

Elimination Tournament

Elimination blackjack tournaments are also very common and sometimes referred to as survivor tournaments. In these tournaments, only one or two players advance to the next round, while the rest are eliminated.

Sit ‘N’ Go

Sit ‘N’ Go tournaments have become popular at online casinos over the past couple of years because they’re fast-paced and fun. These are the best online blackjack tournaments for many players because they run continuously and start as soon as six players have joined. More players can join at any time, and the winner is the player with the biggest stack at the end of the hand wins.

Major Tournament

Major tournaments like the carnival blackjack tournament typically last a few days to complete and aren’t suitable for every player because the entry fee is quite high. The prize pool is also quite high, usually held over the weekend.

Mini Tournament

As the name suggests, these are smaller-scale blackjack tournaments typically held regularly at an online casino. The entry fee is lower than tournaments with a larger format and is usually finished in a day, whereas other tournaments can take weeks to complete. Another type of mini tournament is the Heads Up tournament, a smaller version of blackjack tournaments played between two players who go head to head over 10 rounds. The player who finishes with the biggest number of chips in the last round wins the prize. A good heads up blackjack tournament strategy tip to use here is to use basic strategy and avoid counting cards because it doesn’t work in a short form of tournament such as this one, especially at online casinos. Blackjack Tournament Strategy Blackjack tournaments strategy is not the same as your regular blackjack strategy because the format is quite different. Because of the differences highlighted in the table further above, the best blackjack tips for a tournament differ in some ways.

Get to Know the Rules

The best 7 hand blackjack tournament strategy that applies to any other tournament format is to get to know the rules inside out. Rules vary from one tournament to another and depending on where you’re playing, so it’s always important to know what you’re getting into.

Count Stacks

Counting stacks, knowing how many chips you have and how many chips your opponents have are all important parts of blackjack tournament strategy. This takes some practice to master because, at first, you might be too focused on your hand to pay attention to anything else around you.

Respect Positions

As we explained earlier, tournaments use a button that moves one position to the left after every hand. This means you’ll be required to act first at some point, so you have a slight disadvantage here.

Adapt Your Bet Size

Knowing when to change the size of your bet and managing your bankroll properly are key to your chances of success in the tournament. You’ll need to know when to increase your bet so that even if your opponents win, you’ll still have the highest chip count or when to correlate, which refers to betting the same as the other players. Another skill you’ll need to learn is knowing when to bet the minimum.

Benefits of Participating in an Online Tournament

Besides a number of differences between regular blackjack and blackjack tournaments, there are also key differences between playing online or in person. There are several benefits when participating in a tournament at an online casino, the most obvious of which is that you can participate wherever you are, so there are no location restrictions. There’s also the benefit of playing in privacy when participating in tournaments at online casinos, with little to no distractions. Playing in person means you have to block out the noise from the crowds, other players conversing, and anything else that might catch your eye and distract you from your game. Another advantage is that online tournaments run frequently, especially Sit ‘N’ Go games, so you can join any time you want. And if you miss out on one tournament, you can be sure that another one will start in a few minutes or hours.

What Skills Should You Learn?

Below are the most important skills you need to master to improve your odds of success in a tournament:

  • Track all the chips on a tableKeep track of how many chips your players have left to know what their bankroll is. This will help you decide how much to bet on each hand.
  • When to increase your betIf you fall behind the table leader, you might want to make one or two bigger bets to try and catch up with them, but wait for the button to pass you first.
  • When to bet on minimum – Sometimes, another way to catch up when you’re behind is to bet opposite to what they’re betting. If they bet big, you make a smaller bet, and vice versa. This is recommended unless or until you’ve fallen more than one bet (equivalent to the maximum bet) behind, in which case your chances are better if you make a bigger bet.Discuss
  • When to bet as your opponents – If you’re in the lead in terms of the number of chips (also known as chip leader), you can match your opponents’ bets to prevent them from overtaking you.Discuss
  • Importance of betting position – Understanding the significance of your betting position is another important skill for blackjack tournaments. The best strategy is to play a little more aggressively on the hands leading up to it so you can take fewer risks when you must play first.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of skills you need to learn before you play blackjack tournaments, and ultimately, it takes some practice to improve your skills in a tournament. Playing with several opponents rather than focusing solely on the dealer can be challenging at first because the rules are quite different too. If you have little to no experience with blackjack tournaments, we recommend participating in mini-tournaments first, where the entry fee is usually quite low, so you’re not risking as much. And remember, in a tournament, you’re playing against all the other players, and the goal is to beat them by playing your cards right. There are no side bets like the 21+3 blackjack bet or insurance bet, for example.

FAQs About Blackjack Tournament

  1. How Does a Blackjack Tournament Work? Blackjack online casino tournaments are played between several players competing for a share of a prize pool which is shared between the top three (or more) players. Many rounds are played, and the player with the most chips at the end of each round advances to the next one to play with other table winners. The player who ends the tournament with the most chips will be the tournament’s champion.
  2. Is 21 a Win in Blackjack? Yes, a 21 in blackjack is always a win unless the dealer also has a 21, in which case you tie with the dealer. If this happens, your bet is returned to you.
  3. Do Dealers Hit on Soft 17? In most blackjack games, dealers stand on a hand of 17. However, there are blackjack games where the rules are that the dealer must hit when they have a soft 17.
  4. Can You Be a Winning Blackjack Player? Yes, it’s certainly possible to be a winning blackjack player, but losing is also a part of the game. It’s impossible to consistently beat the dealer in blackjack, even if you’re an experienced and skilled player.
  5. How Often Do You Win in Blackjack? Statistically, the chance of winning in blackjack is around 42% in the long run, while the losing probability is about 48%. The chances of winning in blackjack greatly depend on your skill level, too; with a solid understanding of basic strategy and blackjack rules, the odds of winning in the game will be significantly higher.