Live dealer blackjack tournaments are growing in popularity right now and can be found on a host of top online Canadian casinos. In this guide we’ll look at the reasons why you should be playing these tournaments, as well as the ways that you can beat them and the places that you can find them.
Why Play Live Dealer Blackjack Tournaments?
Live dealer blackjack tournaments are perfect if you want to pay a little and win a lot. These tournaments have prize pools that are considerably larger than the entrance fee. A standard game of blackjack is never going to pay more than 3:2, but with live dealer blackjack tournaments you can pay an entry fee of $40 and earn your share of a $10,000 prize pool.
Even the smaller blackjack tournaments can win you a lot of money, and there are tournaments for all stake levels. It’s also a great way of testing your skills and improving as a player, because you still have the financial incentive, but you don’t run the risk of losing large amounts of money with every hand.
Virtual vs Live Dealer Blackjack Tournaments
100% virtual blackjack tournaments move quickly, much quicker than Live Dealer versions, but there is no community spirit, you don’t feel like you are playing with others, and it is not at all possible to count cards.
There is a time and a place for them, certainly, but if you want to be able to count cards then you’re going to need to play blackjack tournaments either in a real casino or through a live dealer casino.
How Live Dealer Blackjack Tournaments Work
Most live dealer blackjack tournaments work just like poker tournaments. Everyone pays an entry fee, they get a fixed amount of chips, and they play until all but one player remains. Your goal is not necessarily to get as many chips as possible, but to last as long as you can.
This “survival” format is used on most blackjack tournaments, but there are other formats as well, including a fixed time one where everyone is given a fixed period of time in which to get as many chips as they can. At the end of that time period everyone’s chips are tallied up and the player with the most is declared the winner.
Some fixed time blackjack tournaments don’t even charge entry fees. They merely attach themselves to a specific game and everyone who participates in that game during that time period becomes a participant. In such cases it’s all about the amount of wins that you have as opposed to how much you win, otherwise small stake players would be at a severe disadvantage.
How to Beat Them
There is no sure-fire way to beat the tournaments, as there will always be an element of luck that you can’t control. Your opponent may hit a run of blackjacks while you’re stuck with opening cards of 14 to 16. You can do your best to offset that sort of luck and to limit the damage that it does to your chip stack, but while you’re stuck trying avoid dipping into the red a lucky opponent could be stacking their chips high.
However, there are a few things that you can do to increase your return overall. If you employ these tips every time you play a live dealer blackjack tournament then you should find that you lose less, win more and, eventually, pickup the grand prize.
- Check to See if you Can Count Cards
You cannot count cards in standard games of online blackjack, but you might be able to do it during live dealer blackjack. To find out if you can, just look at the dealer after each hand. Do they put the used cards back in the deck and shuffle them, or do they add them to the back of a shoe and then take more cards from the front of that shoe?
If it’s the former, you can’t count cards and there is no point in trying. If it is the latter, you can. It’s worth noting, however, that some of your opponents will also be doing the same thing. What’s more, players are often moved around during blackjack tournaments, so you may find that you are moved to a new table just as the count gets going.
- Use Strategy
You don’t need to count cards to win at games of blackjack. You can get ahead simply by using strategy. There is a basic strategy that all blackjack players use, as it is based on probability. It has carefully calculated the value of each action, and tells you what move you should be making based on what cards you have and what cards the dealer has.
Many players will also be using this strategy, but you can get an instant advantage over the casual players that are not, and will only need a little luck on your side to beat those that are.
- Be Patient
Don’t go too big too early. You are in it for the long-haul, so bide your time, play small, and wait. In the early stages, just like in poker tournaments, there will be players who take massive risks every hand, betting the maximum and generally being very reckless. If you take it easy for the first half hour or so, you can watch all of these players drop out, leaving you a better chance of making it to the paid placers.
Where to Find Them
You can find live dealer blackjack tournaments on the very best Canadian online casinos. These tournaments usually only exist on the bigger and better casinos, because they have guaranteed cash prize pools, which means the casino adds money to the pool to lure players in, knowing that doing so will increase the entry fees and therefore help the casino to recoup the guaranteed money.
If there is no such guarantee because they are too small, then no such offer will be made. So, make sure you check our casino top lists to find the very best blackjack casinos currently offering blackjack tournaments to Canadian players.