If you’re playing in a blackjack tournament, you need every resource at your disposal if you want to maximize your chances of prevailing. One of the most important pieces of information you can have is even just a rudimentary knowledge about strategies specifically for a tournament setting in order to provide an edge to you over the other people playing in the tournament.
Managing Risk, Maximizing Reward
Tournament blackjack is no different from all other gambling in that you need to manage your risk at all times. If you want to win a table you’re going to have to take some big risks occasionally, but if you want to be successful over the longer term, it’s important to ensure you’re not making big bets where you can’t get full value. This is one of the most important, if not the most important things to keep in mind.
Keep a close, objective eye on both the risk of your choices and the possible reward they could bring. Thinking in such terms makes it easier to make value judgments about different blackjack tournament strategies that can be adapted to whatever situation you happen to be in during your tournament play.
It’s integral to understand core basic strategy when it comes being successful in tournament play. However, you’re likely to be more than a bit surprised when you discover that basic strategy has little to do with winning in the majority of your hands. Mistakes made on hands where you’re eliminating risk by betting small to begin with aren’t going to knock you out of a tournament so much as incorrectly played big bets.
Leverage Your Bankroll When Necessary
One of the biggest parts of risk management begins with the size of your bets. Since you’re out of the tournament when you run out of chips, making small bets can manage your risk quite well; there are no second chances given that you’ll have no chance to purchase additional chips once the tournament has gotten underway. This necessitates knowing when to stick your neck out and when to keep a low profile.
Of course, if everyone adopts a conservative betting strategy, the effectiveness of such a decision goes down. If you find yourself in a tournament surrounded by players who seem to be reticent to bet big, feel free to make a few larger, riskier bets from time to time if you have the chips to do so.
This hybridization between the “go hard or go home” approach of big bets and the super-conservative nature of small bets provides you with the ability to deal with other players of all types and take the lead.
Once you have established a strong lead means that you’ll have to remain aggressive to keep that top spot. While this can routinely result in you taking a bit of a beating through some unfortunate card draws, using more aggressive betting techniques at a time that you’re in the lead will keep challenges from the pack from creeping up to you and possibly wresting control away from you.
Choose Your Battles
Part of this strategy is knowing when to choose your battles. Typically, this means only placing large bets in instances that you have a reason to do so. Making moderate-sized bets on the majority of your hands is only going to handicap your chances in the long run.
Of course, as with everything there is an exception to this rule. In a case such as this, you could end up in a situation where it would actually be beneficial to bet big – especially when you’re in so deep that your remaining chips, if you lost, would be next to useless to anyone – especially yourself.
In other words, if you’ve got $400 remaining in your bankroll but you just need to bet $350 and win in order to take the lead, that last $50 you would have left-over if you fail isn’t going to be any good to you at all. You might as well go all in at this point in order to leave dead money floating there. While you won’t be able to split if you go all-in, if you’re in need of a massive win that’s more than 50 percent of your bankroll, it’s a better choice to simply try to get to where you need to be in one fell swoop instead of trying to accomplish it by crossing your fingers for a good split or double hand to come along.
These have all been more than just a few excellent ideas when it comes to building a strategy that revolves around making sure you prevail or at least last into the late game on tournaments in the future. There’s really very little in the way of raw, unadulterated luck that’s involved.
In fact, any number of tournaments have been won in the past by players simply relying on a good grasp of basic strategy and the intuition to know when to adapt from those basic strategies. Finally, remember that practice makes perfect. While everyone wants to go out and be completely victorious on their first foray into the world of tournament blackjack, a more realistic approach is to not expect to win your first tournament out hands-down; you’re likely to be knocked out of the running before the final rounds until you get some more experience under your belt.