A clash of strategies and guts is what you can expect from professional blackjack tournaments. Traditional blackjack is about the player going up against the dealer. In a tournament, every participant is in a race for the top players.
Blackjack tournaments are similar to single-table poker tournaments & multi-table poker tournaments, where players pay a buy-in fee and receive a set of chips. The standard blackjack rules you'll find at most online casinos, and land-based casinos usually apply to these tournaments, as well as the whole basis of the game, where participants attempt to form a better hand than the dealer. However, all blackjack tournaments' goals are to win more chips than other participants and qualify for the prize pool spots.
Professional tournaments take blackjack to the next level when the stakes are incredibly high, and players use advanced moves to rack up their chip stack. Below are a mix of professional and "all-round" blackjack tournaments across the globe where you can experience the thrill and suspense of competitive gambling.
Las Vegas Blackjack tournaments
One of the professional-level events you can find is in the Tropicana Laughlin, which has The Blackjack Tournament of Champions. This blackjack tournament is held each day throughout July, with one champion awarded each Wednesday, Thursday, & Monday, while three champions are celebrated each Friday, Saturday, & Sunday.
The 2022 blackjack tournament had a guaranteed cash prize of $199,000 for the 1st place winner and $1,000 free slot play prizes for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th place winners.
Another Las Vegas blackjack tournament open to any skill level is one in Island Resort & Casino, which has a $200 buy-in and seven rounds lasting for 45 minutes or within 28 hands. The prize pool comes from the total number of buy-ins for that tournament. Players receive two power buttons during the tournament: a Yellow "Ace" Button and a Purple "No Bust" Button. Playing the Yellow Button will turn any card into an ace card. If a player goes bust after hitting, they can play the Purple Button and remove the card they drew from play to avoid losing that round.
Monte Carlo Blackjack tournaments
Featured in both Golden Eye and Casino Royale James Bond movies, the Monte Carlo Casino hosts all kinds of gambling tournaments within its prestigious halls. One of these events was the Monte-Carlo Blackjack Battle in November 2019.
Buy-ins for the event are €50 per head, and there is a guaranteed minimum prize pool of €1,000.
Players of the Blackjack Battle tournament have one hour and a half to get as many chips as possible. Each table can host up to five players, with the minimum bet set at €2 and the maximum at €500. Blackjack tables in this tournament follow standard Monte Carlo rules, such as the option to double down after splitting cards, and natural blackjacks pay 3 to 2.
World Series of Blackjack
Produced by the Game Show Network in 2004, The World Series of Blackjack is a televised tournament where its players are invited or are the winners of satellite tournaments held in various casinos. In the later seasons, 40 players have a lifeline of $100,000 chips and are competing for a $1 million prize pool.
The minimum bet per game is $1,000, and the maximum is $50,000. Players who cannot cover the minimum bet are eliminated. Alice Walker took home $500,000 after winning the final table in season four.
Season four of The World Series of Blackjack featured several exciting rules, such as the Burger King Power Chip. Playing this chip allows participants to switch one of their hole cards with the next card on the shoe. Within the six-deck shoe are two Knockout Cards that take out the player with the lowest chip on the table when the dealer draws one of them.
Blackjack tournaments add a new type of thrill to the casino table game due to the urgency of acquiring as many chips as possible within the limited time or number of hands. In such tournaments, many participants make risky plays to get ahead of the competition.
This article was published on December 16, 2022, and last updated on December 16, 2022.