If you were to enter a Blackjack Tournament that has odds of getting paid at 25 to 1, and are inexperienced, in theory, by luck alone you would finish in the money once every 25 tries. This doesn’t sound very encouraging, however if the hosting casino adds money to the prize pool, it makes it a positive value event and very attractive. Here’s why:
Let’s say 125 players pay $60 each to enter a tournament = $7500
Then factor in the Casino adds $10,000 to the prize pool =$10,000
Total Prize money…………………………………………………………..$17,500
Five players will get paid making the average payout $3,500
In theory, you will get in the money 1 in 25 tournaments – It would cost you $1500 in entry fees to play 25 times. Since the average payout is $3500 it makes this a positive value event. Based on luck alone you will show a profit of $2000 every 25 tournaments. It’s not a question of if you will come out ahead, just when. So when you see an event like this you should always play.
By playing a lot of tournaments you start to develop skills to over-come the luck factor to some degree.
Personally I get in the money in Tournaments about once every four tries. So it is definitely possible to improve your chances of getting paid by becoming a skilled player. To help you become a tournament player with skills, here is a little move you can put into your bag of tricks.
This scenario should get you thinking about strategy; try to figure out the best play for this situation.
It’s the final hand and there are only two players left. Only one player advances to the next round, and betting limits are $25 min, $2500 max. You have to bet first.
Player A (You) have $5,000 bet $2,500 dealt 8-2
Player B has $5,500 bet $2,500 dealt 10-10
Dealer has a 6 up
Since Player B has matched your bet, if you both win or both lose one bet, Player B wins the round.
If you double down and catch a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, Player B can split his 10s and it doesn’t matter what cards he draws he will still have the high and low covered. It would seem that unless you win while player B pushes or loses (there is only about a 14% chance of that occurring), you will be eliminated. So what would you do to give yourself the best chance at winning?
Consider this, since Player B can only split for an equal amount, ($2500) if you double for less than $1975 you can take away either the high or the low from Player B. You force player B to make a choice, if he stands on 20 and the dealer breaks you win with your double down no matter what card you draw.
If Player B Splits and the dealer breaks then Player B would win, but you would win if the Dealer beats you both. By doubling for less you have increased your chances of winning the round from 14% to about 44%. Not a bad increase in win odds by just playing smart.
If you would like to know more about tournament strategy or how to play a better Blackjack – go to my free website at freewebs.com/tjsblackjackcorner Or get my E book “Playing Winning Blackjack” on my website.
T.J. Jorgensen has been a professional Blackjack player for over 20 years. He is well known for his live tournament play. He has competed against, and beaten, some of the top tournament players in the world and has won the prestigious World Series of Blackjack.