This post will give you a full introduction to blackjack tournaments and how they work. We will also point you toward reputable online casinos that are offering blackjack tournaments and leaderboards where you can test your skills against other players for a chance to win cash and other prizes!
What are Blackjack Tournaments and Leaderboards?
A blackjack tournament or leaderboard is similar to other types of tournaments offered by online casinos for slots, poker, video poker, roulette, and baccarat. It is an event where gamblers compete against each other. The most skilled and efficient players take the top prizes.
In this post, we are discussing both tournaments and leaderboard competitions. Below, we explain how each work.
How Blackjack Tournaments Work
- At the beginning of a blackjack tournament, you receive a certain number of credits or chips with which to play. All other players participating receive the same number of credits and you are assigned to a specific table.
- The event begins, and all players start playing with their hands. Every player completes the same number of hands.
- Once the hands are complete, the credits or chips are compared between the players at each table. A finalist will be selected from each table based on who has the most credits remaining at this stage.
- The finalists move on to the next stage in the tournament where they compete solely against one another.
- Whoever has the most credits at the end of the final round is the event winner.
Blackjack tournaments can be held online or offline.
The format we have listed above is just one general example of how a blackjack tournament might work. Different formats are possible. The one we described above is an “elimination” event. But there are also non-elimination events, which are also known as “accumulation” tournaments.
How long blackjack tournaments take depends on the venue and the format. “Mini tournaments” may be over within a day, while major tournaments can run for multiple days. There are also events. Most blackjack tournaments online take the form of mini tournaments and sit ‘n’ go tournaments.
How Blackjack Leaderboards Work
Blackjack leaderboards are a format for blackjack tournaments offered by some online casinos.
Leaderboards are a simple, casual form of tournament. Usually, they run for a short duration and happen frequently. Joining them is fast and easy.
- Check the leaderboards tab at the site you are on to see if any tournaments are available.
- Click “join” if you want to participate in one.
- Start playing the game. As you do, the casino will keep track of your win vs. those of other players in the form of points. Note that you will usually be playing with your own money, not with free chips/credits. That makes it different from how other blackjack tournaments work.
- When the event is over, the casino distributes prizes to the top winners based on the points they have accumulated.
What is cool about the leaderboard is that you can view it live at any time to see how you are ranking and how many points the top contestants have.
How you win a traditional blackjack tournament and how you win a leaderboard-style event differ. In a regular tournament, the players with the most credits win. In leaderboard events, the players with the most points win. Points are gained according to how much cash you play, not how much you have managed to retain.
Where to Participate in Blackjack Tournaments and Leaderboards
Now that you know the basics of how blackjack tournaments and leaderboards online work, you are ready to find out where you can compete. Here are our top recommended casino sites for participating in these exciting competitions.
Below is our list of recommendations, you can read on for an in-depth guide that covers the benefits of blackjack tournaments, a step-by-step guide for how to get started, and tips for success.
Bovada is the biggest name in the world of online casinos catering to US gamblers. They offer a number of different types of tournaments in the form of leaderboards, including three different types of blackjack: The “New” Blackjack, Single Deck Blackjack, and Double Deck Blackjack.
Incidentally, this site also offers baccarat tournaments, which is something you might get into as well. Baccarat has a lot in common with blackjack since both games can be approached using an optimized strategy. So, if you excel at one, you might also excel at the other.
To get points in Bovada’s blackjack tournaments, you need to complete minimum hand requirements and win rounds.
Bovada used to offer a full strategy guide for playing in the site’s blackjack tournaments. Unfortunately, that guide appears to have been taken down, but you can still read a few comments from Bovada:
“The nature of Blackjack presents unique online opportunities to earn points. When you split a hand, for instance, you have the opportunity to win double the points. Winning both split hands counts as two wins, earning you a total of 10 points. Note, landing a 10 on a split Ace doesn’t count as Blackjack, so it would get you 5 points instead of 10.”
When you sign up at Bovada, you can get a $3,000 Casino Welcome Bonus. There is also a $3,750 Bitcoin Casino Welcome Bonus on your first crypto deposit. Along with tournaments, Bovada offers a program for earning rewards points for even more value added to your casino experience.
Another of the most prominent sportsbooks and casinos serving US customers online is BetOnline. We are pleased to say that more than a decade of experience working with them has shown us that they are every bit as reliable and trustworthy as Bovada. They also have a lot going on for blackjack lovers who want to compete.
First of all, there is the Live Casino Weekly Challenge, also called the $1,800 Leaderboard Challenge after the amount in the prize pool. In this event, you earn a point for every $10 you play in live blackjack. At the week’s end, the top three winners get a payout from the prize pool!
Note that Roulette is also part of the Live Casino Weekly Challenge, and there are three winners for roulette as well. So, six players in total will be splitting the prize pool every week.
Along with the weekly challenges discussed above, BetOnline also offers Daily Tournaments with more than $1,000,000 in prize money up for grabs monthly. Blackjack, roulette, and slots Daily Tournaments are all available. No matter what day of the week or time of day you check in, there should be something you can join.
The other exciting thing about BetOnline is that they sometimes offer other blackjack tournament events with an insane amount of cash for the winners.
For example, the site has hosted $75,000 and $100,000 Blackjack Tournaments before. These events last for days and pay out rewards generously. For example, in one past $100,000 tournament, the first-place winner took home $15,000, and the top 50 all got something.
When you join BetOnline, you can claim a 100% Casino Welcome Bonus. That comprises matches on your first three deposits up to $1,000.
With a name like “Slots.lv,” you can guess correctly that this site is best known for its slot games. But it also offers table games along with tournaments for both. Like the other casinos on our list, Slots.lv is reputed for being fair and transparent.
The blackjack tournaments available at Slots.lv are leaderboard-style, and work the same way they do over at Bovada. In fact, the same selection of games is offered: The “New” Blackjack, Single Deck Blackjack, Double Deck Blackjack and Baccarat. This is no surprise, since the same folks that run Bovada also run Slots.lv.
Slots.lv offers up to $7,500 in Welcome Bonuses, as well as a general MySlots Rewards Program.
Cafe Casino is yet another quality gambling site that is part of the Bovada family. Along with a solid rep, it has a nice appearance, a great selection of games, and hefty bonuses.
On Cafe Casino, you can participate in blackjack tournaments. Once again, that includes contests for The “New” Blackjack, Single Blackjack, Double Blackjack and Baccarat, and they work the same way as they do on other sites in the Bovada family.
Upon joining Café Casino, you can get a 350% Match Welcome Bonus up to $2,500 on your first deposit with bitcoin. If you use a credit card instead, you can get a 250% Match up to $1,500. There are also Weekly Mystery Bonuses and a Rewards Program.
Wild Casino is a great place to gamble if you are looking for ample variety in games along with a ton of different deposit and withdrawal options. This site runs daily blackjack tournaments with up to $1,000,000 in Monthly Prizes. There are also roulette and slot tournaments.
We also advise joining Wild Casino so you can grab some of the numerous bonuses and promotions they have available. These include a $5,000 Welcome Bonus, a $9,000 Crypto Deposit Bonus, a 10% Weekly Rebate, and a range of other promos throughout the week.
A bitcoin-centric casino where you can enjoy blackjack tournaments and a wide range of other competitive events is BitStarz. Other great features include Provably Fair games and straightforward rollover terms for promotions.
To participate in blackjack tournaments over at BitStarz, head to the “Table Wars” page. This is where you can participate in weekly tournaments with €10,000 Prize Pools. As you play, you accrue points. At the end of the week, BitStarz compares points to determine the winners. The Top 40 Players all receive something, and the number one winner gets €3,000. There are zero wagering requirements.
Something cool about BitStarz is that any table game is acceptable for participating in Table Wars. And this site offers a ton of different blackjack games. So, you can compete while playing Original Blackjack, American Blackjack, Multihand Blackjack Pro, BlackJack Lucky Sevens, Blackjack VIP, Blackjack 21+3, and more!
You also can participate while playing other table games such as roulette, baccarat, sic bo, and video poker.
This site also runs what it calls the Level Up Adventure. This is another form of tournament where you can “level” repeatedly by playing any games you want (including blackjack). The first player who completes the entire adventure is the winner, so it is essentially a timed race. The reward? €10,000 In Cash. There are also €50,000 in individual prizes going out to the field of top participants.
It’s an exciting promo, but it does have some restrictions in the terms and conditions, so be sure to check those out.
BitStarz offers a generous welcome package to new customers. You can receive up to 5 BTC in Bonus Money along with 180 Free Spins.
If you enjoy playing over at BetOnline, you will want to sign up at Super Slots, another member of the same family of online casinos. Super Slots features Daily Tournaments for blackjack, slots and roulette, allowing you to take a shot at claiming part of the $1,000,000 Monthly Prize Pool.
As for promotions, there are a ton of them, including a $6,000 Welcome Bonus, 400% Crypto Bonus, 10% Weekly Rebate, Game of the Week, and much more.
Why Play in Blackjack Tournaments?
Now that you have had a chance to peruse our list of the top online casinos for blackjack tournaments, let’s go over some of the benefits of playing blackjack tournaments.
- Cheap to enter.
- Play the games you love.
- Many sites let you keep what you win playing.
- Top prizes can be lucrative.
- Many players may win something.
- Compete against others.
An online casino might require an entry fee for a blackjack tournament, or the tournament could be free to enter. Blackjack tournament fees are usually really low. So, your risk for entering a blackjack tournament is also low.*
If you enjoy playing blackjack, participating in tournaments is just another way to engage with your favorite games.
For leaderboard-style events, it is common to just play using your own cash (see the footnote below). If that is the case, then you will generally be able to keep your winnings. So, you are playing as usual, but with the chance to win regular payouts through play and cash or other prizes.
You might be able to win thousands of dollars if you are good.
Even if you do not win a top prize in a blackjack tournament, you might place high enough to walk away with some sort of prize.
Blackjack has a house edge, even though it is not a high one. That means that playing blackjack is ultimately a losing proposition, even if you use the optimal strategy. But in a blackjack tournament, you can compete against other players. If you play better than them, you can win prizes. That is true even if you have lost cash/chips/credits to the house. We will talk more about this in the next section.
Elimination tournaments offer a different blackjack gameplay experience than you are used to. The game suddenly involves more than basic strategy; it becomes important to try and read other players.
Invite-only blackjack events have limited player fields, increasing the odds of winning.
*A note about the Cheap to enter entry just above. That risk depends on format. If what you are playing in is a one-time organized tournament, you will probably receive credits/chips to play with, so outside of the entry fee (if there is one), you will not spend money. But with leaderboard-style daily and weekly events, you usually are just playing blackjack with your own cash as you normally would, in which case your risk depends on how you manage your money.
How Blackjack Tournaments Compare to Regular Blackjack
When you are playing regular blackjack outside the context of a tournament or leaderboard contest, you are only competing against the dealer.
You are trying to walk away a winner, which may sometimes happen. But you cannot overcome the 0.28% house edge, no matter how well you play (and keep in mind that card counting is not a realistic strategy, especially online).
Most days, you will probably leave the tables breaking even or at a loss.
With a blackjack tournament, you are up against the dealer and the other players.
In a situation where you are playing with credits/chips given to you by the house for the tournament, you cannot lose any of your own money to the house (except the entry fee, if you paid one). You can lose the credits, but the worst that can happen is that you “break even” financially.
You need to keep the house edge to a minimum in order to be competitive with the other players, so you still need to use basic blackjack strategy. But the other players are really all that matter. Either you get nothing, or you win something. The house is irrelevant, beyond the need to beat the dealer as often as possible. Pretty awesome, right?
In a situation where you are playing with your own money, you are in financial competition with the house, while also competing with other players.
So, three outcomes are possible. If you play badly, you can lose money. But if you play well, you could break even or you could win money.
Both tournament or leaderboard play present a clear advantage over regular blackjack: your chances of winning something substantial improve, and in some cases, you risk drops to zero.
How to Participate in Blackjack Tournaments, Step-by-Step
- Join Casinos Offering Blackjack Tournaments or Leaderboard Competitions.
Your first step is easy! Sign up for accounts at online casinos where you can play in blackjack tournaments.
We took care of the hard work for you by giving you this vetted list and explaining what you will find at each of the sites. That saves you the research so you can get right to playing.
- Make Your Deposit.
At this point, you should make your first deposit. With leaderboard competitions, you definitely need your own cash to play with. With other tournaments, we are guessing most sites are not going to let you participate in free events if you are not already at least an established customer.
- Join Open Events.
Now you can see if there are any blackjack competitions you can play in immediately. You should be able to join daily and weekly leaderboard challenges with nothing more than the click of a button.
As to other types of blackjack tournaments, you will have to check to see if the site is promoting any that are open for public registration.
- To Get Access To More Events, Join VIP Programs and Work Your Way Up the Ranks.
Some blackjack tournaments are not open to the general members of a site, but are exclusive to VIP members. They might even require invitations.
If that is the case, then you are going to want to join the VIP programs in question. Climb the tiers to qualify for more invitations.
- Ask For Invitations.
There is no harm in contacting the betting site to request invitations to blackjack tournaments. If you are not a VIP, they will probably say ‘no,’ but they may at least help you figure out the next steps to take to merit more invitations. If you are a VIP, they might have just missed you somehow (or maybe you missed the invite), and they could send you one.
- If Events Require Registration and a Buy-In, Take Care Of Both.
After you find a blackjack tournament for which you are eligible, register to participate (again, this step is not necessary with most leaderboard competitions). Pay any entry fee.
- Be There On Time and Load The Game.
The only other step is just to be ready to play blackjack at the moment the event kicks off. Load the game and begin competing.
This step is also unnecessary with continuously-running daily and weekly leaderboard events. Just jump in when you are ready. Of course, the sooner you start playing in the day or week, the more points you could potentially rack up.
Conditions for Participation in Blackjack Tournaments
Some blackjack tournaments may have special conditions for participating that go beyond general eligibility and paying the entry fee.
You might have to play a minimum number of hands to qualify for a prize, for example, or you may need to place a certain minimum bet size.
Check for these conditions and limitations before you start playing so you do not miss out on your chance to win.
Tips for Success in Online Casino Blackjack Tournaments
- Check The Rules For The Tournament and The Game You Are Playing.
Make sure you are aware of any and all requirements to participate in the tournament and that you are meeting them.
Further, different blackjack variants have different rules. That means that basic blackjack strategy has to be adjusted for each. Make sure you are familiar with the type of blackjack you will be playing and the basic strategy rules for that variant.
- Keep An Eye On How Other Players Are Doing.
Check on the chips/credits other players have left and/or their rankings versus yours to get a feel for how you currently are doing in comparison to the field. This may impact how you play.
- Consider Order Of Play.
If you are participating in a blackjack event that has a strict order for betting (i.e. a group at a table in an elimination tournament who are betting one at a time), be aware of how the order impacts you. If you have to go first on the final hand, you are in a bad position. If you get to go last, then you have an advantage.
- Learn The Strategies For How Much To Bet.
In the type of scenario we just discussed, the amounts of bets can have a strategic impact on what happens at a blackjack table. There are situations where betting a high or low amount can be beneficial or detrimental. This is really a whole separate topic that needs its own in-depth discussion, so do your research.
- Sometimes, You Have To Break Away From Basic Strategy.
Basic blackjack strategy assumes that you are competing solely against the house. But when you throw other players into the mix, the situation becomes more complex. Remember, your goal is different in a tournament than it would be if you were just playing regular blackjack. You can lose quite a few chips and still win the event if you lose fewer than the other participants.
Indeed, since players in elimination tournaments sometimes vary their betting strategies based on whether they think other players will win or lose, there is even room in tournament blackjack for bluffing.
Compete for Payouts and Prizes in Blackjack Tournaments Now
Participating in blackjack tournaments or leaderboard competitions is a great way to get more bang for your buck at the online casino while playing the card game you love.
If you are ready to get started now, click on any of the links in this post to sign up at our recommended online casinos, grab your bonuses, and start competing for your chance to win cash and other rewards.
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