Blackjack tournaments have been established in the States for some time but are gaining popularity elsewhere all the time. All the players start with a fixed number of chips and the dealer plays out a predetermined number of hands. The winner is the person who has accumulated the largest stack of chips at the end of the game. Whether you are ahead of your initial stake or not is irrelevant.
So the key principle involved isn’t whether or not you beat the dealer, it is how you do relative to the other players.
This introduces a new level of strategy into the game.
In live play, tables are often 6 handed with only the winner or top two advancing to the next round but online most games are played heads-up. Win three or four games and you are in the money.
Here I win a 10 BJ freeroll and collect a first place prize of 40. These tournys are held all the time and have absolutely no entry qualifications! This particular tournament was limited to 256 entrants but actually only attracted 111 people.
I get a bye in the first round and skate home despite having only a basic idea of the strategy involved. The guru of this game is an American called Stanford Wong. I basically follow his advice to bet small at the start of the game hoping that :
• my opponent will bust out
• my opponent will also bet small but I will get better cards than him
If this works, great: if not, then lump it all in at the end. Bet half your stack and then double or split depending on your cards (and cross your fingers).
The balance on my a/c is $104.50. All won from freerolls and I decide it is time to cashout. I go to the website but can’t find the withdrawal option. Well, gaming sites often hide this page away somewhere (after all, they prefer you to just carry on playing). So, I am not bothered by this. I just email customer services and ask for help. I get a reply the next day stating that I must make a deposit before I can withdraw my winnings.
This is not unusual. I know several poker sites that ask you to do this. I make the minimum deposit allowed and immediately request the whole amount to be put back into my back into my bank. This is where I become slightly annoyed. The software won’t let me withdraw my deposit, only the winnings of $104.50.
It seems I must play through my deposit once before I am eligble to withdraw it. I am then informed that my payment will be processed in 7 to 10 working days.
Now, in the sites defence I must point out that they pay all the bank charges relating to the transactions so it is not unreasonable to ask for some action in return. I just wish that tell would people upfront what their rules are.