Tournament Blackjack


Invented by Russ Hamilton, Elimination Blackjack is Blackjack formatted for a tournament. This is also the form of Blackjack played on the Ultimate Blackjack Tour. The rules in Tournament Blackjack are slightly different than those of regular Casino BlackJack and are discussed in greater detail below.



Tournament Blackjack always has a buy-in, either as an entry fee that goes to the house when they have established prizes OR as money that is put into the prize pool directly. Paying the entry fee gives a player a certain number of chips to bet with throughout the tournament. If a player runs out of chips in the first round they are not permitted to buy back in.

Players typically start with an equal number of chips at the beginning of each round. However, some casinos mandate your chips move with you from round to round, this is called the keep bankroll rule. The player with the most chips at the end of the 30 hands is the winner.


Adjustments are made to traditional Blackjack rules in order to make tournament play more fair.

  • Rotate Deal – The dealer starts the deal with a new/different player each hand.
  • Rotate First Bet – The first bet placed in a hand is a different player each time.
  • Secret Bet – A less common rule, some casinos allow a single bet each round may be made which other players do not know its value.

Miscellaneous Rules

  • House is required to hit on a soft 17 and stay on a hard 17 (and above).
  • Pairs may be split up to four times, except aces.
  • Six decks are used
  • Bets must remain between the minimum and maximum bets.
  • Players can buy insurance if the House has an ace up-card.
  • Player’s hands can be surrendered for half their initial bet.
  • 7 players maximum at the table.
  • Players are given 45 seconds to make a decision


  • Losing all your chips
  • Not having chips equal to the minimum bet
  • Having the least amount of chips after a certain number of hands have been played



Nakoa Davis

2 thoughts on “Tournament Blackjack”

  1. I have won a black jack tournament by betting the max in each hand. I have also experience of hitting hard 17 when the dealer is showing higher number than I do. When a dealer shows face card and mind is hard 17, I expect always a dealer has 10 under and i WILL hit hard 17 and most of the time players are stun when 17 convert to 21 hitting hard 17…. and I did it several time and I won.
    In tournament I will always hit if the dealer shows card is higher than mine.

  2. I also split if dealer is showing 4,5, and 6… I will split a face card and a 10. Statistically the dealer must bust. It does not happen most of the time but by statistic, dealer will bust specially on a six deck shoe.

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