Casinos and Elimination BlackjackBy: Shirley Spicer, Thursday March 25th 2010
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Elimination Blackjack is a uniquely structured blackjack tournament that is played at certain online casinos. In the usual online blackjack tournaments players can compete for the entire duration of the tournament. Therefore if they happen to do badly during the course of the tournament they have a chance of hitting a lucky streak or wagering judiciously and making up before the tournament ends. However, in Elimination Blackjack players get eliminated at certain stages and therefore are denied that opportunity of recovering. Hence the competition is more intense in Elimination Blackjack tournaments.
Each round in an Elimination Blackjack tournament is played over 30 hands. The 8th, 16th and 25th hands are the elimination hands. The player with the least amount of chips on these hands is eliminated from the tournament. There is another feature in Elimination Blackjack that distinguishes it from other blackjack tournaments. These are multiplayer events where players sit on the same table and compete against the same dealer's cards. This replicates the experience of a live land casino blackjack event. In such events each player's bets are there for all the competing players to see. However, in Elimination Blackjack each player is given one Secret Bet that can be used at any time. This Secret Bet allows a player to place his bet without revealing it to the other players. The administrative rules of the tournament are strict. Players are given only 15 seconds to make a decision. However, on elimination hands players are given 30 seconds because the consequences are graver.
Ideally an Elimination Blackjack tournament is played with between 36 and 49 players. There are six or seven tables with six or seven players on each table. Independent preliminary rounds are played on each of these tables. The six or seven winners at these tables then play a final round to decide the overall winner. In some cases where there are a very large number of entrants, the tournament structure can have more than two levels. In the preliminary rounds each player starts with $25,000 in tournament chips. The minimum bet is $500 and the maximum bet is $25,000. In the final round each player starts with $100,000 in tournament chips. The minimum bet is $1,000 and the maximum bet is $100,000.
Generally Elimination Blackjack tournaments are played according to the following rules. The cards are dealt from a 6-deck shoe with cards shuffled after every hand. This renders card counting meaningless. The players' initial cards are dealt face up. The dealer's initial cards are dealt one face up and one face down. All double down cards and second cards on split aces are dealt face down. All second cards on any other split pairs are dealt face up. The dealer has to hit on soft 17 or lower and stand on hard 17 and higher. Players may split and re-split up to four hands. However, aces may be split only once and players will be dealt only one card on each ace. Players may double down any first two cards including after split. Late surrender and insurance are available. One of the features of Elimination Blackjack is that the player who gets the first cards rotates with every hand. This eliminates over the length of the round the slight advantage the player playing last may have.
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