Are Blackjack Tournaments Legal?

Most states do not criminalize the act of playing an online game like blackjack for money or playing in a blackjack tournament. In some cases, they do criminalize the act of running an online gambling parlor. But, this is on the state level, so the best blackjack sites aren't under their jurisdiction. Blackjack tournaments tend to be held either on websites or in places like Las Vegas, where gambling is regulated.

Best Online Blackjack Tournaments

The world of blackjack tournaments has been woefully lacking since the fall of the World Series of Blackjack. However, there are many online replacements for that experience. Basically, the reason you’d want to play a blackjack tournament as opposed to normal legal blackjack is that you want to spice up your blackjack play, and take your knowledge into a new, competitive arena. There are tons of places on the internet that offer online blackjack tournaments, and they are not hard to find. Just remember to make sure that they are licensed gambling providers and you should be good to go.

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Huge Blackjack Tournaments at Bovada

Online BlackjackBovada is one of the best purveyors of online blackjack on the planet. They don’t always have blackjack tournaments available, but their blackjack is top-notch. They offer live dealers and a ton of different variations on blackjack that can keep anyone entertained for however long they need. Bovada’s website is excellent, and it’s also built for mobile use, so if you want to play some cards on the go, or maybe just don’t want to turn on the computer, you can play blackjack from your smartphone or tablet as well.

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Online is an excellent website for blackjack. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s for so much more than just online slot machines. is a fully functional online casino, that has games from baccarat to roulette to, of course, blackjack. They have excellent customer service as well, and you can contact them via email, telephone, or live chat. Overall, is an excellent online casino, and online casinos are usually the best places to play blackjack online, to begin with.

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Online BlackjackIgnition Casino is an elite online casino and features some excellent blackjack variations for the discerning player. The options that Ignition Casino has for blackjack are varied, and all of them are fairly interesting. Ignition might not always have blackjack tournaments, but it will always have some excellent blackjack options like Zappit, European 21, Single deck blackjack and more.

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How Do Blackjack Tournaments Work

So, most of the time, a blackjack tournament will take place in pods, where the competitors are sorted into tables, and each table plays out to see who comes in first. Usually, the first place person and the second place person at each table come out of this stage of the tournament. Once the field has been narrowed down, this stage can either repeat or, if there are few enough people left that only one table is needed, they then go to one table and lay it all on the line, playing competitive blackjack for the biggest prize in the tournament. This is the format for all real money blackjack tournaments; online and in person.

Types of Blackjack Tournaments

Double DownThere are as many types of blackjack tournaments as there are types of blackjack. This is a long way of saying that if there is enough interest in getting any type of blackjack tournament together, it tends to happen. That said, most tournaments tend to use the traditional blackjack ruleset, which comes with certain incentives in tournament play. For example, at a table in a tournament, it can be advantageous to do the opposite of what everyone else at the table is doing when it comes to blackjack betting strategy. This is because you don’t just have to do well, you have to come in first place - which means taking risks.

Blackjack Tournament Rules

Generally speaking, blackjack tournaments tend to fall into three categories: elimination tournaments, non-elimination tournaments, and sit n’ go tournaments. Elimination tournaments are when people are eliminated when they run out of money, and you have to be the last person standing. Non-elimination tournaments involve a contest of stamina in a different way - you have to have the most chips at the end of the tournament. Sit n’ go tournaments are automatic tournaments that start as soon as six players hit a table, and are favored at online blackjack websites. Tournaments follow the same blackjack dealer rules that are standard for most online and in person casinos.

Blackjack Tournament Structure

The tournament structure will differ a lot depending on which kind of tournament you are playing in. The basic tournament structure tends to involve individual tables playing against each other, usually of around six people until a winner is declared. That winner then goes to play at the winner's tables, the next rounds of the tournament. This process is repeated until there is only one winner's table left, and then the tournament becomes heads-up blackjack until everyone is eliminated except one person - the winner. This is only one of many possible tournament structures, however, so make sure you understand the rules of any competition you enter into.

Biggest Blackjack Tournaments In The USA

There are a lot of incredibly famous blackjack tournaments that take place in the USA - the home of Las Vegas. Vegas tends to host most of these tournaments, but really any casino can host them if they so choose. Here are a few of the more famous blackjack tournaments over the years:

The Las Vegas Hilton Million Dollar Tournament

This tournament is perhaps the largest payout and highest prestige tournament currently running. The Million Dollar tournament is famous worldwide and is one of the most important events on the Las Vegas calendar. It comes around in May every year, so keep an eye out! This is just one of the many ways to get involved in Nevada blackjack.

The World Series Of Blackjack

Unfortunately, this tournament series is now closed, but it is absolutely worth mentioning as a trailblazer in the industry. It even got large enough to be broadcast on television, airing on the Game Show Network. This was a fairly traditional blackjack tournament, and we all miss it greatly.

Alternatives To Blackjack Tournaments

In you are unable to find yourself able to enter these tournaments, there are other routes to consider. While it is not for real money, there are many video games where you can play blackjack and some even give a tournament feel. It's not the same, but it is something to consider if free blackjack tournaments are in your wheelhouse.