In traditional casinos, players can signal their intent during games by communicating with the dealer. If a player wants to surrender their hand, for example, they say ‘surrender’ to the dealer. Different rules apply online. Shuffling after every hand, for example, renders card counting redundant. Players can also play in their own home, where there is nothing like the dress codes that exist in real casinos.
Online casinos are constantly competing to secure the services of new users. Typically, lucrative sign-up bonuses are rolled out to entice new players. Online blackjack games vary from one site to another, but the principles remain largely the same. The fundamental difference between playing online and playing in a real casino is that of flexibility. Online, you can play as and when you wish not waiting for slots to open on casino tables.
What Big Blackjack Tournaments Have There Been?
There has been an effort to grow Blackjack professionally, with the creation of several televised tournaments. Tournaments that have an elimination format attract the biggest audiences. In such tournaments, the player that has the lowest chip count after hands 8, 16, 25 and 30 is knocked out.
Celebrity Blackjack was a television show that challenged celebrities to play each other in a high-stakes tournament. Played over 21 hands of Blackjack, the tournament rules stipulated that the minimum bets be $1,000, rising to maximum bets of $25,000. In the series, if one of the player’s starting cards was a Joker, they could swap that card for any of the other cards in play on the table, including those that the dealer had. Celebrity Blackjack consisted of preliminary rounds and a final round, where all the players competed against each other at one table.
The Ultimate Blackjack Tour was once popular with big poker players. It was an elimination tournament that also showed qualifying games each week before the numbers were whittled down to a grand final. More of a World Cup competition by nature, the winner received a cheque for $10,000. The tournament had intentions to expand, but after eight years in the wilderness, it looks unlikely to be coming back.
Historic Blackjack Wins
Blackjack has witnessed some incredible wins over the years. The major tournaments, in particular, have seen the more well-known stars get their hands on some seriously sizeable prizes (often more than six figures). Although the exact details of the rounds are not known, Packer was offered a special suite room for his stay by the hotel staff to celebrate his win. The casino gods were on his side once again as he cashed out a whopping $40m in just 40 minutes. There have been other notable Blackjack pioneers, including Ken Uston. Widely regarded as the pioneer of Blackjack card counting, it wouldn’t be wrong to call him a Blackjack great. Having played in casinos for six years before walking away with $4.5m to his name, Uston deserves his place in the history books.