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Elimination Blackjack

Elimination Blackjack Is Tournament Blackjack

Elimination Blackjack is a type of tournament blackjack game in which participants play against the dealer and compete against each other and try not to get eliminated. You can see Elimination Blackjack on TV where it is featured on the "Ultimate Blackjack Tour."

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The Elimination Blackjack Tournament

Each Elimination Blackjack tournament round consists of 30 hands. In early rounds, each player starts with $25,000 (!) in chips, which is also the maximum bet. The minimum bet is $500. At the final round, each player starts with $100,000 in chips, which is also the maximum bet. The minimum bet for the final round is $1,000. Elimination Blackjack is clearly not for the faint-hearted. We're talking real money here.

Elimination Blackjack is played at a quick pace - each player has 25 seconds to make a decision. On Elimination hands, players have only 10 seconds to make a decision. If a player does not bet within the allotted time, the amount of the bet will automatically be the minimum. If the player does not decide whether to hit or stand within the allotted time, the hand will automatically stand.

A player is eliminated from an Elimination Blackjack tournament in two ways: by losing all his chips, or by having the lowest number of chips at the end of an Elimination Hand (which are hands number 8, 16 and 25). Whoever has the most chips at the end of hand number 30, wins the tournament.

Elimination Blackjack Rules

Many standard blackjack rules apply in Elimination Blackjack. Six standard decks are used. The dealer must hit on a soft 17 and anything below, and must stand on hard 17 and anything above. A player may split up to three times (except when splitting aces). Players may double down on any first two cards including after a split. Surrendering is allowed after the first 2 cards have been dealt. A player may buy insurance if the up card for the house is an ace. Doubling down after splitting is allowed, except when splitting aces. A player will be paid 3:2 on blackjack unless the dealer has blackjack also, which will be considered a push (a tie). If the player splits a pair of aces and then has a two-card 21, it does not count as a blackjack.

An Unusual Elimination Blackjack Strategy

In Elimination Blackjack there is twist called a "secret bet." Every Elimination Blackjack player can make one secret bet per round (once in 30 hands) and it can be used at any time at his discretion. The advantage of this special Elimination Blackjack rule is that other players cannot see the amount bet until the end of the hand. Because players often calculate their bets based on what they see at the table and on what they see other players do, the secret bet can be used advantageously during a critical Elimination hand and can be a dominant move as it leaves the competition guessing at what he has done. The secret bet gives players an option that is familiar to poker players - the option to bluff!
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This is a blackjack strategy that you don't often see otherwise. At the end of the hand, after the dealer has completed his play, the amount of the secret bet is revealed.

Once a player places the secret bet, he can also hide every other decision he makes for the rest of that particular hand, except for hitting and splitting. In addition, all other bets or playing choices - i.e., doubling down, surrendering, standing, etc. - are also kept secret, leaving opponents even unsure of what is going on. Since the secret bet can only be used once, there is real skill involved in knowing when to use it most advantageously.

As mentioned, at the end of Elimination hands 8, 16, and 25, the player with the lowest total value of remaining chips will be eliminated. If two or more players are tied for the smallest number of remaining chips, a playoff is held. The number of hands in the playoff is equal to the number of players tied at the beginning of the playoff. At the end of the playoff, if there is a still a tie, there is an additional playoff. After the playoff is definitively completed, the remaining players will start the next hand with the same number of chips they had before the playoff. In other words, players cannot gain or lose chips during the playoff.

Not for the Online Casino

As you can probably see, an Elimination Blackjack tournament requires players sitting at the blackjack table and seeing each other. For this reason, it is not really suitable for the online blackjack casino. But it is still great fun to watch an Elimination Blackjack tournament on television or even in person if you have a chance. If you have the bankroll and the gumption for it, you can even play in an Elimination Blackjack tournament yourself.

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