Nobody plays a blackjack tournament to lose. However, if you truly want to win you need to understand the elements that make a winning blackjack player. Understanding these elements can help you to practice and build your own winning strategy and increase your odds of winning at your next blackjack tournament.
The first element in a winning blackjack tournament strategy is the same as in an ordinary game of blackjack-understanding basic strategy and putting it to use. Blackjack basic strategy means knowing the best move in any situation, based upon the cards in your own hand and that of the dealer's hand. You can easily find charts on the Web and in strategy books that will give you this information. Commit it to memory so that you can ensure you'll make the best move in every hand at the tournament table.
It is important to note that odds differ slightly depending upon certain rules. For instance, if the dealer hits on soft 17 then your best move may be different than in tournaments where the dealer stands on soft 17. Therefore, it is important to study a basic strategy chart that applies to games with the rules that will be adhered to in the tournament you are playing in.
Once you have grasped basic strategy you will be capable of measuring up to the other players in your tournament. However, basic strategy is not enough to win as nearly all tournament players have grasped this concept. Remember that you are not just competing against the dealer, but you are competing against all the tournament players. The best way to beat these other players is by managing your risk and making effective bets.
Your risk and money management will differ depending upon the tournament rules. For instance, in a tournament where only the bottom player at each table is eliminated after each round and players start each new round with equal bankrolls you don't have to take as much risks by placing big bets as in other types of tournaments. However, if your bankroll carries through to the next round with you then you may want to take bigger risks to increase your chips. The difference is that in the first situation you are striving only to avoid being the player with the least chips, while in the second situation you are attempting to come in first with the most chips. Money management is an extremely important element when it comes to winning blackjack tournaments.
Finally, it is a good idea to start out playing in freerolls and low limit tournaments to build your skills and get used to tournament play. It is a fact that tournaments with bigger entry fees and bigger prizes attract very skilled players. If you work your way up, starting with low limits, you can build your skills so that once you get to these prestigious tournaments you'll have the elements it takes to win.