Always Prepare to Win at Blackjack! Or Else Blackjack is a game that has been played in casinos for years, and always against the house. In land casinos, blackjack was always a major favorite of the casino management simply because they always won. Not that the rules were slanted excessively in favor of the house; the principal reason was that players who had no real clue on how to play the game were attracted to it, as they associated it with that other very similar game, generally known as pontoon. Pontoon has been played in private heads-up games for many years. Each player brings his stake money (and/or his credit) to the table, with whatever stake money that can be afforded. The betting at pontoon bears a strong similarity to poker, with each player throwing an ante into the pot before each hand is dealt. In pontoon there is the important element of playing blind hands, which can strongly affect the eventual outcome of the hand, since bluffing comes into play, and players with a winning hand can be driven to fold and lose their stake.
The problem with playing among-st friends is that these tactics make the game especially brutal, and friends tend not to stay friends for too long. The online casino industry has caused major changes, and no more so than in blackjack games. Through the wonders of the internet, players can now take part in online blackjack tournaments, competing against other blackjack players from all over the globe. The casino which organizes the tournament still deals the cards, but its only profit is from taking a percentage of the player’s entry fee. Each contestant is handed a certain number of chips, known in casino jargon as “playing chips”, which have no real cash value. With these chips the player then plays against the house for a pre-arranged length of time, and the player left with the most chips at the end of the period is the tournament winner. These online blackjack tournaments are happening all the time: weekly, daily, and even hourly.
Tournament blackjack in this format has proved to be extremely popular, and is expected to reach the popularity levels of its “big brother” Texas Hold’em Poker in the not too distant future. Like Hold’em, blackjack tournaments have made a very successful transition to television. Viewers love the sudden death element of blackjack and to watch how the players use all of their skills and experience to gain an upper hand against their opponents, and to eventually win the cash prizes.2006 saw the launch of the Ultimate Blackjack Tour, where a group of professional blackjack players play against winners of online blackjack tournaments in a circuit completion, held in such exotic locations as Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Aruba and Paris.