BLACKJACK TOURNAMENTS ON GAMEACCOUNT.COM
By Henry Tamburin
Henry Tamburin has been an advantage blackjack player for some 30 + years. During this time he also has taught more players how to be successful at card counting in his courses and seminars then any other instructor living or deceased. He currently teaches Speed Count in weekend classes, edits/publishes this newsletter, runs a book publishing company with his wife Linda, and writes the Total 21 column and Blackjack Magic columns for Casino Player and Midwest Gaming & Travel Magazines respectively. He is a prolific writer with over 700 published articles and a dynamic speaker that motivates his audiences. He also teaches advantage video poker classes in Las Vegas. After all these years, he still enjoys playing blackjack mostly in casinos in Las Vegas and Mississippi.
Gameaccount.com offers several different blackjack tournaments. Youíll find Sit and Go tournaments, Matchplay Tournaments, and regularly scheduled cash tournaments. You can also play unlimited tournaments for free or simply watch a tournament in progress.
The blackjack rules are quite player favorable in their tournaments. They use 4-decks of cards, dealer stands on all 17ís (including soft 17), DAS, blackjacks pay 3-2, you can split aces more than once, you can take Insurance when dealer shows an ace and even money is offered if you have a blackjack and the dealer shows an ace. The cards are NOT reshuffled after each round. In fact the site encourage players to card count if they so desire (although that might be a terrific perk in traditional online blackjack games, card counting in a 10-20 hand tournament has far less value).
One nice perk for new sign-ups is you get double your deposit money up to $150 (the minimum deposit is $15). Opening an account was easy and I chose to fund my account using Neteller.
To ensure fair play in tournaments, the have a unique player rating system so that you will be playing against players of similar skill. The factors which determine your rating are is the number of games won or lost, how many games youíve played, and your aggregate wins and losses.
The tournament that I played gave each player a $1,000 bankroll with betting limits of $100 to $500. Ten hands were played. The game moves quickly; you have about 30 seconds to make a playing decision. If you lose your bankroll, you are eliminated (i.e., you canít purchase more chips during a round). After 10 hands the player with the most chips is the winner.
Now about those robots (called Bots). If you want, you can play against a BOT for practice or for cash. According to the information on the site, the Bots "were developed by world-class software engineers led by an expert with a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence." There are four levels of Bots: Beginner, Rookie, Amateur, and Pro. The site rates players based on your history of play and will assign the appropriate Bot to play against you. Not to surprising, these Bots are programmed not to lose too much money to any one player.
How good are the programmed Bots? Letís just say they gave me a run for my money in the dozen or so head-to-head matches that I played against them.
Once you open an account and log-in you need to enter the Lobby to find out what blackjack tournaments are in progressive, which you can either watch, or join and play. As a beginner I would strongly recommend you click the "watch" button to observe a tournament to see how it plays. You should also play for free to get some hands on playing experience before playing for cash. Youíll find, just like I did, that making bets and playing decisions is very straight forward and there is plenty of help (help screen and a FAQ) to guide you should you have any questions. I found the graphics very good as well as the sound effects (which you can turn off if you want). Some tournaments have a scheduled start time and you must register to play them. Others can be played at any time (24/7) if space is available. You will almost always find a sit and go game available against a Bot (at least I did). Youíll find many blackjack tournaments on the site with different cash prizes so you can pick and chose the ones you want to play.
The site also offers a cash back program called loyalty points. The more you play, the more loyalty points you earn, which can be converted into cash for your account.
On blackjack tournaments, Gameaccount.com charges a 5% commission based on the amount you win from your opponent (the commission is 7.5% for low stakes tournaments with an entry fee of $9 or less).
Gameaccount.com is based in London. They have in-house customer support 24/7 to answer emailed questions. Or you can speak to a consumer service representative from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm London time.
Beside, blackjack, the site also offers other skilled based games including Gin Rummy. Solitaire and Backgammon.
Based on my limited playing experience, I can recommend gameaccount.com for playing blackjack tournaments. Playing online either for free or for cash is a good way to improve your tournament skills.
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