Elimination Blackjack was initially created by the 1994 World Series of Poker Champion, Russ Hamilton; and was intended to provide players and audiences alike, with an equivalent of the WSOP events. This game had the support of major online poker venues like Ultimate Bet and gave impetus to its rise in popularity. Casinos then recognised the potential for blackjack tournaments and eventually led to birth of televised Ultimate Blackjack Tours.
Elimination Blackjack is played just the same as regular blackjack, but with a few twists. In this popular type of blackjack, players sitting at the table are actually playing against each other, where the winner collects a guaranteed prize jackpot. There are some similarities to poker tournaments, as players have to buy-in to an Elimination Blackjack tournament, with each participant receiving an equal amount of chips, and there is a predetermined number of hands that are played in the tournament. The player who then ends up with the most chips after being dealt the agreed number of hands, is confirmed as the tournament winner.
Another aspect of this game that lends to its intrigue and excitement is player eliminations. This type of blackjack sees players being eliminated from the table as per set rules and cut-off points. There are basically three ways in which a player is eliminated, if one loses all their chips, if a player cannot come up with the minimum required bet, and if one has the least amount of chips after an elimination hand.
Elimination hands are an essential aspect of Elimination Blackjack. The elimination hands are deemed as hands 8, 16 and 25. So at the end of these hands, the dealer will then do a chip count for all player on the table, and the player with the least number of chips departs from the action.
Not only does this aspect of the game provide excitement and drama, but also forces players to formulate a blackjack betting strategy during game play. This strategy involves being constantly mindful of ranking in terms of chips, and then having to change the level of wagers to keep their seats at the table.
There is an added component that can be included in Elimination Blackjack, and usually part of games that are being televised, which is the Secret Bet; where players are allowed to place a secret bet during the tournament. As the name implies, this bet is not known to any of the other players sitting at the table and heightens the degree of strategy during the tournament. How this works is as follows, as and when two players have close the same amount of chips, one player may take the opportunity to place a secret bet and thus compels the other player to make a bigger or smaller bet.
The Ultimate Blackjack Tours were a series of tournaments, where Elimination Blackjack was played on television. The Ultimate Blackjack Tour consisted of famous blackjack players as well as professional poker players. One will probably recall blackjack players like Anthony Curtis and Ken Elniger; and poker stars like Johnny Chan and Phil Laak.
The Ultimate Blackjack Tour is made up of a series of scheduled events all across the United States, with obvious attention given to Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Nowadays, Elimination Blackjack can be played at several online casinos, with the option to play for free or for real cash. For players who fancy having a go at this great game, can play for free to become confident with the rules and game strategy; and then join in at winning some serious cash on the real money tables!