One of the great things about online casinos, rather than the brick and mortar variety, is that they offer blackjack tournaments. Now, a lot of online casinos don’t offer tournaments for blackjack, but for those that do, it’s an opportunity I can’t resist.

There are two main appeals of playing blackjack in a tournament rather than the normal way. The first is that it is cheaper and almost devoid of risk. With regular blackjack, you pay for each wager and on every hand you risk some of your money. That means you can win money, but you’re also facing the possibility of the house taking it from you. With blackjack tournaments, you normally only pay an entry fee and after that, the wagers are using points that were awarded to you simply for joining.

The other great thing about blackjack tournaments is that the gameplay is different. It is more competitive, for one thing. Instead of a bunch of Togel Hongkong players competing against the dealer, with no one really caring how well the other players do, everyone is against each other. If another players is winning a lot, that puts more pressure on you as you fall behind on the leader board. The competitive nature of blackjack tournaments make them more exciting and dramatic. Also, some online casinos have head-to-head blackjack tournaments. In that type of tournament, instead of a player against a dealer, two players compete directly against each other. There is no dealer, so there’s no house edge. Both players have the same rules and can strategize accordingly. Because of the different rules, different strategy is needed, which also provides a new challenge for those who have basic strategy memorized.

I don’t play tournaments all the time because that’s not where the good money is. However, for a different type of game with less risk, playing in an occasional blackjack tournament can’t be beat.

Is Card Counting Legal?

Most people only know about counting cards because of movies like Rain Man and, more recently, The Hangover. For that reason, there are a lot of misconceptions about card counting. The most common question I get about it, aside from how to do it, is whether or not it’s legal. The short answer: yes, sort of.

Before I get into the “sort of” part, I need to point out something. Casinos hate card counters. Fair or not, if they catch you counting cards, they will escort you from the casino and may even ban you from visiting again. If it’s a casino chain, you could be banned from every casino they have. If you get kicked out of enough casinos for counting cards, you could find yourself blacklisted and unable to play anywhere in the state. All of this is despite the fact that you wouldn’t have broken any law.

There are currently several legal battles over whether the casinos have the right to do that. Players contend that if the casino offers a game involving skill, they shouldn’t penalize people who are more skilled than others. The casinos contend that, as private businesses, they have the right to refuse service to anyone. Both arguments make good points, which is why I don’t think the issue will be resolved anytime soon. So for now, the answer is that card counting is legal but can still get you banned from a casino.

There is a caveat, though. It is legal to use your mind only to count cards. No external device of any kind can be used to help you. That includes obvious things like digital counters, calculators, surveillance and other high-tech equipment, but it can also be very low-tech. If you wrap a rubber band around your finger and move it around while counting, that’s illegal. If someone else counts for you and somehow relays the information to you, that’s illegal. Writing it down is illegal (though that would also easily be caught). Any trick that you can possibly think of that requires anything other than the internal processes of your mind would make card counting illegal. And if you count cards illegally, you are going to get a much worse fate than getting tossed from a casino.