It’s common for poker players to play other games besides just Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha. Head to the World Series of Poker in the summer and you’ll see poker players tossing dice and dropping chips on the casino felt in head-to-head matches against the house. While poker players know that most casino games are about luck, sometimes you need to be a little reckless to take the edge off after grinding the tables for 12 straight hours.
One of the most popular casino games among the poker-playing community is Blackjack. That’s because unlike most casino games, Blackjack offers players some control. And with the right strategy (and if you can count cards) you can be very successful.
Back in 2006 during the poker boom, a new version of Blackjack was created. It was called Elimination Blackjack and it was developed by one of the founders of former online poker site UltimateBet, which is no longer in business.
The game mixes the excitement of Blackjack with the winner-take-all, bust-and-you’re-out poker tournament format. And despite its relative short life on television and as part of the UltimateBet poker software, it had quite a nice following.
In Elimination Blackjack, the goal of the game is to be the last player standing. You don’t necessarily have to have the greatest amount of money during the tournament, but having the least amount of money at any given point could see you disqualified.
Here’s how it works. The game consists of 30 hands. All players at the Blackjack table don’t play against each other. They play against the house, just like in regular Blackjack. There are certain hands where players are eliminated. These are hands 8, 16, and 25 and are known as Elimination Hands. During these hands, the player with the fewest chips at the end of the hand is out of the tournament.
You also bust out of a tournament if you lose all your chips during a hand, so it’s possible that the tournament could be over before all 30 hands are played. What’s more, if you don’t have enough money to meet the minimum bet, you’re out of the tournament.
Some Elimination Blackjack tournaments also feature a secret bet. Players can use the secret bet once and when they do, their bet is hidden from others. Players can only use the secret bet once.
Other than that, the actual game is a lot like Blackjack. The house hits on Soft 17 and anything lower. Players can split cards up to four times, except when dealt Aces, in which case they can only split them one. In Elimination Blackjack, players can also surrender their hand and take back half of their original bet. This isn’t offered in regular casino Blackjack all the time, so it’s a nice addition.
Elimination Blackjack attracted a lot of celebrity poker players, including Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, Jennifer Tilly, Barry Shulman, Antonio Esfandiari, and Annie Duke. Also present in the tournament was legendary card counter, “Hollywood” Dave Stann.
While you can’t play Elimination Blackjack online at any poker site, you can play Blackjack right here at Palace of Chance. Get started with your free account and see what all the fuss is about.