Many online blackjack sites, Get21 included, have free tournaments with real cash prizes. Taking advantage of these free tournaments can help new players get their feet wet in the world of Internet blackjack.
The prize pool for freerolls is usually from $5 to $50, with the top prize ranging between $2 and $15. It isn’t much, but free money is always welcome when you’re just starting your online blackjack adventure! All it takes is two or three high finishes to change the outlook of your bankroll.
A list of blackjack freeroll tournaments can usually be found in the regular tournament area. You will notice that the buy-in is listed as ‘$0’. Just open up the lobby, look for the freeroll tournaments, and register.
Freeroll play is usually more ‘loose’, that is, people tend to take a lot more risks. You’ll see a high amount of players making maximum bets on any given hand. You can take advantage of these people by bucking trends.
For example, if you’re in late position and 2 or 3 people have tendered maximum bets in front of you, a minimum bet might not be out of the question. If the dealer catches a hand, you’ll have gained a massive advantage over the loose players. Even if one player lucks out, you’ve isolated them and can base your betting strategy on their future actions.
Sometimes you might see a number of players who registered for the tournament, but logged off rather and are not playing. In cases such as this, the computer will often auto-play their hand with minimum bets. Pay attention to their stack size of course, but otherwise, play the table as if it was short handed. Be careful, sometimes a player like that “wakes up” at the last hand and win the tournament.
In most cases, basic blackjack strategy and paying attention will let you get deep into a freeroll tournament. Last hand play tends to be awful in these events. Players who can only hope to win (in early rounds, outside of the money range) by doubling down with any two cards will still stay on a 17. Players who are last to act and just need to surrender will sometimes play out the hand anyway and lose.
The only way to avoid these mistakes is by thinking before you act. I know that it’s tempting to pre-select your next action and get distracted by web browsing, television, or music. Don’t get distracted. A freeroll is no different than any real money tournament, and it deserves your full attention. Take your time, calculate the odds, puzzle out the correct play, and execute your game plan. When you play blackjack online, concentration is the key to success.
Many of these freeroll tournaments should offer wildcard spots available to those who finish second in certain heats; this is another reason to play your best game and not waste chips.
If you take Internet blackjack freerolls seriously, you can parlay these small winnings into something much bigger, and you will gain important experience as well. You’ll learn how to play against maniacs and maintain focus even when others aren’t taking a tournament seriously.