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BLACKJACK TOURNAMENT ACTION NOW AVAILABLE 24/7

By Kenneth R. Smith

Blackjack Info

Ken Smith hosts the popular website www.BlackjackInfo.com and the new site for tournament players www.BlackjackTournaments.com. Ken has written tournament articles for Blackjack Confidential magazine. You can subscribe to his free email newsletter for blackjack players at http://www.blackjackinfo.com.

 

Avid tournament fans are celebrating after Global Player Online Casino rocked the tournament blackjack world in April. GP introduced a new online tournament format that brings 24/7 availability to competitive blackjack. Their new "Sit and Go" Blackjack Tournaments are single-table events where five players face off to see whoís the best. The innovative feature of this new development is that the events are available whenever you want to play. Any time, any day, you can go sit at a tournament table. Once five players arrive, the game begins. If youíre there during the busiest times of day, thereís little doubt that youíll be playing in minutes. Worst case, if the game doesnít begin within twenty minutes you can leave the table and your entry fee will be refunded.

These games were introduced in late April, and they were an immediate success. Iíve personally played close to 50 times since they launched. Itís a fantastic way to hone your tournament skills. Unlike regular tournament play where you may be lucky to play six or seven tables in a month, Iíve played that many or more in a single night. Thatís great practice and lots of fun.

There are currently three types of Sit and Go events, with different entry fees and prize structures. In each case, you pay an entry fee plus a small fee to participate. The entire entry fee goes into the prizes while the casino retains the participation fee.

The smallest event is a "$15/$1" event, where you pay $16 to play. $15 goes into the prize pool, so with 5 players that is $75 in prizes. You play 15 hands of real-time tournament-style blackjack, just like in a land-based casino. The bankrolls and bets of each player are visible on the table, and the betting and playing decisions rotate around the table with the button. Global has done a fantastic job of implementing the game. Itís easy to understand and terrific fun to play.

In the $16 version, betting limits are $10 to $500 from a starting bankroll of $1000. After 15 hands, the player in first place wins $50 and the second place player gets $25. From start to finish, the table takes about half an hour to play.

In addition to the $15/$1 version, there are two other choices available as well.

Here are the details for each style:

Entry Fee # Hands Bank MinBet MaxBet 1st Place 2nd Place

$15/$1 15 $1000 $10 $500 $50 $25

$30/$2 20 $1000 $10 $500 $100 $50

$50/$3 20 $2000 $50 $1000 $175 $75

In every case, there are five players at the table. All the bankrolls are "funny money", so your entire risk is $16, $32, or $53 respectively.

If youíve been postponing your entry into the online tournament world, now is the time to join the future of tournament blackjack. With the ready availability of such non-stop practice, Iím sure weíll see a definite increase in the skill level of play at all tournament events. I know my game is better after just a couple of weeks of play.

You can read all about the Sit and Go tournaments at

http://www.global-player.com/pages/04_sit_and_go.html?gai=100879

The number one hurdle that prevents players from signing up and competing online is the difficulty involved in funding your online account. In recent years, almost all credit card issuers in the US have stopped allowing online gambling transactions on their cards. Although online casinos still have the option to use a credit card for depositing funds, if you are in the US, your transaction will almost surely be declined. Thatís a frustrating experience to start your online play. Iím going to lead you through the recommended method of funding your play using an online service called Neteller.

Neteller is a secure online funds transfer service, which is basically a convenient online wallet. If youíve used PayPal, Neteller is very similar. By linking a regular bank account to your Neteller account, you can easily move money to and from your Neteller balance at no cost. Thereís no doubt that this process can be a little intimidating. Just follow along, and it will eventually start to make sense. Here are the steps involved in getting it all set up.

First, youíll need a regular bank account to attach to your Neteller account. If you are concerned about Internet security, you may want to open a special account just for this purpose at your bank. That way, only the funds in your special account are available for transfer online. If my personal experiences are relevant to your comfort with this process, Iíve transferred many thousands of dollars both to and from Neteller, and Iíve never had any kind of problem either financial or privacy related. Still, the security of having a designated bank account for all your online transactions can offer extra peace of mind.

Once you have the bank account established, head to http://www.neteller.com and open an account there. After entering your personal details and choosing a password, youíll get a 12-digit account number and also a 6-digit security code. Make sure you keep track of three items: Your account number, your password, and your 6-digit security code. These are the keys to your own personal online bank vault.

Once you sign into your Neteller account, choose the Online Check (EFT, or Electronic Funds Transfer) or InstaCash method to deposit funds. (There is a credit card option, and though youíre welcome to try it, I expect itís a waste of effort. The transaction will probably be declined by your card issuer.) Youíll be asked to provide information about your checking account including the bank routing number and your account number. Once youíve provided that information, Neteller will verify that the account really belongs to you by making a small deposit into the account. Once the test deposits have appeared at your bank in 1 or 2 business days, you must verify your access to that bank account by logging back into Neteller and entering the amount of the deposit they made to you. (If your bank offers online banking, you can check your statement online to get the amount. Otherwise, youíll need to contact your bank after a couple of days to get the amount or wait for your next statement in the mail.)

Once that step is complete, youíll have free and easy access to transfer funds back and forth from your bank to Neteller. Once you have a balance in Neteller, you can use the Cashier software at Global Player to fund your account balance in the casino. Likewise, you can withdraw winnings from Global Player back into your Neteller balance. Whenever you would like, you can also move the funds from Neteller back to your bank.

So, whatís the difference between the "EFT" and "InstaCash" deposit options? They both move money from your bank to Neteller. The difference is in how quickly it happens. Neteller charges a rather large 8.9% fee to fund your account via InstaCash, but the money is immediately available in your Neteller balance. If you choose EFT instead, the transfer is free but the money takes about a week to show up in your Neteller balance. I prefer the free but slow version.

How about withdrawing your profits back to your bank? Use the free EFT Withdrawal function, and the money will be back into your bank account within 1 or 2 business days.

Once you use the service a time or two, these details will seem a lot simpler. Believe me, the amazing opportunity to play tournament blackjack whenever you want is worth the effort of establishing and funding a Neteller account online. If youíd like to see how the process works before dealing with all the financial details you can open an account at Global Player and watch the live tournament tables without risking any money at all. Start by visiting Global Player at http://www.global-player.com/?gai=100879

I look forward to seeing you at the tables. My username is Ken21. See ya there.

Ken

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