Blackjack on cruise ships
  • My wife & I yesterday signed up for a cruise on the Norwegian Sky to the Deep Southern Carribean for 7 days. Leaving San Juan on Febuary 8 and stopping at 5 islands. You can get a very good deal by taking deals on cabins left unsold 3 weeks befor the ship leaves.

    We have cruised before and about 60% of the players in the ships casino are without a clue about how to play. That of course does not do me any good since I do not play against the other players. They do offer 2 BJ tournaments. $100 buy in on each and they pay out all the money from the buy ins in prizes. I think to the top 10 players. I have never played tournaments, but you do play against other players, not the house, and all the money is paid back. No house edge. I went back and read the discussion on tournament play in the thread from last October here. If anyone has any ideas I would like to here them.

    They are also having 2 slot tournaments with the same rules. Again no house edge. All money paid to enter paid out in prizes. Again playing against other players, not the house. Any ideas on this?

    Amount of prizes not known since number of entries not known yet.

    Would like to hear any ideas or comments from anyone.

    Also if anyone here has cruised on the Norwegian Sky would appreciate your take on the ship. Have cruised with the Norwegian Line before, but not on the Sky. Will appreciate your comments and ideas.

  • We just returned from a NCL 7 day cruise. The BJ tournament they ran was 'interesting' to say the least! There was a single prize of $500 no matter how many/few entries they got.

    $10 buy-in per round, as many rounds as you want. I think there were at least 30 qualifying rounds. Each $10 entry included a drink coupon. A round consisted of one table, 6 players, $2000 in chips and 7 hands of BJ. $25 was the minimum bet, no surrender and no maximum bet limit.

    Only the winner (if there was any) from each round had a shot at qualifying for the sole final table. To qualify, they took the 6 highest final dollar values of all the round winners.

    The rounds were spread over 3 days. By day 3, in order to qualify for the final round, you had to not only win the round, but you had to have $10,000 in chips. That makes for rather exciting blackjack when you consider you have to go from $2K to $10K in only 7 hands!

    With 5 rounds remaining to go before the final table, I watched 3 fruitless rounds that never made it to hand 7 due to lost bankrolls. Finally, it came time to play my round. All 6 of us made it to the final hand, 5 of us had a shot to beat the $10K amount, and everyone went all in, except me, I bet 1/2 and sure enough, got my 11! A quick look showed me that a successful DD would get me in when... BAM! Dealer shows BJ.

    The last round was just as exciting. It came down to the final hand, and God as my witness, the winner had an incredible $31K in his bankroll. $2K to $31K in 7 hands of BJ.

    The final table also went only 7 hands. A screwup in the final bet lost it for the chip leader as he was caught 'stacking' his chips and was forced to not bet enough. A dealer bust paid everyone and he was overtaken.

    Personally, I played 5 sessions of BJ. Was up $225 after 3, lost $220 on the 4th and won $80 on the last night. Table rules are decent and penetration (although I dont count) varied widely depending on dealer.

    just FYI
  • Slimeo

    Hope you had a good time on the Norwegian Sea in the Western Carribean. I checked out the tournaments on the Norwegian Sun while I was on it and I was not sure what the rules were. I don't think they paid all the entry fees back in prices. Still the games had good rules. I played a total of about 10 hours during the week and ended up $55 ahead. Had a good time.


    PS Play was in regular BJ games, not tournament.
  • We did enjoy the cruise, however, the Norwegian Sea itself is showing her age, even with a facelift last year. The majority of the ship was as expected, however, the staterooms were not up to par IMHO. In talking with other guests who had done NCL and other cruises, they also agreed, again on just the staterooms. I suspect the staterooms were not part of the facelift it got.

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