Online poker tournaments differ from cash games in that players are all required to pay the same buy-in and all receive the same number of chips. They typically involve a large field of competitors and can be played out across multiple tables. Tournaments will continue until there is just one player left who has all the chips and can be declared the champion. The winner can land big prizes and there are usually smaller amounts of money given away to players who finish in a set number of positions, for example the top ten or the top 50.
The cost of the blinds increases as the game continues, but unlike cash games, the chips have no value outside of the tournament. Entering tournaments can therefore be a great way of scooping big rewards at a reasonable price and the playing field is always level, but competition is fierce and newcomers can end up sitting next to players with considerable experience and expertise.
Online players have the opportunity to take part in many different types of tournaments as they hunt for huge sums of cash or qualification for even bigger events.
If the lure of tournaments is to earn money without having to pay high stakes, then freerolls are the main attraction as there is literally nothing to lose. Players can enter for no cost and still have the opportunity to win actual money. However, most sites will only offer freerolls to players who earn a certain amount of loyalty points or play a certain number of hands in a specific period of time. Check with the online poker room you use to determine how to qualify for their freerolls.
If you’re an aspiring poker player who has visions of going up against the very best, then online satellites could be a great choice for you. The prize you are competing for is entry into a bigger tournament, and if you keep winning you will soon be rubbing shoulders with the elite, perhaps even at a lucrative event such as the World Series of Poker!
Standard tournaments create a prize fund where the number of buy-ins determines the total payouts, but most top sites will offer a number of tournaments where the prize pool is guaranteed. As players know they can pick up great rewards, these tournaments tend to be among the most popular at any online cardroom.
Online players looking to log in and get straight into a tournament will find plenty of Sit and Gos in the lobby. They are really just smaller tournaments which begin as soon as enough players have taken their place, which does not usually take long due to the large customer base most online poker sites have.
The only difference between a turbo tournament and a regular event is that the blind levels increase at a faster rate, making them ideal for anyone who is pushed for time or who just likes their tournament play to move quickly.
Twister Poker is a thrilling fusion of several elements which has really captured the imagination of players in the last few years. It is essentially a Sit and Go for just three players, played at turbo pace, where a jackpot is randomly assigned a monetary value and the winner can land up to 1,000 times the buy-in.
The majority of tournaments do not allow players to top up their chips at any point; if they lose their stack, they are eliminated from the tournament. However, some events are specified as re-buy tournaments, allowing competitors to purchase additional buy-ins if they lose their entire stack over the course of the game. There may also be an ‘add-on’ option to let players purchase additional chips. There will usually be a cut-off point for adding on or rebuying, and at this time the tournament will take on the traditional format where a ‘freeze-out’ applies, meaning that if you lose your entire stack once again, you’ll be out of the action for good.
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