Beginner’s Guide To Online Poker Tourneys

The best part about playing Poker online is that at any given time there are several tourneys to choose from. These include everything from heads-up tourneys to free-roll tourneys to tourneys with antes.

Beginners can often become overwhelmed by the sheer variety of options available. Which is why we’ve decided to compile a basic introduction to online Poker tournaments to get the newbie off to a flying start.

Appreciating The Lobby

When looking to play any online tournament, the tournament lobby is your new best friend. Here you will find a world of valuable information – including:

  • The date and starting time of the tournament.
  • The guaranteed prize pool – size as well as how the money will be distributed.
  • The names of those already entered into the tournament.
  • The actual rules of the tourney – how many players will be participating, the rules regarding re-buys, where you currently rank as far as chip standings go, etc.

The general way to go about things when wanting to enter a specific tournament include deciding whether you’re able to afford the buy-in, deciding whether your chances of ranking in the money justify parting with the buy-in associated with your tourney of choice, and finally, actually registering for the tourney.

The Good & Bad Of Free-Rollin’

Free-roll tournaments are a major drawcard for online players. Since participating is literally free, these typically attract hundreds – if not thousands – of entries. That’s per free-roll tourney.

The problem with free-roll tournaments is that since they’re free and typically allow thousands of players to enter into a single tournament, they often attract players not really interested in playing serious Poker. This makes the typical free-roll tournament a dangerous playground for new players trying to fine-tune their own personal Poker strategies.

Players participating in free-roll tournaments can often be seen risking “money” they would never dream of risking when playing with their own “real” money.

Single-Entry Tournaments

Single-entry tourneys are probably the most common online tournaments available on the internet. The concept is simple: decide to part with the buy-in, pay a small registration fee, and proceed to play for as long as your bankroll allows.

Single-entry tourneys typically available at most major online Poker rooms include:

  • Texas Hold’em. Variations usually available include fixed-limit, no-limit, and pot-limit.
  • Seven-Card Stud. Usually available are Seven-Card Stud High as well as Seven-Card Stud High/Low.
  • Popular varieties include fixed-limit and pot-limit applied to Omaha High and Omaha High/Low.

Something worth keeping in mind – and this applies to all types of online Poker tourneys – is the general rule of the higher the buy-in – the higher (or better) the anticipated quality of play. The reason for this is obvious: confident players are willing to risk more money because of the likelihood of actually winning it back/showing a profit.

The Re-Buy Tourney Explained

Re-buy tournaments offer great value for money because of the option to re-buy into playing at a fee lower than the initial buy-in and registration fee (combined). Online rookies should however take note of the specific terms and conditions of each individual re-buy tournament.

Some tournaments will only allow re-buys for a limited amount of time.