How to compete in a poker tournament

25 Aug 2014       By

Poker tournaments are extremely popular both online and offline. They can be played with as little as two players and they often provide quite high jackpots.


The goal is to who win every chip on the table. Your place in the tournament will depend on when/if you are eliminated. The chips aren’t exchanged for money; they are simply there to determine which place you finish.


There are set prizes for the winner. It is worth noting that there are different types of tournaments available and each will have slightly differing rules.


Below you’ll find out more about how typical poker tournaments work.


Buying in


When you sign up for a poker tournament, usually you buy-in at a fixed amount. The buy in basically means the amount of chips you get for the game. To keep it fair, the buy-in limits will be fixed. There are some tournaments that will allow you to buy back chips throughout the game so this is something you’ll need to look out for.


Poker Tournament table


Switching places


Throughout the tournament, players will often be switched to ensure fair game play. In some cases entire tables will be taken away and the players will be split equally onto other tables.


Early stages of play


The early stage of a poker tournament is typically the easiest. Everybody starts off evenly and large bets tend to be avoided. Some players will try and get an early advantage by betting large stacks. However, it is a good idea to limit your bets throughout this first stage. Try to end the first stage of the tournament without losing many chips. This will give you a good footing to play in the middle stages.


Middles stages of gameplay


The chips start to become a lot more valuable in the middle stage of the tournament. This is the time you need to start playing strategically. Don’t sit back and try to hold onto your chips. Be willing to take more risks to try and accumulate bigger stacks. You are looking to stay in the game without getting yourself into dire straits.


Last stages of gameplay


By the last stage of the poker tournament, players will have a limited number of chips left. This is the time people start to make bolder bets. The players forget about going bust and simply play to win. In order to win the tournament you need to adopt an aggressive gameplay. Blinds are often large in the late stages and luck plays a big part.


Poker tournaments are fun but you do need to understand the gameplay. Know when to sit back and hold onto your chips and when to go all in. By pacing yourself and having a steady strategy in place, you are more likely to reach the later stages. Having the confidence to take risks near the end is also going to help you increase your chances of winning. Just be sure to read through the tournament guidelines before you join. Become familiar with all of the terms associated with the game if you aren’t already. Finally, give online poker a go before going for the real thing.