The material on this page is dedicated to poker tournaments that are held in an online format. If you love poker and would like to know how to enjoy your favorite entertainment and claim a lot of money playing in the comfort of your own home, then the information in the review will be useful to you. We have prepared instructions for you on picking poker tournaments, we will tell you about their features and varieties. You will learn what satellites are and what importance they have for top events. Let’s get started!
What is a Poker Tournament?
A poker tournament is a competition between several punters, for participation you need to pay a buy-in (entry fee). The platforms for the game always indicate the size of it in the lobby, so you can pick the competition that will be comfortable for your bankroll. Often, only those punters who have tickets are allowed to take part in such competitions. They can be obtained in various ways — as a reward for winning other events, as a compliment from a poker room or for winning a satellite (we will tell you what it is below).
In the lobby of the client, which is downloaded from the official poker room resource, there are tabs dedicated to various types of competitions. By clicking on any of them, you will see a table with numerous columns that indicate the buy-in, the number of available seats, the size of the bet and other useful info. You can easily navigate between competitions and pick those that are suitable for your budget.
Each tournament has a prize pool, which is formed from the buy-ins of punters. The organizer also charges a fee. It is indicated separately and is usually 10% of the buy-in.
The second frequently used scheme for determining the prize pool is used in competitions with guaranteed prize funds. The organizer announces the amount of the guarantee, and if the buy-ins are going to be less than the stated prize pool, the poker room covers this shortcoming with its own funds. This scheme is used to attract more punters.
As in offline gambling establishments, online tournaments are played with the help of chips purchased for cash. After paying the buy-in, the punter receives a certain number of chips. In major events, their number typically doubles. If you take part in a competition that takes place according to the re-buy scheme, then you will have the opportunity to purchase the initial number of chips by paying the cost of the buy-in.
Blinds (Mandatory Bets)
Punters are required to place mandatory bets (blinds) when the time comes for their turn. They can be small or large. The level of Blinds increases after a certain time interval, this is done so that the tournament does not drag on for a very long time, so participants are forced to play more aggressively and not sit out the whole game.
Features You Need to Know
Poker tournaments that are held online have several significant differences from offline events, which you need to know about:
- You cannot ‘read’ other punters by their behavior, facial expressions and actions with cards;
- You will have less time to think about the move;
- A major event takes place within a few hours, so reserve time for yourself;
- The ability to enjoy several competitions at the same time.
Types of Online Poker Tournaments
There are many formats of poker competitions that differ in various aspects. We would like to tell you about them so that it would be easier for you to choose the perfect competition.
Let’s start with the format, which we recommend to all newbies. There is no buy-in required from punters in freerolls. You compete for a prize pool formed from real money. Let it be usually small, but it’s still money and the atmosphere of real poker. Participation in freerolls is a great way to improve your skills and make a start-up budget from scratch;
This is the most demanded format for punters. A great example is the World Series of Poker. Participants enter the game with a fixed amount of buy-in. After losing all the chips, you are out of the game. Many consider the drawback of this format to be the prize pool — it can often be formed based on the number of punters if the event is not guaranteed;
Such competitions are identical to freezeouts, but you will have the opportunity to return to the game if you are eliminated at an early stage. This is typically allowed only in the first round, but there are competitions with unlimited re-buys when you can return to the game at later levels;
This is an extremely popular format, which is identical to other tournaments, but differs from them in the speed of increasing the blinds (4-6 mins and 3 or fewer mins respectively). This is a tremendous option for punters who like fast-paced games;
There are no rules in such tournaments that distinguish them from other formats. Only the guarantee deserves attention — this means that the organizer of the game will pay the established prize pool regardless of the number of punters, even if there were fewer than planned;
This is a fun format in which you get part of the money for knocking your rivals out of the game. There are two types of knockouts: regular and progressive. The first option is considered classic, usually, you get 20% of the reward for knocking out an opponent. In the second case, you also get money for knocking out punters, but at the same time, a certain amount is assigned for your head. The more punters you kicked, the greater the amount for your head that the punter who beat you can get;
In this format, punters play one-on-one, and they are assigned large and small blinds;
Sit & Go
This is one of the most demanded formats. Such competitions are held in online rooms every day. They do not have a specific start time and start as soon as the planned number of participants is recruited. Typically, they involve no more than 10 people each, and it takes no more than an hour to determine the winner. Punters are eliminated in a single round, having lost their chips. Sit & Go has its own satellites, which are called Steps. The winner of such a satellite goes to the event with a higher rank, and the rest of the punters get tickets to competitions of the same level or a step lower;
In such tournaments, participants start with numerous chips. These are low-risk competitions, and they are very much loved by regulars, which increases their quality. Therefore, if you want compete in events with a good level of rivals and an interesting structure, then this is your pick;
This type of competition is identical to knockouts. Here you also need to knock out all the participants at the table to proceed to the next round. You can win tickets to larger events in such type of competitions;
In this type of tournament, a ticket for an event with a larger buy-in is played. They are held in tournament series and are also included in the schedule of most online rooms. Having successfully passed the selection, you can compete for a prize that far exceeds the number of investments.
How to Pick a Poker Tournament?
Now that you know what types of online poker tournaments exist, we would like to give you some tips on how to pick a suitable event for yourself:
Tip 1. Pay attention to the buy-in. The amount of money that it won’t hurt to lose, and the limit at which a punter will be competitive, are some key factors when picking a competition. You don’t have to spend more money than you would like, and you will surely be able to find great options for your bankroll;
Tip 2. Find out how popular the event is. Many tournaments are very popular, thanks to PR. Therefore, even a high buy-in does not stop punters of different levels of skill from registering as participants in them. This is influenced by factors such as the opportunity to play with poker stars, a large prize pool, and the opportunity to win money, thanks to numerous ‘fishes’ who participate in events for the same reasons that we listed above;
Tip 3. Speed matters. Decide how you would like to play: there are competitions in which game sessions are very fast. There, the advantage of a strong punter over a weak one is less. There are, on the contrary, events with a slow structure — this is a more suitable option for punters who already have experience;
Tip 4. Rate the prize pool. If you are confident in your skills and believe that you can be the overall winner, then find out in the rules what percentage of the prize fund is due to the champion;
Tip 5. Satellites can be useful. Not all tournaments have qualifying rounds, but satellites are most often held in top events. You will be able to claim a ticket to take part in the main event. But, please note that participation in this competition is comfortable for your wallet.
In this manual, we told you about what online poker tournaments are, and what varieties they have. Now you know what you need to become a participant in the event, according to what rules are held, and what you need to pay attention to when choosing a competition. We hope the info was useful for you.
What is Satellite?
Satellites are competitions in which punters can win a ticket to an event with a larger buy-in. Most of these competitions are held with a turbo and super turbo structure.
How to Register at Online Poker Tournaments?
To take part in an online poker tournament, select the appropriate tab in the menu of the poker software and register for any open event. As soon as it starts, you will be randomly seated at one of the tables and the game will begin. If a ticket is required to take part in the event, then you will need to take part in satellites where such tickets are played.
What is a Guarantee?
It is the prize fund, which the organizer announces before the event. This means that the prize fund will be paid in full, regardless of how many punters the competition has gathered. Thus, if there were fewer participants than planned, they would be able to get more money.
How Many Punters Can Participate in Poker Tournaments?
Typically, at least three punters can take part in such competitions. The max number is unlimited. Top online rooms have already held events with the participation of more than 200,000 people.
What is the Purpose of Poker Tournaments?
The task of participants depends on the format of such events. Usually, you need to get into certain top punters who will share the prize pool among themselves. The overall winner or a punter with the most chips is recognized as the winner. The award is also given to the participant who was knocked out of the event last (bubble).
What is Play Money?
Almost all major online rooms offer the online poker game not only for cash but also for Play money. This is an opportunity to experience the atmosphere of real poker without risking your wallet. Winnings in such tournaments are also paid in Play money, not cash, remember this.