Online poker tournaments are a good way to build a poker bankroll. If you manage a deep run in a sizeable tournament you will get a great return on your original investment.
All poker tournaments, both online and live, work on a ‘last man standing’ basis, i.e. it will continue until there is only one player left, with that player having gathered all the chips in the tournament.
Some tournaments have a stated prize pool. This indicates a multi-tabled tournament with a guaranteed prize pool. If no prize pool is stated then the total number of player buy-ins will determine the prize pool.
While most online poker tournaments are the same, there can be slight variations from tournament to tournament. Make sure you understand the guidelines for the tournament you decide to enter before you play.
In cash tournaments players buy-in for a nominated amount and play down to the last person. There will be an advertised pay out structure, where the winning player earns the largest proportion of the prize pool. Lesser prizes may be awarded for 2nd, 3rd etc. How many other places get paid will depend on the total number of buy-ins to the tournament.
Satellite tournaments are a way to win your way into a higher buy-in tournament. In these tournaments the prize pool goes to buying tickets for the higher buy-in tournament and the ticket(s) are then distributed to the winning players instead of cash.
Freeroll tournaments are tournaments that are free to enter. Some are just for fun, some will be satellite games to a higher buy-in tournament and some may even be for cash.
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In a regular tournaments, players will be moved from a table once it has less than 5 players on it. In a shoot-out tournament this doesn’t happen. Each table continues play until there is one player left on the table. Those table winners are merged onto a new table and the process repeats until there is only one table left and those players play until there is one winner.
All In or Fold Tournaments
These tournaments are becoming more popular in the cut and thrust world of online poker. As the name suggests you only have two moves in these types of tournaments. Go all in, or fold.
These tournaments are run like a cash tournament but anyone who eliminates a player also receives the losing players ‘bounty’. This bounty is a cash amount which each player buys as an ‘add on’ when they first buy into the tournament.
Heads Up Tournaments
All tournaments will get down to a heads up battle at some stage but there are tournaments where players only play heads up in a knock-out format. These tournaments will normally feature 32,64 or 128 players and at the end of each match, one player moves into the next round, while the other is eliminated.