Tournament Poker for Beginners

Anyone who’s a little interested in poker, will eventually find their way to the online poker tournament games. So much excitement, competition and more opportunitiy to win much bigger prizes! So how do you learn to play poker tournaments? What are poker tournaments? How do you join them, and – more importantly – how do you win?

What Is a Poker Tournament?

Online poker tournaments are a great way of learning the game better, and winning more. There are two main types of poker tournaments. You have the real-life events, and then there are the always ongoing, online poker tournaments that you find on online casinos and poker sites. And although rules are the same, we will talk about the online poker tournaments here. The essential difference between a regular cash game and a poker tournament game is that in a tournament there are more tables involved in the game. More players all entering with chips. Also, tournament players buy the same amount of chips at the beginning, and they cannot buy more chips if the go bust.


Going Bust

The most important principle of a tournament poker for beginners is that every player starts out with the same amount of chips, and when you’ve lost your chips, you’re out of the game. Simple as that. And you cannot pull out once you’ve joined a tournament and bought your chips. People who keep themselves “alive” with chips during the concurring hands, continue further into the tournament. And the goal is to be one of the top three players. Preferably player number one.

Blinds and Antes

Another big difference between a regular cash game and a poker tournament is that blinds and antes keep changing. And they always increase. That means that the game gets increasingly more interesting as you move on. The tournament itself decides how and when blinds increase, and everything is laid out before you start the tournament. Another factor is the level of chips you buy-in before you start. Every participant buys the exact same number of chips, as mentioned, but in some tournaments, this is a higher number than others.


Tournament Speed

This issue of chips and blinds affects the style of the tournament, or what is also called the speed of the tournament. The more chips you start out with, the longer time it takes for people to go bust. So, in tournaments, it is always a good idea to check out the ratio of blind to start-up chip quantity. This will tell you much about the general risk of the game. For some players, a quick tournament is excellent. If you’re starting out, perhaps you’d prefer a somewhat slower pace.


Benefits of Poker Tournaments

In a poker tournament, everybody buys a fixed amount of chips before the tournament starts. Poker tournaments are fun. And they can be financially rewarding. But another factor is that you get to learn so much. Think about it; a tournament consists of more players than just a single table. That’s why you’ll play against many more of them. The technical term for this is that the “field” is larger. This is great for the final winnings you can take home, but it is also great for getting that valuable poker tournament experience.


Tournament Prizes

Poker tournaments are interesting not least because you can win so much more than in a regular cash game. First of all, chips cannot be sold once bought, so the chips that a tournament starts out with all count. Which brings up the prizes. For the top three winners, the tournament decides on a fixed sum of money which is the prize money.  And being a tournament, this sum is way higher than what a regular table would give.  


Types of Tournaments

The most popular poker game is without a doubt Texas Hold’ Em. But when we talk about various types of poker tournaments we don’t normally think about the type of poker game. More of a tournament style. The most basic tournament form, and arguably the best for beginner poker tournaments, is the Sit and Go. You focus on one table only and keep playing until you’re out of chips, or until you’ve won. Multi-table tournaments let you play on more than one table at a time. This can seriously increase your winnings, but is a form of playing that requires more experience.


How to Register for an online Poker Tournament?

There are online poker tournaments going on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All you need to do is log into a casino or a poker site, and join the tournament of your choice. To join you need to buy a fixed amount of chips, which differs depending on the tournament. And that’s it. If you’re not already part of a casino or poker site, the best way to get started is to read a few reviews and poker site listings, and then just trying a few of them out.


So Many Possibilities

Once you log into your preferred poker site, you will notice that there are a ton of possibilities. We’ve just mentioned two types of poker tournaments, but there are so many varieties. One popular variety is the speed tournament. This is a setup where the player gets a limited amount of time for each hand, so thinking needs to be quick. These types of games tend to be very exciting, and sometimes even a little scary! But that’s the adrenalin, folks, and many players crave it. Speed games can also be great because they level out the playing of poker. There will be less time to evaluate other players, so beginners may get lucky!


We recommend you start out with an easy-going Sit and Go tournament that isn’t too quick in terms of small cash stacks or high blinds. But the most important step is to dive in and start playing!