Texas hold em poker tournaments are extremely popular with players of online poker rooms. Tournaments run around the clock on the best online poker sites and buy-ins vary in range from less than $1 to several thousand dollars.
If you intend playing
Play Tight at the Beginning
At the start of an online video poker tournament it’s recommended that you are very selective with the hands you play. The reason for this is the blinds are small and there are no antes at the start of poker tournament meaning the pot odds are simply not there for playing most hands.
Top poker players like Phil Ivey will only play the very best texas hold em hands in the early stages of a tournament. Another advantage of playing like this is you will build up a tight image with your opponents and your bluffs will be more likely to succeed in the later stages of the game. The first few levels of a poker tournament are a wonderful opportunity to sit back and observe how your opponents are playing to gauge their skill level and see what you’re up against.
Play Aggressive at Key Stages
There are certain stages in a poker tournament when you should become more aggressive and play hands that you usually wouldn’t play. Good times to get more aggressive in a poker tournament include just before you get in the money and coming on to the final table. The reason for this is every poker player wants to make the money and reach a final table so they are much more likely to fold their hand to a raise at these stages.
If your raise is called and you miss the flop don’t be afraid to follow it up with another bet. Unless your opponent hits the flop in a big way, it is very likely they will give up the pot. You can make a serious amount of chips by playing aggressive poker at the right time in a tournament and the additional chips you make can be crucial when it comes to the final table.
Play Your Stack
Your stack size will go a long way in determining how you play a poker tournament. It’s often said that short stacks are the easiest stacks to play because your options are restricted when you pick up a hand. When you find yourself with a short stack you should not be afraid to take chances and push all in with marginal hands. If you don’t do this you will get blinded out of the game very quickly.
With a large stack you have the luxury of being able to wait for genuine hands to come along. You don’t need to get involved with poor hands and risk losing your chips. Sit back and let the other players do the hard work for you. And when you do eventually pick up a strong hand with a big stack behind you, you can do a lot of damage with it.
Play Your Position
Position is one of the most important things to be aware of in a poker tournament. The button is the strongest position on the table and when you’re in this position you should become more aggressive and raise with hands that you would normally fold. This is because you will be the last player to act on the betting rounds and can see what everyone else does before you have to make a decision. Stealing blinds is vital in poker tournaments and you will struggle to make final tables without doing so.
It’s a great idea to play free poker online if you want to practice tournament strategies. Freeroll passwords are available for many online poker tournaments where you can play without the risk of losing real money. There are also a number of books you can get that will teach you about poker tournament strategies.