Poker is the most popular card game in the world, for some people it is even the main source of income. You can play poker in two ways: participating in a tournament or playing for real money (cash game). The main difference between them is the maximum value of the bankroll and the change in the blinds.
The best poker sites with the tournaments:
What is a poker tournament
A poker tournament is a competition in which all participants pay a fixed amount for participation – Buy-in. On the basis of the number of registered players, a prize fund is formed, which is distributed among the winners in a predetermined ratio. All players start with the same amount of chips in their hands. During the game, the player seeks to take possession of the opponent’s chips, while at the tables, the blinds change periodically and ante is added.
If a player runs out of chips, he leaves the tournament. The winner of the tournament is the player who has collected all the chips of opponents on the final table. For example: a tournament consisting of 100 participants usually has only 15-18 prizes, and the winner takes about 20-30% of the prize pool.
What type of poker tournaments are held
Unlimited Texas Hold’em (NL Holdem) prevails among the total number of tournaments. However, tournaments can be found without any problems in other forms, from Omaha and Stud to various mixed games.
Varieties of poker tournaments
There are two formats of poker tournaments:
- multi- table (MTT)
- single-table (Sit-and-Go) – the principle of the game “Sit and Play” is typical, the game starts almost immediately after registration
Modern poker rooms offer many varieties of tournaments in both formats.
Single Table Sit-and-Go Tournaments
Sit-and-Go is a tournament that does not have a predetermined start time. It can be held either as a regular tournament or as a satellite. Due to the limited number of places, usually from 2 to 180 places, it starts immediately after filling. Such games are not replaceable for beginners to practice, they will help to test their knowledge and gain the necessary experience. The buy-in here starts at $0.02. For regular players, these are not profitable tournaments: when you enter the table, most likely you will get to 2 or 3 regulars and your advantage will be minimal.
Sit-and-go are also presented as step-by-step satellites. To achieve the ultimate goal, you need to go through several skill levels and take prizes in each.
This format is characterized by the fact that it has several gaming tables and a specific start time. Multi-table tournaments include: freerolls, tournaments with and without warranty, satellites, freezeouts, with re-purchases Re-buy / Add-On / Re-entry, with rewards for knocking out, heads-up, turbo.
Freeroll – a tournament with free participation. Prizes here can be either small amounts or tickets to other tournaments. In freerolls, a huge number of low-skilled participants – you should not count on great success and high earnings. Such a tournament is suitable for beginners without sufficient experience. The prize pool here starts at $ 10, and the number of players can reach up to 50,000. That is, to win among such a large mass is a difficult task even for a professional.
Tournament with guarantee (Guaranteed Tournament)
Such tournaments are much better than usual and are determined by the name “Gtd”. They can be used in advance, before the end of registration, to find out the guaranteed value of the prize fund.
Tournament without warranty
The prize pool of such a tournament is formed solely from the number of registered players, and is calculated by the amount of buy-ins. The amount of the fund and the prize announce the field of registration end.
This is a tournament with tickets in the form of prizes, as the equivalent of money, to another larger tournament. It is an excellent, though rather difficult way to enter a tournament with a large prize pool for a small fee.
This is a tournament in which after the departure it is forbidden to buy chips for a refund. At the end of the chips – the player flies. Usually in such tournaments a big initial stack.
Tournaments with Re-buy / Add-On and Re-entry
In these tournaments, if all of his chips are lost, the player has several ways to return to the game. In a tournament with Re-buy / Add-On, it is possible to buy chips directly during the game according to the following rules:
- Re-buy can be done only in a certain period, it usually takes the first hour of the game, after which the player can take the last purchase – Add-On;
- the maximum number of purchases may be limited by the rules;
- the redemption value is usually the buy-in, and the player receives the initial amount of chips;
- after losing, the player leaves his place in the tournament;
But the Re-entry tournament (re-entry) is similar in meaning to a re-entry tournament, but it has several significant differences:
- after losing his chips, the player flies out of the tournament, but has the opportunity to re-register in it, while a new entry about registration appears in the table of participants;
- the maximum number of reentries is also prescribed by the rules;
Turbo (Hyper Turbo)
The duration of the blinds and antes in a standard tournament is 10-15 minutes. In turbo tournaments, these levels change much faster – 3-6 minutes.
Knockout reward tournament
The tournament is characterized by the payment of cash rewards for knocking out participants. An additional buy-in is added to the main buy-in, which is the reward for knocking out an opponent.
There are MTT tournaments in which at each game table there are two rivals fighting one on one. The winner of the duel goes to the new opponent, the loser crashes. The number of participants in such a tournament should be equal to the power of two: 2, 4, 8, 16, etc.
This is a unique tournament after a certain time, in which the prize pool is divided between the participants, depending on their place in the standings.
The main tournaments of the world series offline and online
The main offline tournaments in their importance can be divided into three categories:
- The World Poker Championship, held annually in Las Vegas – WSOP (World Series of Poker). Here you can take part in more than 50 tournaments for various types of poker with huge prize pools. Today the buy-in value in the world championship can reach $ 250,000.
- World, European and Asian poker tours (WPT, EPT, APT) are also characterized by multimillion-dollar tournaments and world-class participants.
- Poker series in various regions of the world: PCA, Irish Open, etc.
Among the online tournaments, the undisputed favorite is POKERSTARS. It organizes various satellites for world series tournaments and online mini-world championships – SCOOP (Spring Championship of Online Poker), as well as a huge number of tournaments with prize pools of more than $ 100,000.
Online vs Offline Tournaments
Despite the obvious differences between playing at a real table and on the Internet, the rules in these varieties are not much different. Players enjoyed the opportunity to play at home at any convenient time.
Playing online poker is probably better than not. Saving time, convenience.
Pros of online tournaments
- Speed and level of play
A player can simultaneously be at several tables and with minimum limits of 1 cent, which is impossible to do in a casino.
- The minimum probability of becoming a victim of fraud
The RNG is responsible for the distribution of cards, and the room is not interested in juggling, as the game is played between players, without his participation.
- Safety and reliability
Poker rooms provide a high degree of security for their software against threats of confidentiality and accessibility, using advanced technologies in information security.
- The ability to choose the type of game and room
The transition between games and software will require a short period of time. Real casinos are likely to be located at a significant distance from each other;
- Free online poker training in the room
Cons of online tournaments
- Collusion by a group of people at one table and the transfer of data about their cards to each other.
The security service of the poker room constantly analyzes stories and monitors events to identify collusion.
- Bot programs
They are used to replace live players, basically they do not pose a big threat.
Tips for choosing a poker room for tournaments
When choosing, you should pay attention to the following parameters:
- Number of participants. Estimate how quickly you can find a free seat at the table, how many average participants in tournaments and how fast they fill up a Sit-and-Go.
- Reliability, quality of work of support. The reliability of the room is determined by the presence of: various licenses, the duration of work on the market, user reviews, competence and efficiency of the support service.
- The presence of many types of games
- Qualification of opponents
- Methods and means of replenishing your account. The main financial issues include: methods of depositing and withdrawing funds, speed of payments, feedback on non-payment of funds.
- Interface. The software should be simple and straightforward for any player without a glitch.
- Bonuses and promotions. Almost all rooms offer bonus funds or tickets for new players.
- Casino commission. It is usually charged by the room itself when playing on cash tables and amounts to 5% of the pot, charged each time it reaches the flop.
- Reviews. Before choosing, you should familiarize yourself with the available reviews for the period of the room.