Poker Tournament Tips

Tips for Playing in Poker Tournaments


Today, millions of people from around the world log in to their favorite online poker room in order to play serious tournament poker.

Before 1970, poker was played in a more random fashion, with most people taking part in casual games. All this changed when the World Series of Poker was introduced. It helped a great deal to organize and perfect the game of tournament poker. More recently, poker tournaments have become multi million dollar affairs that have become wildly popular among beginners and professionals alike. The rise of the online poker room has helped as well, because now players don’t have to travel great distances or change their schedules drastically in order to participate in these tournaments.

If you are planning on participating in poker tournaments without much experience, the chances of your success are fairly low unless you have a strategy that is formulated. However, poker tournaments, when played with the right strategy could yield a good result, and a number of beginners have been known to win tournaments, and with it some exciting prizes.

This first thing to understand when playing a poker tournament is the fact that it is a completely different game from regular poker. In a poker tournament, it is not possible to cash in one’s chips after one big win, and walk away with the money. In fact, only the player who wins all the chips in play will become the eventual winner of the tournament. The trick of playing a tournament is to realize when to make moves and when to play a tight game.

Another thing that plays a big factor, especially in multi table tournaments, is luck. Without some amount of luck, finishing the tournament as the winner at the final table is virtually impossible. Skill, strategy and experience are all important, but luck is the one factor that could set you apart from the rest.

One tip to remember for players who are experts of the ring-game is that the strategies employed in both games are different. In a poker tournament, the blinds are constantly increasing and there is a time frame within which all the chips need to be collected. This means that there are more hands that are played and the game is much faster than in a ring game.

Remember that the chips in a tournament game are different from those of the standard game because their value is relative.  For example, the chips that you start out with are worth more than the chips of the same amount that you manage to win, and so you need to play your initial chips more carefully. In games with no re-buys, since you will not be able to buy any more chips, your final few chips are the most precious of all, and it matters how you play them.

One technique that most successful tournament poker players employ is to follow the blinds. At the start of any tournament, it is important to play a tight game of poker, and the degree of tightness should vary according to the type of tournament and its structure. As long as the blinds remain low your game needs to be tight, but whenever the blinds start to rise, you will need to start gambling and playing a more aggressive game.

Probably the biggest tip to remember when playing tournament poker is the “Gap Concept”. The famous David Sklansky introduced this concept to the game, and it has been invaluable to tournament poker players ever since. What the Gap Concept means is that while making a bet, it is not as important to have a very strong hand, but it is crucial to have a strong hand when you are calling a bet. The Gap Concept is especially important to players who are attempting to steal a blind or make a move

The final thing to remember while playing tournament poker is that the table you are playing at is the most important factor. Instead of trying to figure out the later stages of the tournament, or the number of players remaining at the other tables or how the chips are distributed, pay attention to what is happening at your table so that you have a higher chance of becoming the chip leader.


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