Most Poker tournaments are ‘freezeouts’. In this format, a player buys in at the beginning and then loses when all his/her chips have gone. But some tournaments have a ‘rebuy’ option allowing a player to choose to buy more chips.
The rebuy amount is typically the same as the buy in amount, although it can be less. The rebuy period is normally limited to the first few rounds of the tournament. At the end of the rebuy period, there is often an ‘add-on’ option.
This is one last chance to buy more chips before the tournament becomes a standard freezeout.
Usually all players are eligible to take the add-on, but sometimes the add-on is restricted to just those players whose chip count is less than a certain amount.
The strategy of deciding when and whether to make rebuys and add-ons is an advanced topic in tournament equity.
A ‘satellite’ is a tournament in which the prize is an entry into another tournament. For example, a single-table satellite might have a $100 by-in and award one seat to a tournament with a $1,000 buy-in. Satellites are a popular way for players to get into a high-stakes tournament when they prefer not to buy directly for such a large amount.
A famous satellite example is Chris Moneymaker’s $40 buy-in to a WSOP satellite: he eventually won the 2003 Main Event (which costs $10,000 to buy in directly) and took home the $2.5m first prize.
Some satellite have more than one table and award more than one seat into the bigger event. A satellite can have its own mini-satellites. Or a satellite can be a freeroll with the prize being an entry in a real-money tournament. The real-money tournament might even be land-based, for example, in Las Vegas.
Most tournaments are not satellites. They are just plain tournaments, in which the buy-ins go into a prize pool and the prize pool is awarded to the top finishers in the tournament.
A ‘buy-in’ is what each player pays to enter a tournament. If the buy-in is play-money, a certain number of play money credits are used to sign up. Tournament winners win money credits in return.
A ‘freeroll’ tournament does not require a real money buy-in but pays out a prize pool of real money. These are a sensible way for a beginner to start because there’s no risk of losing any money but a chance to win some in return.
A real money buy-in involves using real money that has been deposited in an account to buy in.
The ‘sit-and-go’ tournament is the more informal type of event. Usually these events have just one or two tables. The Poker lobby shows a list of sit-and-go events that are open for sign-ups. As soon as enough players sign up for a sit-and-go, it starts.
A scheduled tournament has a specific start time announced in advance. Players sign up in advance and then arrive to play at the scheduled time. Most of the larger events are the scheduled type.
The simplest kind of Poker tournament takes place at just one table. Usually 8-10 players enter the event, through some sites have special two-seat tables for heads-up play.
As players ‘bust out’ (i.e. lose their last chip), nobody takes their place and the table gets shorter and shorter handed. Eventually, one player wins all the chips and the tournament is over. At that point, the prize pool is divided among the players according to some payout schedule. Typically, the first place player gets about half the money whilst the second and third get smaller shares, perhaps 30% and 20%.
The ‘multi-table’ tournament format allows a much larger number of people to play in the same event. As players throughout the tournament burst out, the Poker server moves players into the vacated seats and reduces the number of tables.
Eventually, play comes down to two opponents, just like in a single-table event, and ends when one player wins all the chips. At that point, the prize pool is divided among the top-finishing players.
Registration fees from tournaments are also a type of rake. In an online Poker tournament, the money goes in to a pool, which the winner collects. Players can watch a game and the ‘characters’ they are playing against, before they pull up their virtual seats and throw in their chips.
Tournaments have registration periods and sponsors often boost prize coffers. Players must continue to play until they have lost all their chips or they have won everybody else’s chips. The major types of tournament are:
There are three major types of Poker played globally – Community, Draw and Stud.
- Texas Hold’em
- Omaha Hold’em
- Pineapple Hold’em
- Draw Poker
- Seven-card stud
- Five-card stud
The most superior hand in Poker is a Royal Flush, which is a sequence of Ace-King-Queen-Jack-10 in the same suit. The odds of drawing a Royal Flush from a regular 52-card deck are roughly 650,000 to 1.
Poker is a game that is everything: skill, chance and outrageous fortune. It is a game of strategy, psychology and showmanship.
Poker is a a card game for two players and up, usually revolving around predetermined stakes. Some claim that its origins date back to China in 900AD, whereas others attribute the game to Persia in the 17th Century.
A regular Poker game consists of players trying to create the best possible five-card hand. Poker uses the typical deck of 52 cards.
The object of any Poker variation is to win the ‘pot’, or the money that collects in the centre of the table.
Cards are dealt clockwise to each player and a few rounds of betting take place, during which players may call (make a bet equal to the previous bet), raise (match and increase another player’s bet), or fold (remove his/her hand from the game), all in clockwise order.
There are two ways to win the pot: either by having the best hand or by forcing all the other players out of the game through aggressive betting and/or bluffing.