A poker tournament is a last man standing fight to the finish. Larger tournaments offer bigger wins but more risk. To enter a tournament players pay the fee and turn up at the appointed time. Of course, it is not necessary to win the tournament to gain a pay out, but the number of places paid differs between tournaments.
Winning in a tournament setting is commonly called finishing ‘in the money’ because it means the player has reached a position where they have at least what they paid to enter. It is where every player aims to get to before looking towards the final table.
Leaving halfway in an online poker tournament does not make the gambler liable to any compensation. It is an important point to make because poker tournaments usually last for hours. Bear this in mind before signing up for one. Until the initial starting chips go dry, participants are in it for the long haul.
Instead of including a rake for each pot, the casino simply states the buy-in and the fee. The buy-in pays for the running of the tournament and includes what is paid out of the final prize pot. The fee goes straight to the casino in order to cover its own overheads incurred through running the tournament.
Tournaments are available at any time of the day or night. As long as there are enough players available, the game can go ahead. They do not cost the casino anything to organise, therefore all they need is a time and a place.
Poker players who want to attempt to make a living from tournaments should cast the thought aside until they have a proven track record because it is difficult to make consistent gains. Even skilled players can go for months before they make it big and win another tournament.
Another concept is the satellite tournament. These are where only one person wins the prize, which obviously warrants a more defensive strategy than a conventional tournament. The winner of a satellite often gains an added prize by gaining the buy-in for a much bigger tournament. It’s how many live poker tournaments award positions to online players.
The main difference between cash games and tournaments is the increase in the blinds. This is where things differ between websites. Some prefer to increase them after a certain period of time has elapsed. Other sites wait until a certain number of players have been eliminated. Yet more sites decide to do it by monitoring how many chips the leading players have. It forces action and encourages the passive to play and avoid sitting out just to steal a win.
It is possible to rebuy into a tournament. It’s rare to see this as most are known as ‘freeze-outs’ where each player only has one set of starting chips. Rebuys tend to have conditions attached like only being to buy-in for the first half of the tournament, as well as only being able to get back in a specific number of times.
Add-ons also appear in some tournaments. These are where players do not have to go bust in order to add to their stacks. A small fee can top up their existing stacks to prevent them from going bust. Just like with rebuys, there are stringent conditions attached to how these add-ons work.