How Poker Tournaments Work
Nowadays, we have seen a massive growth and popularity of poker tournaments, especially Texas Holdem poker. Mostly what you see on the screen pretty much follows the same basic structure such as the sizes of a stack, the time limit, buy-ins, and the blinds. While a lot of poker tournaments are held in a famous casino and aired on TV, tons of them are also held online. If you’re a newbie in a poker tournament and would like to participate in one, then you should know how it works first.
Online poker tournaments
Online poker sites normally offer two types of games - one is the cash game, and the other is the poker tournament. In cash games, you have the option of sitting down the table with whatever amount you like. You could say, place as little as $50 or as high as $1000 (the decision is entirely up to you). Any player who wishes to participate in a cash game can place any amount he wants. You can even sit down or leave the table anytime you want. The best part about this is that you will be able to get the money you win immediately.
A poker tournament, on the other hand, works in a different way. Although the same rules still apply, every player in a tournament will have the same number of chips therefore allowing each of the player to play fairly. The concept of a tournament is pretty simple - be the last one to remain and take home the prize.
How it works
To get a better understanding of how a poker tournament works, let us take a look at the basics.
- In a tournament, you will have to win as many chips as you can to stay in the game, else you will be eliminated in the event you lose all of them.
- The typical buy-in for a tournament often includes the prize pool plus the tournament fee. For example, a $20+5 buy-in would mean that $20 will go to the prize pool while the remaining $5 will go to the ones who hosted the event.
- All players receive the same number of chips, meaning it will be a fair play.
- The last one remaining will get to take home the top prize, which is determined by the total number of players multiplied by the buy-in amount. So if there are a total of 1,000 players who participated with a buy-in of $25, it would mean a total prize pool of $25,000.
- The prize pool is actually divided among the top ranked players, instead of being claimed only by the champion. So with a prize pool of $25,000, it would mean the champion would get $10,000, the second placer will get $5,000 and so on.
Different types of tournaments
Aside from the Texas Holdem poker, there are actually several other types of poker tournaments you can play. Ever since poker tournaments gained popularity, more and more games have been offered. Here are some of them:
- Deep Stack - a deep stack tournament is distinguished by a larger number of starter chips in relation to the blind. On average, a deep stack poker tournament starts with 5,000 chips or even higher depending on the poker site. The higher number of chips allows players to play in the tournament for a longer period of time.
- Freeze out - a freeze out tournament is where players make a single buy-in and try to win as many chips as possible. The event a player loses all his chips, he will then be eliminated from the tournament until only one player is left with all of the chips in his possession.
- Limit - this is a type of tournament wherein the bets and raises have a fixed limit. The word “limit” often means the level of stakes, or perhaps the maximum wager when the tournament reaches a certain point.