Poker tournaments are the main reason poker has seen a surge in popularity. Televised events like the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and the World Poker Tour (WPT) have introduced poker tournaments to the larger masses. Playing at tourneys is great fun. There is nothing like the excitement of competition that keeps our competitive juices flowing. At times, they can be stressful - I’ll give you that - but mostly, it is difficult not to enjoy when you are competing in one.
Online poker tournament has been around for almost 10 years now. Players play online in a hope to add a chunk of money in their bankroll. They provide a perfect platform for players of all levels. If you are a novice player, you can learn the dynamics of the game while hoping to win big prizes. If you have been playing for a while, tournaments will give you an opportunity to refine your strategic and tactical skills. If you are an accomplished player, it lets you showcase your poker skills against the best players and win some serious cash prizes.
What is an Online Poker Tournament?
An online poker tournament is a game with a fixed format. Everything is decided in advance - the buy-ins, blinds, antes, stack sizes, structure and time limit. The tournaments give players an opportunity to win a hefty sum of money for a tiny investment. Furthermore, the popularity and recognition that comes with winning a tournament is addicting. Online real-money poker tourneys give players a chance to win hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars that too from the comfort of their home.
How do Online Poker Tournaments Work?
Before the tournament begins, all players pay an entry fee called a buy-in. This gets you a number of poker tournament chips and a seat at the table. All players get an equal number of chips to start with. As the play progresses, blinds and antes increase at regular intervals. When any of the players lose all their chips, they get eliminated. The tournament ends once the last player remaining has all the chips and is declared the winner. What is so thrilling about poker tournaments, you ask? The whopping prize pools worth millions of dollars at stake.
Types of Poker Tournaments in India
With so many poker tournaments available in India 2020, here is an overview of every type of poker tournament available online and you can choose to play according to your skill-set and interest.
Multi-buy tournament (MTT)
If you love to take challenges and want to register for the same tourney with multiple stacks, then this tournament is for you. The multi-buy tournament starts at a predetermined time on all tables at once. Several players will be competing at the same time, as each player competes for the other player’s chips in an effort to minimise their competition.
As the tournament continues, the blind increases gradually. When the players are out of their chips, they are eliminated, and the tables are merged in order to maintain an equal presence of players at each table. With the last few surviving players left, the final round of the tournament will take place. The player who wins the chips of all their opponents becomes the winner of a multi-table tournament.
Sit-N-Go (SNG) tournament
Are you the one who likes to play poker when you have a short free time or waiting in a queue? Well, then you should go for a sit-n-go tournament. It is a single-table online tournament. SNG is kind of a mini tournament which can be played in both ways, i.e. as one table or multiple tables. It does not have any pre-assigned start timing. When all the players are registered at the table, the tournament begins. For example, you enter an online poker site and select an SNG table, which requires ten players to start. You pay an entry fee, sit down, and wait. As soon as the tenth player joins the table, the tournament begins.
These kinds of tournaments have become incredibly popular on the internet, so much that you often have to be quick to click before the table fills up. Sit-n-go tourneys have a fixed payout which usually pays the top three winners. This type of format is convenient for those who cannot play for long hours in a row.
Freezeout tournament is the basic and the most popular poker tournament. It is a tournament in which the players are eliminated until one is left with all the chips. In this tournament format, you don’t have an option to rebuy or add-on. Once you run out of your chips stack, your tournament is over.
After going broke early in a tournament, we all had that feeling; the feeling that we usually wish to have more chances and try again. Well, that is exactly what you get to do in a rebuy tournament. In this tourney, you can buy more chips anytime during the first hour or so, when you are at or below the amount you started the game. For instance, you are playing in a rebuy tournament with a starting stack of 3000 chips for let’s say a ₹10 buy-in. So, you can purchase chips when your chip count is 3000 or below during the first hour of the play, and it will cost you another ₹10. The rebuy amount is generally the same as the original buy-in amount of the tourney.
Some tournaments have fixed rebuys, whereas some have unlimited numbers and most of them give you one last opportunity to buy more chips at the end of the rebuy period. Once the rebuy period ends, you cannot rebuy the chips, and the tournament becomes a freezeout. If your chip stack finishes during the freezeout, you are eliminated from the tournament. It is important to check the tournament rules to know when the rebuy period expires. Rebuys are a great way to get back into the game after a bad beat but don’t forget to manage your bankroll.
Many players think they need big money to play in a tournament. But the truth is you don’t. Freeroll tournaments are the best friends for newbies, as they are free to enter. It gives them a chance to play without any investment and win real money. Playing at freeroll is the best way to learn how to play a poker tournament ( you play poker games free, get a chance to win, without any risk to your bankroll). The more you play, the better you will get, and greater are the chances of winning bigger tournaments.
In a guaranteed tournament organizers guarantee a minimum prize pool of a fixed amount regardless of how many players are there. In some cases, there might be fewer participants than expected, which could result in a “overlay.” An overlay takes place when an online casino overestimates the field size and needs to put their own money into the prize pool to meet the guarantee. For instance, the organizers have guaranteed a prize poll of ₹4,00,000 and 200 people pay ₹1000 to enter into a tournament. This means that the tournament organizers need to put ₹2,00,000 of their own money into the prize pool to meet the guarantee.
If you are not playing bounty tournaments as a part of your schedule, then you are seriously missing something. They are both the most enjoyable and biggest value format on the internet these days. Bounty tournaments are also known as knockout tournaments and are exactly the same as other tournaments except that each player has a bounty on their head. The format of this tourney is slightly different. It is more eccentric and competitive.
In this tournament when you eliminate a particular player in the course of the event a bounty is awarded to you. The more players you knockout, the more you bounty you will earn. You will keep that cash prize whether you win that tournament or not. You don’t need to pay any additional fee for the bounty as it is included into the buy-in amount.
For example, the bounty on each player is ₹50. If Sam knocks out Jim on the first hand, a bounty amount of ₹50 of Jim will be given to Sam. Now if Sam again knocks out Harry, the bounty amount of Harry's i.e. ₹50 will be given to Sam. Therefore, Sam now has a total bounty winning of ₹100.
Shootout tournaments are a multi-table single table tournament. Puzzled? That’s okay. Here how this tourney works. Typically, when you play a multi-table tournament, players are moved from one table to another in order to balance the number of players on each table. Finally, the last players left end up at the final table. But in a shootout, there is no such balancing. At the same time, several single tournaments will run. The tournament will continue until one player is left in each table. After that, the players are brought together at a new table for the final round of play. The tournament continues until one player is left who has all the poker chips.
For example, an online poker room may begin with 100 players with 10 tables of 10 players each. Each table will play until one player is left in each table. For the next and final round, the winners of each table will come together for the final round of the tournament. The one player left standing with all the chips wins the tourney.
The victory of Chris Moneymaker at the World Series of Poker is well known. The 2003 WSOP tournament brought him never-ending popularity, netting him 2.5 million dollars. What’s fascinating about this win is that he reached the WSOP through an $86 satellite tournament which was held on PokerStars. His win encouraged many others to enter the world of online poker.
Without a doubt, satellite tournaments are famous and the most lucrative ones in the online poker world. Many pro players have built their bankroll with satellite poker tournaments. Basically, satellite tournaments do not award any money as a final prize, but rather an entry for another event, series or tour which requires a higher buy-in. Satellite tournaments are a best friend of poker players who dream of playing in big events which are generally out of their price range.
Turbo tournaments suit those players who don't have time to play a regular MTT but still want the big payouts. It is increasingly becoming popular at online poker rooms as they don’t take much time to end like regular MTTs. They are much faster than traditional poker tournaments. The blind levels increase swiftly throughout the game, whipping easily through large field tournaments in just a few hours. Most of the turbo events have blind levels that don’t last more than 5 minutes or so. Needless to say, this produces a great deal of action and totally alters the dynamics of the tournament.
The aggression level in a turbo tournament will be much higher than what you generally see in regular events. The structure of turbo tournaments may suggest that you need more luck than skill, as this type demands more preflop all-ins. But the truth is they also require the same skills as in other tournaments. Everything happens so fast in this format that you have very less time to make adjustments, to wait for your perfect hand, and to recover from your mistakes. Although you might start a relatively deep stack in turbo games, you can rapidly find yourself short-stacked if you don’t manage to chip up early in the tourney. So, it really pays to play these tournaments aggressively.
Ready for your first online poker tournament today? I would personally suggest you go first for low-cost SNG before chasing for big prizes. If you are a newbie and don’t know how to play poker, worry not. We have a solution for you. You can learn and play poker online for free! All you have to do is download the free Gamentio app on your smartphone device and experience the real poker casino feel within your comfort zone. Practice for unlimited hours until you feel confident about your game. You can also create a private table and play poker tournament online with friends in case you aren’t comfortable playing with strangers. Awesome, isn’t it!
If you are a die-hard poker enthusiast, it is vital to continue to work on your poker tournament strategy, as you will be competing against the professional players across the world. Practice free Texas Hold’em poker tournament and hone your skills before heading to play for real money.