Online poker tournaments have quickly grown into one of the most popular forms of online and live poker.  Poker tournaments give players the chance to buy in for a certain amount of money, and get the same starting chips as every other player in the tournament.  Every players buy-in then goes into the prize pool and, once registration closes, is sorted into a payout scale, which pays a certain percentage of players out of the field.  Online poker tournaments will normally pay out the top 10% of players, meaning that if the tournament has 100 players, 10 players will normally cash.  The larger the field is, the more players will make the cash.  Payouts will range by how you finish, so if you were to finish just inside of the cash, you’ll make your money back plus a little, and the longer you can survive, the more money you will make.  There are quite a few different types of online poker tournaments, as well as different buy-ins and games played for poker tournaments.  We are here to explain the different types of games offered in tournament play, as well as the different tournaments offered, and some strategy and thoughts about the game play.

Guarantee Tournaments

Guarantee tournaments are most players’ favorite type of poker tournament.  The online poker site will put guaranteed money into the prize pool, regardless of if that number is hit or not.  So if there is a tournament that guarantees $5,000 in the prize pool, that money is there no matter how many players actually register.  If a large number of players buy-in and it goes beyond that $5,000, then the prize pool would just grow from there.  Online poker site’s guarantee tournaments range in buy-ins, and also range in the amount of money that is put into the pool.

Satellite Tournaments

Satellites are a great way for players to qualify for the big time tournaments for a small buy-in.  Basically all the players will enter a satellite with a small percentage of the large tournament’s buy in that they are trying to get into.  From there, the final number of players will decide how many seats will be awarded to the bigger tournament.  So if you buy-in to a $5 satellite to try to make a $50 tournament, and there are 100 entrants, for every 10 entrants there will be one seat given.  So this would mean that 10 seats would be given away to that event.  Some websites will even add seats to the satellites in order to draw in more players.

Freeroll Tournaments

Freeroll tournaments are basically offering players the chance to play for free money.  They are normally offered to players who just deposit, or hit a certain VIP level.  These poker tournaments are free to enter, and give away either money or prizes for cashing in the event.  While most freerolls are fairly small, some sites have pretty large freerolls for their VIP players.

Tournament Games

Most poker tournaments are either Texas Hold’em or Omaha.  The Hold’em tournaments are normally no-limit, with some limit and pot limit mixed in.  The Omaha tournaments are typically pot-limit or just limit.  The types of tournaments offered will depend on the site, and also how what types of games are offered and popular on the site.  A few select sites will even offer stud and razz tournaments, but that is pretty uncommon in the online poker world.

Poker Tournament Play

Playing in poker tournaments is a completely different type of play than cash games.  Cash games typically are a lot looser play, with more bluffing; while poker tournaments are a grind, and most players tend to play tight.  The idea behind a poker tournament isn’t to win every pot, but instead to win pots, and add to chip your stack as much as possible.  While bluffing is still important in poker tournament play, some of the best tournament poker players in the game are incredibly tight, and play their position.  Remember, you just want to outlast the other players and get as many chips as possible in order to make the money.  One of the most important things in poker tournaments is to not get too crazy or go on tilt.  The more you can outlast players and build your chip stack, the more likely you are to consistently cash poker tournaments!