Poker is one of the rare card games that can be played in tournament format. Tournament poker is one of the most thrilling ways to enjoy this game of skill and chance. It’s also good to know that there are hundreds of tournaments running every week on various online poker sites, some even on a daily basis.

How does one go about joining an online poker tournament? If you’re new to internet poker tournaments, stick around because we’re about to explain how to become a tournament poker player.

Understanding the Tournament Concept

Understanding the Tournament Concept

Those who aren’t sure what exactly the term “poker tournament” means, a poker tournament is a competition in which participants play poker for a chance to win a share of the prize pool.

They can come in different formats and involve different versions of poker. In most online tournaments, there is a set entry fee that each player pays. The prize pool is made up of all the entry fees. In a poker tournament, players typically begin with the same number of chips.

The one who eventually acquires all the chips is considered the tournament winner. Losing all the chips when playing a poker tournament means you are eliminated and have to leave the table. Tournaments can vary in the entry price, betting structure, game type and play speed.

Types of Poker Tournaments

Types of Poker Tournaments

Before you start contemplating entering one of the poker tournaments at your chosen casino/poker room, keep in mind that there are multiple types of tournaments and that you ought to know a thing or two about each of them in order to make an informed selection. 

  • Freeroll tournaments – For these tournaments, there is no entry fee charged. They are open to all players and may require a deposit or a certain amount of hours played for the casino to allow you to participate without charge. Freeroll tournaments allow players to develop real poker bankrolls for cash games and real-money tournaments.
  • Freezeouts – This is the most common type of poker competition. It allows a player to enter once. There are no rebuys allowed.
  • Rebuy Tournaments – These are tournaments in which players can rebuy their entry in a specific period of time if their stack falls below a certain level. Usually, this is permitted during the first hour of the game. 
  • Sit and Go Tournaments – While most tournaments have scheduled starting times, sit and go starts as soon as the required number of players joins. It can take place at a single table or at multiple tables.
  • Satellite Tournaments – Instead of dividing the prize pool among players, satellite tournaments award seats at other tournaments as prizes. The seats can be for online games and even big events like the World Series or the European Poker Tour.
  • Re-entry Tournaments – these competitions are similar to rebuy tournaments, but the player must be eliminated before paying to go back in. Those who re-enter are typically re-seated at another table.
Entering a Tournament

Entering a Tournament

As you can see, the way one enters a poker tournament online directly depends on which type of competition it is. Freerolls do not require buying the entry; all you need to do is honour the schedule and appear in said time when the game starts. Other types let players buy their entry and receive a specified number of chips to play with.

Poker Tournament Elements to Pay Attention To

Poker Tournament Elements to Pay Attention To

As you’re entering your first poker tournament, you need to keep in mind the structure – the things that are major parts in every event:

  • The number of starting chips
  • The blind level structure (the levels increase at set intervals)
  • The blind level time (the blinds can go up from every 3 minutes to every 2 hours)
  • Whether it is a Sit N Go (SNG) event or scheduled

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