5 Tips for Winning an Online Poker Tournament
Many people enjoy participating in online poker tournaments. Often, people play poker tournaments online for small stakes that end up paying fairly decent results. While there are many people who want to get involved with online poker tournaments, not everyone knows how to get started. Want to be able to win at online poker? Not sure how to get started? Keep reading for helpful hints at winning an online poker tournament.
The Lucrativeness of Small Stakes Online Poker
People who enjoy small stakes online poker tournaments say they like them because they are fun and exciting. A lot of people use online poker tournaments as a form of relaxation. Other people get into playing small stakes poker tournaments because they can be lucrative. There are many stories of people putting in a hundred dollars and walking out with thousands. And while people have the hope of instant riches and plentiful profits—that isn’t how small stakes poker works.
Also, many players find the small stakes poker field to be lucrative because the quality of play in the tournaments is poor compared to what you would find at a higher stakes tournament. Big money tournaments generally draw in those professional players you see on the poker channels. The small stakes games tend to draw players who are just beginning to play poker, or who are recreational players with no strategy.
However, winning these poker tournaments is not like shooting fish in a barrel. If you want to be able to be successful at small stakes poker tournaments, you need information on winning an online poker tournament. If you apply these tips on winning an online poker tournament to your play, you will find these small stakes tournaments both fun and lucrative as well.
These Tournaments Can be Long—So Prepare Yourself
If you are looking for a tournament that you can be in and out of in an hour, these small stakes tournaments are not for you. Most of the small stakes tournaments have large numbers of players, and can take several hours to complete, so don’t begin play unless you know you have time to complete the tournament. Also, you need to keep in mind that the more successful you are in the tournament, the longer the tournament will take, so long tournaments are an indication of success.
One tip for winning an online poker tournament is to be sure that you are playing in a tournament that fits your schedule, and will allow you time to work or sleep. For example, if you have a day off on Wednesday, then it makes sense for you to play in a Tuesday night online poker tournament because you can sleep in the next day. Keep in mind what your schedule is like before you begin play, because having to quit in the middle of a tournament because you need to go to sleep
Swings in Small Stakes Tournaments Are Normal
If you are new to poker tournaments, you may not be prepared for the swings that a small stakes poker tournament has. The reason poker tournaments have such large swings is the sheer number of people who are playing, which adds to the unpredictability. Also, because you are playing with amateurs, you need to be prepared for them to raise and call with ridiculous amounts and holdings. To win an online poker tournament, keep this tip in mind: You need to make sure that your bankroll is always 200-300 times your initial buy-in amount. That way, you can survive all the little ups and downs of amateur craziness and come out ahead in the long run.
Simplicity is Key
One thing that amateur players do all the time in poker tournaments is that they try and run some elaborate scheme for poker the way they’ve seen it done in the movies. They will bluff all the time when they have no game, or they will try and talk their way through a bluffing strategy. One winning tip for an online poker tournament is to know that amateurs only are concerned with the cards they have in their hand at the time. You will need to be thinking about what cards you have, and what cards you need. Your opponents, who are just trying to get to a showdown so they can bluff and walk away with some winnings won’t be thinking strategically.
In these cases, you need to keep your card playing simple. Let the cards flow, and fall how they fall. You need to get the most money possible from your large hands, and escape with as little money lost as possible from your smaller hands. When you have a strong hand, take advantage of it—because most likely your opponents will think you are bluffing, and will call your bets, which means you can come away with a nice pot.
Pay Attention to the Bets Placed
Inevitably in online poker tournaments, some amateur player is going to wail and gnash his teeth over the hand he has, and say that he never has any luck. Winning an online poker tournament tips mean that you don’t listen to what players say—you watch what they do instead. Many poker players talk too much and don’t pay attention to what is happening in front of them, which means that you will be able to carry off some nice pots while they’re talking. It is especially important to watch players reactions during the flip, and the river card (depending on the kind of poker you’re playing). Often, weak players will try to catch you on the flip and the river cards. Remember, patience and persistence wins poker pots.
The Balanced Style Is Not For You
Some “experts” like to say that they play poker using a “balanced style”, which is an elaborate, long-winded way of constantly bluffing. For example, some players will never play the same hand the same way twice, because they worry that reveals a particular style to their opponents. While a balanced style makes sense in small, high stakes tournaments, it doesn’t make much sense in smaller tournaments with thousands of players. The chances of you coming up against one of these players again and having them recognize your pattern is extremely small.
A tip for winning online poker tournaments would be that this is the time you can play as unbalanced a style as you want. If you want to make the same bets each time, do it. If you want to try varying your bets depending on the hand and the player to practice your bluffing, do it. If you want to bet $5 per hand every single time and drive someone crazy, now is the time to try it. Who knows? Through inventive play, you may come up with a strategy you really like.
While winning at small stakes poker tournaments can be challenging, with a little practice –ok, with a lot of practice—you can master the art of small stakes poker. If you can master small stakes poker tournaments, and make a little money at the same time, you can then begin to move up the food chain to larger and larger tournaments. That way, all of your practice will not only prepare you for the larger tournaments, but will have given you a nice bankroll to get started.
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As an avid video poker player and lover of real money online blackjack, Thomas is the founder and guiding voice behind the Top Casino Picks community. A project manager at a London based Fortune 500 tech company, Thomas is an online casino enthusiast who founded TCP as a hobby to help other players avoid the headaches and hassles he has encountered when trying to find the best real money online casinos.
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