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Poker Tournaments

In case you ever wondered why the tournament section is always much more popular than the cash game tables in any online poker room, you don’t need to ponder further. The answer is quite simple: poker tournaments are not just trendy, they actually feature much better expected value for the players taking part in them.

If you are getting along on a flimsy bankroll, and you’re looking to build it up a tad, you should definitely play in tournaments rather than cash games. The reasons are the following: in a cash game, you pay rake on every hand you actively participate in. At the end of the month, that adds up to a lot of money. In tournament poker, you only pay a one-time tournament fee. The buy-ins for tournaments look like this: $10+$1 where the $10 is the actual buy-in and the $1 (this is usually around 10% of the buy-in itself, or less in more expensive tourneys) is the tournament fee. That is the cumulated rake you’ll pay for the tournament, regardless of how long and how many hands it takes you to win or bust out. What that means, is that for a limited amount of money, you get to play far more hands than you’d be able to play in a cash game.

Another huge advantage tournaments have over cash games is that one doesn’t necessarily have to win a tournament to win money. Making it to the money (past the bubble) is well enough. MTTs (Multi Table Tournaments) feature an excellent return on a player’s initial investment (the buy-in) and that means that once a money position is reached, the player virtually guarantees himself a double-up. The higher position one obtains, the bigger the payout.

STTs (Single Table Tournaments) possess one huge advantage over MTTs. In a MTT every one player will go up against several hundred or even thousand opponents. That means that while the return/buy-in ratio is excellent indeed, the chances of making it to the money are reduced. In a STT one only needs to survive 4-7 other players, and he/she is already in the money. Sure, you cannot compare the return/investment ratio that a STT has with the one featured by a MTT. Still, this means that STTs feature a much smaller variance than MTTs, and if you’re playing on a very small bankroll, (possibly a free one) that’s exactly what you need.

If you’re a cash player, be aware that tournament strategy is different from cash play strategy. Learn the basics, (STT and MTT strategies differ too) and make sure you get the biggest possible bang for your online poker buck.

You can find poker tournaments variation games: 180 players, qualify to poker event, etc. in the following leading online poker rooms:

# Poker Room Summary Bonus US Accepted Bonus Code Review
Ignition Poker
  • US players accepted
  • Mobile friendly
  • casino + Sportsbet + Poker
  • Bitcoin Option
$1100 Read review
Americas Cardroom
  • Accept USA Players
  • Great Poker Offers
  • $100k Guarantee
  • Bad Beat Jackpot
$1000 Automatic Read review
BetOnline Poker
  • Hourly freerolls
  • $150k monthly guarantee
  • US players welcome
$900 Read review
Party Poker
  • Country Specific Freerolls
  • Mobile Poker Trainer
  • Poker, Casino Backgammon and Bingo
$100+$50 PKR500 Read review
bwin Poker
  • In addition get $50 Free!
  • Generous sign-up bonus
  • Online poker, casino and Sports Betting
$500 Read review

* Check our poker reviews page to get more details on all online poker rooms on our site.