Poker Tournaments

Sat, 20 Sep 2008 21:25

Poker Tournaments

Understanding poker tournaments, freerolls, sit and go.

Poker is one of the most well-known card games in the world. Whether people are only playing for fun or if they are gambling, poker is both enjoyable and competitive. Perhaps the most competitive form of poker play is the poker tournament. Basically, these are tournaments that are won by playing numerous games of poker until one person has eliminated all of the other poker players. Tournaments are played with five-card draw poker rules or other variations of the game, like Texas Hold 'Em. This article will cover some of the basic information about poker tournaments, including a discussion on the different kinds of poker tournaments.

Tournaments vs. ring games

Many of the poker tables that people see at casinos and other gambling establishments use the unstructured “ring game” style of play. Ring games are basically ongoing poker games that people can enter into or leave from any time in-between games. The money that is won or lost is determined by the amount that was bet during the poker hands played. Poker tournaments, on the other hand, are much more structured. Typically, tournaments will have a fixed buy-in rate for players to enter the game. They are then given chips that are used for betting throughout the tournament. Players are out of the game when they lose all of their chips. Usually, tournaments are played out until a single winner is determined. Some tournaments have prizes for all competitors, while others will only have prizes for the grand prize winner or the top three players.

Player rotation methods


There are basically two methods of player rotation that are used to determine the final winner. The first method is based on keeping a constant number of players at each table. This is done by rotating single or multiple players from table to table to keep the fixed number of players at each table. As the tournament progresses and the players become less, some tables are taken out of play until a final table is left and the grand-prize winner is determined. The second method of player rotation is referred to as “shootout” because it works in a similar fashion as single-elimination tournaments. In shootout tournaments, each table continues play until there is only one player at the table. These players then advance to another round until only one player remains.

Different types of poker tournaments

* Multi-table tournament (MTT) – This kind of tournament involves the most number of players, since they often have tens or hundreds of tables. Most of the largest and most prestigious tournaments are those of the MTT type. Most MTT players come from satellite tournaments, which are held at smaller places. The winners at satellite tournaments go on to compete in the major tournament.

* Single-table tournament (STT) – As opposed to an MTT, an STTs is a tournament that is held at a single table. Once the table has enough players to begin play, the tournament is started. This type of tournament is often referred to as “sit and go” (SNG) tournaments because of the fact that the tournament goes when enough players are seated. In effect, STTs are played in the same way as the final table at MTTs. These sit and go poker tournaments are both fast and popular among poker players and can be very profitable.