Beginner strategy guide to online poker tournaments

Poker strategy

Beginner strategy guide to online poker tournaments

Online poker tournaments are fun way to spend some time to challenge yourself and maybe try to win some money if you get lucky. Don’t get me wrong, poker is game of skill, but in poker tournaments, you will need some luck to win it as often there are hundreds or thousands of players playing in the tournament. If you are completely new in the game, you might want to read online poker guide for beginners first.

But lets get started.

Early game play strategy

In early, when everyone has a lot of chips compared to blind level. Best strategy is to play tight, especially in the early positions. You might be fine to play bit looser on button and big blind, but in general it is better to play tight and trying to avoid very difficult situations on post flop.

You will find in small stakes tournaments that players will do a lot of goosy things with poor hands, so just be patient and wait a good hand to take advantage of players who are just playing too many weak hands.

On early positions, play only medium pocket pairs and suited broad way hands plus ace-king and ace-queen. You even want to exclude some of the worst suited broad way hands off from here, like Q-T suited and K-T suited.

On middle and late positions you can start looking to open small pocket pairs and more low suited connectors like 8-7 suited hands, and on button you can open as weak hands as King-8 suited and all the suited aces.

Middle game play strategy

This is the stage where stacks are getting bit shorted and bubble is getting closer as well. Here you need to start looking to play bit more hands and taking more risks to build up your stack before bubble so you have some more room to play.

Don’t get too wild though, keep in mind that tournaments are mainly about surviving and finding good spots to play a big pot.

When bubble gets really close, your strategy depends how big stack you have compared to other players in your table. If you are the biggest stack, you can play a lot of hands and try to steal blinds cheaply as short stacks has to play really tight to survive the bubble.

If you are short stack, don’t even try to take a cheap flop with mediocre hands. Often the right way to play is to fold or go all in with a stack lower then 25 big blinds and avoiding being on a risk of elimination.

Late game when bubble is burst

Here you can start playing more hands again and taking more risks as you are in the money already and pay just are very small until final table. On late position and in blinds you can take more flops with speculative hands trying to win more chips as closer to final table and in final table having a big stack is really good to have.

After bubble have burst, you will see a lot of player with less than 20 big blinds starting to go all-in way wired hoping to get an all-in situation and hoping to double up.

Here you can’t just wait for a premium hands as the blinds will chip away your stack slowly. Depending which positions opponent shoves, you can easily call with hands like Ace-ten offsuit if the all-in cames from late position, but if the all-in comes from early position, it is better to give them credit for a good hand and call much tigher, like ace-queen and better types of hands.

Final table strategy

If you manage to reach final table, congratulations! This is the fun part of poker as the stakes are getting higher and you start feeling pressure on each hand.

Good guideline for final tables is you have to look how big is your stack compared to others. You want lower stacks to bust our before you do as the price jumps are getting big now. With good hands, you still need to risk your tournament life even though there are few smaller stacks as your aim is still to win the whole tournament.

If you are the smallest stack with a small stack, you can go all-in fairly loosely and trying to win blinds and re-steal often against bigger stacks as they will open a lot of hands which can’t call a decent sized all-ins.

But be aware that smaller stacks are still opening tightly, so do not try to push them off with a mediocre hand as they will play quite tightly still.

Hope this article gave you some idea how you should play in different stages of poker tournaments. To find where you can play online poker tournaments, visit our online poker sites page. Good luck on tables!