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Basics of Poker Tournaments

By Charles Hopkins Published 03/13/2006 | Games

Online poker rooms are now huge on the internet and with several websites offering its players multiple tournaments to play in, it is always better to know the very basics of a poker tournament. To start with, it should be made clear that there are different kinds of tournaments that are being organized and rules for each are different.

Single-table as against multi-table tournament

In a single-table tournament about 8 to 10 players play on a single table. They start off with a set number of chips and each player has to leave the table as he runs out of his chips. There is no one to replace him on his seat once he leaves. This is the simplest kind of tournament and it gets over when one player wins all the chips. The prize money is generally shared by the top three players with the winner usually getting about 50% of the total prize money. 

Multi-table events are what most of the online poker rooms specialize in. In these tournaments literally thousands of people participate in, and they are all divided into multiple tables and as people bust out the number of tables go on reducing until the tournament has a single table is left when we get our eventual winner. In multi-table events more people share the prize money with about the top 5% to 10% players winning some money.

Sit-and-go as against scheduled tournaments

Sit-and-go tournaments are good when you dont have much time to spare and you want to have a sense of how it is like to play in the final table of a bigger multi-table tournament. In this type of an event you just sign up for the event and once enough players have signed up for the same table you can start. 

In scheduled tournaments you have the dates announced much earlier and you have to also enroll before. Generally all the big multi-table poker tournaments are of the scheduled type.

Play-money vs freeroll vs real money

If you want to enter a poker tournament, you have to pay a certain buy-in. now you can opt for tournaments where all you need is play money credits. This is a great way to learn the game as you dont run the risk of losing financially. And if you win youll earn plenty of play money credits which you can use up later. 

In a freeroll tournament you dont need to pay anything for the buy-in but you can earn some money if you win. Some sits allow you to play just by signing up but generally you get to play in exchange of your frequent player points. The websites offer you these events to keep you loyal to their sites.  

In a real money tournament you have to pay in real money for your buy-in. the prize figures are huge also.

Satellite as against regular events

Satellite events have a relatively low buy-in amount and the prize generally comes in the form of an entry in to much larger tournaments where the buy-in amount may be too steep for many. You can even gain entry to offline tournaments by winning online satellite poker events.

However most tournaments are regular events where you have to deposit a buy-in amount to be eligible to play and the accumulated buy-in money is used as the prize money. 

As there are a lot of choices you should choose wisely and decide on the event keeping in mind the your playing competence and the cash you have in reserve.