poker.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Poker is a global phenomenon. The betting card game is an absolute staple, physically and online. Physically, there are two thousand casinos worldwide, and almost all of them have a poker table. Online, there are thousands of sites to play poker, and the current online poker player base exceeds 100 million. With such a large casual following, it is impressive that poker also managed to have a thriving competitive scene. While there are high-stakes cash games at famous casinos like the Bellagio, nothing says competitive poker more than the proverbial high-stakes tournament.
The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the most famous poker tournament. This annual competition has prize pools worth millions of dollars, is broadcasted globally and has been around for over 50 years. It is the most prominent event in competitive poker, and WSOP bracelets are universally seen as a symbol of poker greatness. If you want to compete in tournaments like the WSOP one day, you must start small. Thankfully, not every tournament is a high-stakes event. This poker guide will help introduce you to the tournament format, explaining what it is and what you need to know to win.
Cash games explained
Cash games are the most popular format, so they are probably the first kind of game that comes to mind when you hear poker. Cash games are played on one table, with players leaving, entering, and exchanging their chips for cash whenever they want. Players convert their money to chips to enter a cash game, and what they pay is their starting stack, known as a buy-in. There is also a minimum and maximum buy-in. The blinds are fixed and losing means you can just opt to pay another buy-in.
Tournament format significantly differs from cash games. Unlike cash games, where you can come and go as you please, tournaments require a massive time commitment. You have no idea how long or short you will be playing, so you must be completely free on the tournament day. The structure is also different; tournaments have a systematic elimination process instead of playing on one table until you quit. Every player enters by paying a set amount, and everyone starts with the same amount of chips. Tournaments are not about the chips you win; what matters is where you finish. There are different levels in a tournament, with each one having successively fewer players. The winner takes the largest portion of the prize pool, and most of those who compete in a tournament receive nothing. To help with eliminations, the blinds and antes (forced bets every player must make) increase with each level.
Types of tournaments
Poker tournaments also have three different versions, each with different approaches to losing:
Why play tournaments?
Though cash games are more famous for their ease of access and steady earnings, many still prefer tournaments. Here are several reasons to choose tournaments over cash games:
Things to keep in mind
Tournament strategy is wildly different from cash game strategy. They are complex and have many intricacies you need to know about. Here are a few things to remember so you can play your best:
The best place to find tournaments
We hope this article helped you know if tournaments are your preferred kinds of poker games. If you want to try them, you should visit sites like GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room. They offer a variety of tournaments so you can find which one suits you best. They also have free poker tracking software for every user, so sign up at GGPoker today!