Tournaments are a great way to enjoy time playing poker and as a result there are many different types poker tournaments that one can get involved in online. Playing in a tournament is much different that than playing in a cash game. When a playing a tournament the blinds begin low and then increase as the tournament progresses. Depending on the type of tournament being played the blinds will increase at different increments and also will have different times applied for those increases.
As you begin playing a tournament you will find there are some players who will play aggressively at the beginning of the tournament. Many will do this to try to establish a reputation and intimidate other players at the table. This is not the ideal time to play aggressively as blinds are low and the gains are therefore low. The risk of putting yourself in a position against a stronger hand and potentially being knocked out is real. It is a common mistake made by those with limited experience. The smarter time to be more aggressive is when the blinds are higher as people will think more before chasing a hand or playing loosely. The only exception to this rule is when playing in a short stacked tournament that requires aggressive play. Be sure you understand the type of tournament you are playing in order to determine the best way to play in that particular tournament.
One common type of tournament that is popular online is sit’n’go’s. Sit’N’Go’s allow for games to begin on an instant basis as soon as the pre-requisite number of players have bought into the game. These usually are six player or nine player games but can include multi-table sit’n’go’s as well. The largest sit’n’go will be 180 players generally. When you are playing in a sit’n’go you should play tight as usually only the top three finishers will be paid. Sit back and wait until the pack is reduced to five players or less depending on the number of players allowed in the game. This is the best time to begin getting more aggressive as people will tend to sit back a bit more with the hopes of making the money. The opportunities to steal pots are greater at this stage of the tournament.
You will find head up tournaments as well online. These are good to play as it allows you to develop your skills in a head up situation which if you play tournaments a lot you will eventually face. Generally the one in a heads up match that is the aggressor will often be the one to win. You cannot sit back and fold to each hand you are raised in as the odds change dramatically in a heads up tournament. Often hands come down to show down and even getting a low pair can often be the best hand so you will need to adjust your play.
Starting out in a tournament:
Ideally start off playing low buy in heads up games so as your losses are small while you build your skills in this unique variation of the game. Do not be afraid to be the aggressor or re-raise your opponent when they raise you on a hand if you have the stronger hand. Bluffing is also an important aspect of heads up play and this will allow you to improve your bluffing skills.