A Guide To Getting Into Online Poker Tournaments

With the rise of the Internet and technological advances, so too has online poker. Some players prefer online poker tournaments as they can essentially play it anywhere as long as they have their smart devices and Internet access. Gone were the days when the only option to gamble legally with money was at a casino that was miles away from home. Today, all you have to do is to whip out your phone to get the chance at winning some real money. 

Online poker can be very complex and foreign, regardless of whether you’re a novice or an experienced player. To keep it simple, you should first learn about the types of online poker there are. If you’re new to online poker, don’t worry –– this article’s got you covered. Read on to get a breakdown of the world of online poker.

Types of Online Poker Tournaments

The two main types of online poker tournaments that one should get acquainted with are Sit and Gos (SNGs) and Multi-Table Tournaments (MTTs).

Sit and Gos (SNGs)

SNGs only begin when enough players have entered, or rather, taken a seat. This number ranges from just two players to as many as nine players. In other words, SNGs are flexible and unscheduled. 

Multi-Table Tournaments (MTTs)

On the other hand, MTTs don’t require a minimum capacity and have scheduled timings. If there are many entrants, multiple tables will be opened and the players will be randomly assigned to the different tables. One popular example of MTTs is the Americas Cardroom website –– click here to learn what they’re saying about acr.

Main Types of Online Poker Tournaments 

SNGs and MTTs only show the difference in the structures and scheduling of online poker tournaments but there are more layers to that such as the rules of the game. Here are some variations. 


Deepstacks refer to the big tower of chips that a player starts out with, hence the word “deep stacks”. Although there’s no fixed range on the number of chips that can be classified as a deepstack tournament, you’ll definitely know that it’s a deepstack tornament once you spot long, towering stacks of chips. Generally, deepstack tournaments attract more advanced players who are highly skilled and last longer than usual. If you’re just starting out, you might want to steer clear of the deepstacks tournament for now.


By far one of the top favorites of many poker players, guaranteed tournaments will let one player walk away with attractive cash incentives. A fixed cash prize for a guaranteed tournament will be made beforehand by the poker site. This means that even if the total of the prize pool is less than the amount set, the deficit will be made up by the poker site. Cash prizes could range from a thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. You can score big in these tournaments.


Speaking of scoring big, here’s another poker tournament that players go to for greater cash prizes. In rebuy tournaments, players can purchase more chips during the designated rebuy period, but only if their number of chips is below a certain number. Rebuy tournaments are fun precisely because the prize pools can grow extremely large, as players tend to gamble during rebuy to gather a large sum of chips. Essentially, as long as you pay, you’ll retain your spot at the table –– which often motivates players to take the risk and buy-in a larger stack. 

However, rebuy tournaments can be more costly than normal entry fees, especially if you’re going to rebuy and add on more chips. As such, players who aren’t planning on rebuying might end up at a disadvantage to riskier players. Another potential problem in rebuy tournaments is the temptation to overspend when you’re caught up in the moment. You have to exercise real self-discipline!


Although reentry poker tournaments are often known as rebuy tournaments, the two aren’t always the same. Rebuy tournaments allow players to purchase more chips when needed. In contrast, reentry tournaments only allow players to reenter and buy more chips only when you totally ran out of them. In rebuy tournaments, the existing player is treated as a brand new player, and will be given new chips and seats as though it is their first time playing.


Did somebody say freebies? Freeroll tournaments do not require a buy-in but have the same cash prize incentives as other tournaments. The amount might not be as much, but hey, who would complain about winning money without spending a single cent? However, freeroll tournaments do not come by often. They’re usually given as a reward to players for accomplishing certain tasks or for their consistent support. Hence, you’ll need to look out for opportunities.


In a bounty tournament, select players or all players will have a unique target placed on their heads. Players win extra cash by knocking out bounty players, and are able to keep their winnings regardless of where they end up finishing in the tournament. Because of this, many players are able to make large profits even before the tournament comes to an end!

Choosing A Tournament

Now that you’re more familiar with the various types of online poker tournaments, you might be wondering where you should start. It can be rather overwhelming with so many choices to choose from. Here are some factors to consider.

Your Budget

First and foremost, always set a budget and stick to it. The buy-ins for any tournaments should be your primary focus as that’s the first barrier to entering the game. Buy-ins can start from as low as $0.01 to as high as $100,000. Start small and slowly ease into the bigger tournaments as you gain more experience and confidence.

Magnitude And Direction

Again, start small. There’s no need to rush into the bigger tournaments with hundreds or even thousands of people. Those will take at least half a day. Join a smaller-scale tournament that lasts shorter and slowly builds up your concentration and stamina for the big matches in the future.


Take note of the information about the tournament in detail. Is there a scheduled time? What’s the payout structure like? The last thing you want is to invest a large sum of money in a game that you’re not expecting.

Prize Pool

Well, pretty sure that this is one of the first things that players will usually check but hey, it’s worth a reminder. Poker tournaments can get exhausting so try to find a prize pool that will keep you motivated and focused.


We hope that you’re not overloaded with new information about online poker today. There’s still so much more about online poker that is not covered in this article and really, it is only the tip of the iceberg. The best thing you can do now is to read up and find out more about online poker and maybe play a few rounds while keeping in mind the pointers provided in this article. Good luck!

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