Playing Online Poker Tournaments

Online poker tournament play is completely different from playing in cash games. While the basic rules of the game have not changed, the mechanics are so different that many things that are proper to do in cash games will not work at all in tournament scenarios. There are a number of important differences in tournament play and they include the fact that blinds are always increasing, your table changes with regularity, and the fact that the pace of the game is usually much faster. Being able to address properly these issues will help to improve greatly your play in the sites.

The fact that the blinds are always increasing is something that should be at the forefront of your mind when you are playing poker in a tournament environment. Because the blinds are always increasing, you cannot sit and wait for the premium hands to come to you. In order to be successful, you need to open up the acceptable range of hands and make big plays when the opportunities arise. Every chip that you leave on the table is an increasingly difficult thing to get back and as the tournament goes on, the importance of having a solid foundation becomes more and more important.

Additionally, because the table you are sitting at is always changing, your chance to feel out your opponents is greatly reduced. In a cash game, you can often be playing with the same people for many hours on end and get a very good feeling for how they play. This is not the case in a tournament scenario where you are changing tables multiple times in an hour. As such, it is important to focus on the numbers a lot and, if you are able to get a read on the players quickly, to use that to your advantage while you can.

The pace in tournament poker is usually much faster than traditional cash games. This pace can often fluster players who are not used to the rapid pace of play. When you are playing Texas Hold’em in a tournament, you need to make your decisions quickly and go with them. Tournament poker is no time to second-guess yourself and playing slowly can result with you behind the curve, which is a terrible place to find yourself. Make decisions quickly and either raise or fold but do not spend a lot of time ruminating on a hand unless it is a situation where most or all of your chips are at stake.

Getting acclimated to online tournament play can take a while. The differences between cash game poker and tournament poker are extensive and the only way to get a good understanding on the mechanics of tournament play is to sign up and struggle through some small stakes tournaments. Understanding the differences and what is important will go a long way to taking you farther in your tournaments but experience is definitely the best teacher.