Free Poker Tournaments Online For Money
One of the fastest growth areas of free online poker play lies with tournaments. Free to enter poker tournaments are competitions set up by poker rooms and casinos to enable players from across the world to compete against each other for cash winnings – albeit without the risk or the need to stake real money when entering the tournament. This allows new players an excellent opportunity to hone and improve their skills, while making for fun, competitive poker play for all levels of ability.
Free online poker tournaments give players the opportunity to compete for cash prizes and build up their bankroll without the additional risk that comes as standard with regular poker play. So how do these poker tournaments work, and what are the key elements of freeroll poker tournament play that you should bear in mind?
What Are Freeroll Poker Tournaments Online?
Free poker tournaments, also called freerolls, involve a large number of players competing at multiple tables on a round by round basis for cash prizes while the registration for the tournament is free. The aim of the game is to win all of the chips, and players will start by playing extensively against their original table opponents. Players play at their table until numbers begin to thin out, and a player is deemed out of the game when they have lost all their chips. Some tournaments, depending on the rules allow one or more re-buy attempts, where players can effective reset their chip numbers to their original amount. However, this is not allowed in all tournaments and so players should consult the rules before expecting a re-buy opportunity.
In free tournament play, it is often the case that large numbers of poker players get together to compete for the prizes. This invariably means spreading the game across a number of different tables, which ‘collapse’ to balance up the numbers as place start to become vacant. With this method of tournament play, everything boils down to one, final table, where the remaining players battle it out in winner-takes-all style to establish an overall winner. Again, depending on the specific rules of the tournament there may also be consolation prizes for those that make it to the final stages of the game.
As the name implies, free poker tournaments don’t usually require a buy-in or any other deposits for play, yet the cash prizes remain available to the winning free player. In this sense, tournaments provide a great competitive training ground for players without the threat of losing any money if things take a turn for the worse.
Advantages of Free Tournaments
This types of tournaments have a number of advantages to individual players, and it’s worth taking these into account when deciding whether to play and choosing the right tournament for you.
- No Risk: perhaps the most obvious advantage is that the only risk with free poker tournaments is your own time. With no cash deposits required, the prospect of competing for real prizes in free tournament play is much less daunting than would otherwise be the case – perfect for new players trying to find their feet in the world of online poker.
- Competitive Training: there’s no substitute for live play when it comes to training and helping you refine your approach to strategy and playing the game. Free tournaments present the option for players to improve their game, and make strides towards becoming a more accomplished player.
- Meet Other Poker Players: there’s nothing like a tournament to introduce you to a wealth of new players and different playing styles, and this is fantastic experience for those setting their sights on bigger and better things. Much more than just a social occasion, the opportunity to compete against different players will help make you a better player.
- Try Out Different Poker Rooms: at its most basic level, tournament play enables you to sample different online poker rooms and the services they offer before choosing where to play on a more regular basis. One step better than reading reviews, actually getting involved in a free play tournament allows you to try out the full service of the relevant poker room with no obligation to deposit or return to the site – this makes it easier for those choosing a more permanent poker room to narrow down their options.
Disadvantages of Free Poker Tournaments
Of course, freeroll poker tournaments aren’t all tulips and sunshine – there are some minor drawbacks that players should also bear in mind before getting too excited.
- Bad Play: generally, free play poker games are a lot more volatile because players do not make rational decisions about how to play the game. When there is real money involved, players are likely to be far more conservative and make decisions with much more attention, rather than taking unnecessary and unrealistic risks which tends to happen in free play. This means that the results are often a less accurate reflection of true playing abilities, simply because of the psychological differences between risking money and not on a given hand.
- Unreliable Opponents: on a similar vein, those opponents that you do play against may be much more unreliable in tournament play, and will be much more fleeting. For someone to lose interest in a free game, all it takes is for them to decide not to go back to it – there’s no skin in the game. This means free poker play is seen as much more disposable, or optional as compared to paid play, which leads to greater numbers of unreliable or missing players. While most tournament set ups are designed to cater to this effect, it can still be frustrating for those that want to play the tournament for real.
- Effort vs. Reward: particularly when free play tournaments get down to the final stages, players can find themselves spending much longer on the game without necessarily bigger prizes as a result. When it boils down to the final, usually highly competitive few, games can last for a number of hours in order to establish the winner. This can make free tournaments feel like a bit of a slog, so it’s important that you’re prepared and ready to sit it out in order to win free cash.
Preparing for Tournament Play
In order to make free poker tournaments pay, you need to give yourself the best possible chance of winning the day. While it doesn’t always follow that the best player wins, there are steps you can take to improve your game ahead of free tournament poker in order to create the best possible environment for your challenge.
Firstly, it’s imperative that you read all the rules of the tournament game before you get started. The rules in Texas Hold'em tournaments can vary quite significantly between different providers, so getting a feel for them early on is essential so you have the best oversight of what you’re doing.
Secondly, you should also brush up on the fundamentals of poker (where necessary) before getting started, and it’s usually worthwhile playing a few demo hands on the site where the poker tournament will be hosted. This can help you establish a working knowledge of the individual site which will make things easier when you’re thrown in at the deep-end in the tournament for real.
Free poker tournaments are great fun, and their sharp learning curve makes them ideal for new players or those that want to develop that competitive edge to their game. Furthermore, for those that put the work in there is the potential for more significant prizes to be won – all with no deposit and no risk to you.