Everybody loves cash games. They are short, sweet, and highly rewarding. A few all-ins at the right time, while hitting the nuts, and you’re set for the day. No hassles of beating everyone on the table before you can cash out your hard-earned winnings. No waiting for the rest of the tables to finish their respective hands, before you can move to a bigger table. Further, no worries of tiring yourself out to win an amount that you could have won at a high blinds table.
But tournaments have their own charm. There is no other way to learn poker in its best way possible. Tournaments are to Texas Hold’em Poker what test matches are to cricket. That’s where a player’s best comes out. The shots, versus the gameplay. But of course, there’s enough to cricket and Texas Hold’em Poker, as can be read by a human. However, there’s more to poker tournaments that meets the eye. So, we thought to give you some tips on how to go about playing poker tournaments.
So, without further ado, let’s get on to five tips on how to ace poker tournaments.
1) Steal the blinds
The blinds are worth a lot when starting out. A lot of players will fold in the first few rounds of the tournament. But the rest of the players will go all-in. There’s no use going all-in in the first few hands, or you’re out. What matters in the first few hands is getting an edge over the rest of the players. How do you do that? Steal the blinds!
2) Be patient with your moves
As discussed earlier, a lot of people go all-in in the first few rounds. Others will make stupid moves to get a chip lead early on. Be strong. Those who survive the first few rounds with a sizeable amount of chips with them, wade through to the money. Aggressiveness comes, but much later in the game, when there are lesser opponents left.
3) Take the table when shorthanded
Being short-handed in poker means playing with lesser players than a table allows, i.e. 8-9. This is when the game becomes a lot more interesting, and you can force people to make mistakes which they wouldn’t. The urge to make random moves is much higher when a few people have left. There’s a psychological will of playing aggressively. Take the entire table, then.
4) Heads Up? Go all out!
Heads-up raises your odds of winning much higher. A single face card can do more damage to an opponent in a heads-up, than when starting a tournament. The odds of the other player also hitting good hole cards is much less in heads-up. So you can go all out. Try bluffing, 3-bets, 4-bets and the like. But realize that the other player also plays as well, and thus he has beaten the rest of the tourney players. So, be wary of his play.
5) Hold yourself tight on the bubble.
It’s the bubble that bursts the bubbles of a lot of players. The bubble means that stage in a tournament when upon the removal of one or two players from the tournament, the rest of the players go in-the-money. This is when players start getting erratic with their moves. The rush of being in-the-money has lost many a good player his entire buy-in. And losing a race with only a few steps remaining from the finishing line is more embarrassing than it seems.
So, now that you’re a little more aware of how to go about a poker tournament, we think you’re ready to hit the tables. Check out multi-table tournaments to learn the most from any poker tournament. When all stages of a poker tournament have been spoken about, 9stacks awaits your entry into one of its tournaments, trying their best to give you the most amount of winnings.