Poker Tips

Poker Tournament Formats And Their Pros And Cons

Poker tournaments are a great way to test your skills against other players and a chance to win a few bucks while at it. But with so many different tournament formats, how do you know which one is right for you? Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most popular formats and their pros and cons.

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It’s the most common type of tournament. Everyone in a freezeout starts with the same amount of chips and plays until one person has them all.


First and foremost, freezeout tournaments are simple to understand and follow. Each player starts with the same amount of chips, and when they run out, they’re out of the tournament.

Lastly, freezeouts end faster compared to other tournament formats. It is because the number of players gradually decreases as the tournament progresses.


One major downside to freezeout tournaments is that once you’ve lost all your chips, you’re off the poker table and out of the tournament. It can be frustrating, especially if you make one small mistake early on and get eliminated. Another downside is that these types of tournaments can be unpredictable. If a player gets lucky and wins a few big pots early on, they could easily take the whole thing down.

Lastly, freezeouts can be less exciting than other formats. Since the goal is simply to outlast everyone else, there’s not as much room for big comebacks or daring plays. Plus, those who have already been limited no longer have anything to do but sit around and watch other players play or go home.

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This type of tournament allows players to buy more chips once they’ve lost all their original ones. So that there won’t be infinite comebacks for those with huge bankrolls, there are usually set times when players can rebuy, and sometimes there’s a limit to how many times they can do it.


The biggest advantage rebuy tournaments offer players is a second chance. If you make a mistake early on or get unlucky, you can simply rebuy and start again. It means you can play more aggressively without fear of being eliminated since you always have the option to buy more chips.

Rebuy tournaments also tend to be more exciting than freezeouts. This is because players are constantly coming and going, and there’s always the possibility of a big comeback. Plus, with the added risk of having to rebuy, players are usually more inclined to make daring plays with all sorts of poker hands.

Lastly, rebuy tournaments tend to have larger prize pools than freezeouts. It is because more players buy in multiple times, and the casino or poker room usually takes a cut of each rebuy.


A major disadvantage of rebuy tournaments is that they can be unfair to those with smaller bankrolls. If you’re up against someone that is pretty good and has deep pockets, they can keep rebuying. Also, these types of tournaments can be confusing for new players. With all the different rules and regulations, it’s easy to make a mistake and cost yourself money.

Lastly, rebuy tournaments can sometimes be slow. With players rebuying multiple times back into the poker game, this format can be a slog.

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While some satellite tournaments have cash prizes, it’s not the most common prize. Rather, it’s an entry into a larger tournament.


The biggest upside of satellite tournaments is that they give players a chance to win entry into a bigger tournament that they might not otherwise be able to afford.

Another advantage is that satellite tournament players are more competitive than in other tournament formats. As previously said, the opportunity to get into a bigger tournament is a huge motivating factor.

Lastly, satellites tend to have larger prize pools than regular tournaments. The casino or poker room usually takes a cut of each entry fee, and there are often multiple winners in each satellite.


One disadvantage is that these types of tournaments can be slow. It is because there are often more players than in non-satellite tournaments because many of them are enticed by the promise of entering a bigger tournament and bagging the bigger prize.

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A freeroll tournament is one that has no buy-in.


The biggest draw of freeroll tournaments is that, as the name suggests, they are free. Another plus is that freerolls tend to be more exciting than regular tournaments. It is because the entry is free, so there are more players. And since there is no buy-in, players are usually more inclined to take risks.


One disadvantage is that these types of tournaments can be slow. It is because there can be a lot of players in freeroll tournaments for the reasons stated above. Also, the free entry makes the prizes not as big as in a regular tournament.

Finally, some freerolls are not open to everyone. Those that are not are often only offered to players who have reached a certain level in the casino or online poker room’s loyalty program. It means that new players or non-regulars of a particular casino or online poker room might not be able to take advantage of them.

Which format is for you?

The type of tournament you should choose depends on your goals and preferences. If you want to win big, a rebuy tournament might be for you. If you’re looking for excitement, then a satellite tournament might be for you. And if you’re on a budget, then a freeroll tournament might be for you.

Whatever your goals and preferences, there’s a tournament for you. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start playing! And if you need to up your poker game before joining one, sign up at GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room. There, you won’t have trouble finding online poker matches. They even host tournaments, too, so keep your eyes peeled.

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