How To Play Tournament Poker

Learn Tournament Poker

Improve your chances of placing in the money by learning how to play tournament poker. When should you be bold and when should you be conservative? When should you raise and when should you sandbag? These tips will improve your chances of placing higher in Hold'em tournaments.

The secret to tournament poker is the size of your chip stack. Your chip stack is your weapon in a poker tournament. You use it to beat the other players. Being able to put pressure on players is a huge advantage and gives you the edge when playing a hand.

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Bold play when no one else has raised is a good play, as it may win you the pot right then. If your hand is strong, it is a superior play, as it will build the pot. The time to play conservative is when others are raising, and remember an ace king is not always a winning hand. If after the flop, you have trips of any denomination; think about sandbagging as you have an opportunity to get maximum benefit from the hand. The caveat here is if there is a possible straight or flush from the flop. You then need to make the other players pay to draw.

Another tip is play suited connectors early in the tournament when the blinds are low. If you make the hand, you stand the chance of winning a big pot and if not, you are only out the blinds. This is a good time to try to build your chip stack, so you have the chips when they are needed later in the tournament. As stated before, chip stack size is king.

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If a player or two raises before it gets to you, then you need a better hand to call. If there are no raises, then you can be less restrictive on the hands you would call with. Gut feeling will also be a guide, if you are running lucky.

Late in the tournament, it is sometimes wise to lay back and let the more aggressive players go at each other. You can gain money ranking by letting the other players knock each other out of the tournament. If you do get pocket aces, play them aggressively, as you do not want to let a player get in cheap and then outdraw you.

One final note, tournament poker is a lifetime learning experience. You can learn the rules, but it takes experience to become a quality player.


by Bones at Poker Room on March 22, 2007

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