Tournaments Game Guide

Poker Tournament Strategies


Poker Tournament Strategies – How to Win Poker Tournaments

Optimal poker tournament strategy depends on the type of tournament that is being played.

There are different formats of poker tournaments and poker strategies for tournaments will depend on the type of tournament you are playing. Here we will discuss some basic poker tournament strategies for multi table tournaments, single table tournaments and satellite tournaments.

Multi Table Tournament Strategy

Multi table poker tournaments can be broken into three stages – early stage, middle stage and late or final table stage. You need to work out a strategy for each stage of the tournament as each stage will require slightly different playing techniques.

The Early Stage of Multi Table Tournaments


The early stage of multi table tournaments will be full of fish and loose play. This is the time when you should be playing a tight conservative game without bluffing. Only play aggressively when you are holding an excellent hand. You can afford to be picky in this stage.

The Middle Stage of Multi Table Tournaments


By the time you reach the middle stage of multi table tournaments, all of the fish, except the very lucky ones will have been eliminated. You will be left with the fair to excellent players and so now is the time when you can begin to play slightly more aggressively. You need to build up a reasonable stack of chips – at least average so that you will make it into the final round. Now is a good time to bluff at a few blinds as well.

The Final Table Stage of Multi Table Tournaments


By the final table, you will be left playing with almost exclusively excellent players. It is important to work at eliminating other players at this stage. You need to play a looser, more aggressive game without throwing it away yourself. Be prepared to take risks, but don’t challenge a huge stack of chips unless you have a fantastic hand.

Single Table Tournament Strategy

A single table tournament can be seen as being similar to the final table of the multi table tournaments. You need to play a more aggressive game during single table tournaments than for most of a multi table tournament as the tournament is much shorter. However, you can also divide a single table tournament into stages. During the early stage of a single table tournament, you want to aim at eliminating the fish so you should play a tight game with no bluffing. Loosen up your game and begin to bluff as the tournament progresses. As you near the end of the tournament, you need to increase the aggressiveness of your game – respect big raises, attack calls and bluff well.

Satellite Tournament Strategy

The aim of a satellite tournament is different to other tournaments. In a satellite tournament, your aim is to win a seat into the major tournament – not to come first in the satellite. The relevance of this depends on how many seats the satellite is awarding to players. Some award only the top player, in which case you need to win the event, but most award seats according to a percentage of the total number of players, in which case you can play more conservatively to ensure that you come within that number.

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