If you have been playing online poker for a while now, but only doing it casually or during freetime when you are stuck for something to do, it may be time for you to move on to the next level and join online poker tournaments, so that you can take something you enjoy doing, and win a lot of money at the same time. But before you can get to the part about winning a lot of money, you first need to learn how to win at online poker tournaments. Here are some few tips and strategies:
First thing you have to adjust in terms of strategy is with the speed in which you collect chips. In casual games, you only need to accumulate the maximum amount of chips, but in online poker tournaments, you need to be able to collect the most chips under a certain time limit, and with constantly increasing blinds. This means you must be more willing to risk things by playing more hands, which is the fastest way for you to win a lot of chips.
Next, while in standard games, a dollar has a constant value, online poker tournaments use virtual chips, which have a relative value. Starting out with a thousand dollars worth of chips makes them more valuable than the next thousand dollar’s worth of chips you win. The fact that you can’t buy your way back into the tournament places a lot of value in your last few chips.
You also need to learn the Gap Concept that was introduced by David Sklansky. The Gap Concept means that you need a really good hand to play against whoever opened the betting. This hand should be better than what you need to open with yourself. Basically speaking, if you are calling a bet, you need a very strong hand, but if you are only making the bet, you can cruise by on a semi-strong hand. The gap concept should be kept in mind when you are stealing blinds or making moves.
Play according to the blinds. Blinds that are low will allow you to play a more laid back game, as you sit back and wait for your opportunity to take advantage of other players’ mistakes, but when the blinds are starting to rise, you need to have the guts to risk a lot and start gambling.
Focus is very important in online poker tournaments, where there is a tendency to be distracted by other tables and future opponents. What happens in other tables is always secondary to what is happening in your own table. Worry about your current opponents and only pay attention to the other tables when you have already become the chip leader on your current table.
Last but not the least, luck is still a major factor. You need to keep this in mind when choosing which online poker tournaments to join. As all players will have contradicting lucks, your chances of being lucky decrease the more players there are. So if there’s a 200-man tournament and a 90-man tournament going on, try to join the 90 man tournament first.