Poker Tournament Overview - All About Poker Tournaments

If you're a poker player, poker tournaments are a great way to make big bucks with low risk. Tournament poker games are easy to find at any good online poker site.

Types of Poker Tournaments

There are many different types of poker tournaments. A tournament can be scheduled or it can be sit-and-go. It can be a freeroll or it can cost money to enter the tournament. A tournament can also be a satellite or a qualifier for another tournament. There can also be single table or multi-table tournaments.

Sit-and-Go or Scheduled Poker Tournaments

The difference between a scheduled tournament and a sit-and-go is simple. Generally, a scheduled tournament will have more players. A sit-and-go tournament is a tournament that is set up and begins as soon as the right number of players have signed up. To make sure that there are always tournaments available for play, a poker site will make it easy to join sit-and-go tournaments, and there is almost always one waiting to begin. A scheduled tournament is different. No matter how many players, or how few, the scheduled tournament will begin at a specific time. Usually, an online poker room will have several tournaments scheduled throughout the day, but there isn't always one just about to start.

Freeroll Tournaments

Freerolls are tournaments that you can enter without paying any money. Different online poker sites have different rules regarding freerolls. Some allow you to join a freeroll as soon as you register. Others only give you access to freerolls once you've made a deposit. Still other sites only allow you to play at freerolls using bonus points you've accumulated by playing cash games on the poker site. Most freerolls have relatively low prizes. This is especially true of freerolls that you can play without making a deposit. Sometimes the prizes are as low as a dollar or two, but they appeal to players who feel that they can build a bankroll by playing lots of freerolls, or by using their winnings to buy in to higher stakes tournaments.

Satellite Tournaments

Satellite tournaments have gained a lot of popularity since Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP (World Series of Poker) main event after playing a satellite tournament at an online poker room. Satellite tournaments are also called qualifiers and they are tournaments where the prize is entry into another tournament rather than a cash prize. Many times, there are multiple levels of satellite tournaments. A player who wishes to compete in a very high-priced tournament can start out by participating in a low-priced satellite tournament and work their way up through the levels until they have the buy-in for a major tournament.

Single Table and Multiple Table Tournaments

A small tournament with only eight players can be played at a single table. Tournaments with many players divide the players into a number of tables. As players are eliminated, the tables are consolidated until there is only one final table. The last player with chips at the final table is the winner. Often prizes are given to the last two players to be eliminated as well.