Poker tournaments – The basics

If there is one thing about poker that is constantly gaining in popularity, it is tournaments. In a poker tournament every player pays an entry fee and starts with the same number of chips. Play continues until every player has gone broke save one: the winner.


Here are some of the basics.



Your tournament ranking

Your final ranking in a tournament is determined by how many players are still holding chips when you lose your last one. If five players still have chips, then you finished sixth place, and so on.



Paying out the prize pool

As a general rule, poker is not a winner takes all game. It is in fact quite different. Prize pools are generally shared among the top finishing players according to a predetermined pay-out structure, with the winner taking the largest piece of the pie.



Increasing the blinds and antes

In order to keep the action going and ensure that a tournament lasts a reasonable amount of time, the blinds and antes are raised at fixed intervals. Therefore if you don’t manage to build your chip stack you’ll find that the blinds and antes become very expensive.


Types of tournaments

There are many different types of poker tournaments, ranging from just a few players around a single table to thousands of players around hundreds of tables at one time.


Multi-table tournaments (MTTs)

A multi-table tournament begins at a predetermined time on a certain day. This type of game could include hundreds, if not thousands of players.


Sit & Go tournaments

A “Sit & Go” tournament starts once the required number of players have registered. Generally speaking, a Sit & Go includes 10 players at one table, however there are also 2, 5 and 30 player Sit & Go games.