How Do Online Poker Tournaments Work?

As per their prize pools, the top three sites for online poker tournaments are PokerStars, 888Poker, and WPT global. Most of the events they organize are of the buy-in type, but there are some you can enter for free.

Top 6 Popular Online Poker Tournaments and How They Work

There are several types of online poker events depending on their format, the number of participants, and the admission fee. The best sites provide buy-in bonuses that can double your initial balance of chips.

1. Freeroll Tournaments

Freerolls are amateurs’ top choice, as they don’t have an entrance fee. At the same time, you can compete for real money and hone your online poker skills.

Small prizes

Freerolls have insignificant prize funds rarely exceeding $100. There are freerolls with prize pools of several thousand dollars, but you’ll need a password or an invitation to join them.

Provide entry to more significant events

Some freerolls do not have cash prizes. Instead, the winners receive special passes to high-stake online poker tournaments with massive prize pools.

2. Sit ‘n ‘Go Tournaments

These are the perfect venues for restless poker enthusiasts ready to play around the clock. Instead of a fixed starting time, the tournament starts when all poker games are ready to begin.

The number of participants varies widely from 10 or 20 to over 300; a typical sit’n’go virtual table seats between six and nine players.

Prize money

All sit’n’go events have buy-in, and the winner usually takes 50% of the prize fund; the runner-up walks away with 30%, and the third-best player pockets 20%.

3. Multi-Table Tournaments

These online poker tournaments allow players to play at different tables, with all of the action starting at the same time.

Multi-table tournaments are high-pressure, fast-paced events that require fine poker skills and an agile mind. Some players use special software to calculate their best chances of winning the hand.

Life-changing prize pools

The best players at each table qualify for the final showdown. Multi-table online poker tournaments feature substantial prize pools with so many participants, and the top three players can become millionaires overnight.

4. Double-or-Nothing Tournaments

Not more than ten players can join a Double-or-Nothing online poker event, with those in the first part of the standings doubling the amount of the entry fee.

The downside of these online tournaments is that there practically isn’t a winner, so pros rarely join in. The pace is slow, and the starting bets seldom surpass the $20 bracket.

5. Re-buy Tournaments

This particular type of tournament allows participants to get back to their table even if they’ve run out of chips. These online poker events permit chip re-buys within a specific time window, as their name suggests.

Where professionals meet

Re-buy or Re-entry tournaments attract strong poker players and even professionals, who are more likely to splash some cash on a new stack of chips when their balance runs low.

They are after big money and readily buy more time at the table whenever they can.

On the other hand, Rookies withdraw to lick their wounds under some rock when they get their noses rubbed.

6. Satellite Tournaments

The biggest and most popular poker sites regularly hold satellite events as qualifiers for the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

Satellite tournaments are not the place to try new tricks or refine old strategies because tough battles begin as soon as the cards are dealt.  The buy-in is usually a percentage of the big event’s entrance fee. The top three players qualify for the main tournament, where buy-ins can exceed $200.