Poker is the sort of card game that anyone can play. The simple rules and range of strategies mean that everyone can find a way of playing that suits them. If you are interested in taking part in tournaments, what factors do you need to take into account?
There is a good deal of variety in how much you stake on these games. For example, the poker options at Paddy Power contain a variety of betting limits and buy-in figures. They also introduce new players to strategies like bluffs and continuation bets, allowing them to increase their stakes as they learn more, if they wish.
The bigger the buy-in, the larger the prizes. However, you also run the risk of losing more money on your entrance fee. 2019 saw the biggest ever buy-in, with the Triton Million charity event set at £1,050,000 (around $1,350,000) but beginners should look for the lowest buy-in amount to get started more comfortably.
There are few better feelings than that of beating a huge field of players to win the top prize. Yet, you have to be realistic and decide whether you have a reasonable chance of winning. If you don’t, then you should look for a smaller size of tournament.
The biggest ever online poker tournament was the 2020 World Series of Poker Online main event, with the $50 Big 50 event having over 44,000 entrants. The more people taking part, the lower your chance of winning, although the prizes are probably going to be bigger.
You might like to sample a giant tournament now and then but, unless you are an expert at playing poker, a smaller pool of players is your best chance of winning something. You also need to think about your style of play and personality. Are you like to rise to the challenge of a crowded tournament or feel intimidated by it?
The size of the prizes up for grabs will largely depend upon the other factors that we have already looked at. A hefty buy-in and a big field should mean that the prizes are high, which should encourage experienced players and probably put off novices.
The perfect situation would be to find a tournament where the prizes are excellent but there aren’t too many players or a particularly high buy-in amount. Failing that, you should look for events where you are comfortable with all of these factors, as it will give you the best chance of enjoying it and maybe winning.
As you build up your experience and get used to a competitive environment, you can look for bigger tournaments with higher figures at stake. You may also find that you adapt your style to tournament play over time, giving you a better chance of succeeding.
Above all, when you first start playing poker you should look to enjoy it and play games that let you relax while you learn the best strategies.