Poker tournaments in comparison to cash games are tougher in nature. Most people, or let us say, beginners, in their first-ever experience of playing tournaments struggle through the game.
In this article, we are going to be discussing some of the most amazing and secret poker tournament tips that professional players always keep in mind while being on the poker table.
Let us take a look at them quickly.
1. Manage your stack
Your chips decide your future in a tournament. If you have chips you can go ahead in the game and if not, you definitely have to go home. Hence, it becomes important to save your chips throughout the game.
By saving chips, we do not mean that you stop betting or raising your hands. What we mean here is to avoid any wastage of your chips. Strategize your game with the least amount of chips.
Most beginners do not recognize the value of their hands and consequently, keep betting and calling. To save your chips, it is important to avoid unnecessary betting and raising.
Keep in mind: In tournaments, your ultimate goal is to survive until the end.
2. Be Patient and Play Tight
Poker is very much about the right timing. The reason why some players succeeded in the game is that they learned the art of timing in poker. They figured out when to take a certain action that it does the best damage to their opponents.
And, this is why pros usually suggest beginners to be patient in the early positions and play tight. Entertaining a lot of hands at the beginning of the game might make you lose a good amount of chips which might later point towards your exit from the game.
Hence, it is important to play tight in the early stages of the game and loosen up in the later streets. Though the condition may differ depending on your stack size and hand value. If you have a really big or strong hand you must not hesitate to play it.
But, in case you only have a hand of mediocre value, there is no need to play it aggressively as you are just going to lose a lot of chips in the early stages only. This is often considered as one of the most important poker tournament tips by the pros.
3. Size Your Bets Right
Not just the tournaments, it is crucial to keep a close check on your bet size almost in every poker game. Many beginners make random bets paying no attention to sizing them appropriately which is the reason why they face maximum losses in the game.
While sizing your bets, you must have some knowledge of your opponents. Ask yourself questions like:
- What is my opponents’ hand range?
- What is the board texture?
- If it is a wet board, whose range does the flop hit the best?
- What is your image in your opponents’ eyes? Is it passive or aggressive?
- Do I want to bluff or do I have hands strong enough to bet or raise?
- Can I do this same action with a reduced bet size? If yes, do it.
Asking yourself questions like these is going to help you properly size your bet.
Let us understand this better with an easy example:
Your opponent is on a flush draw for the river and the pot size is Rs. 10,000. The probability of hitting a flush is somewhere about 20% (4:1). Therefore we should give him below 4:1 pot odds to call, which requires a raise of almost over $3,500 (13,500:3:500 = 3.9:1).
4. Dominate your opponents when you’re deep stacked
When you are deep stacked at the table, i.e. you have the biggest stack size, it is crucial you take advantage of it. Dominate those players who are low or medium stacked at the table.
Often when you are the chip leader, low and medium stacked players are going to be afraid of your stack size and will avoid getting involved in a hand with you. Consequently, this will make them fold most of their mediocre or weak valued hands which will thus increase your chances of making it to the final table of the tournament.
The only possible scenario in which your medium or low stacked opponent will be comfortable playing with you would be when he/she has strong hands. And, this would again give you a hint about his/her range. In this case, you must contemplate their hand range and strategize your next moves.
5. Pre-plan your game for the forthcoming streets
Another reason why some successful players succeed in tournaments is that they pre-plan their game.
Now, when we talk about planning, we do not mean that you have to always pre-plan your game and act as per the plan. What we mean is, consider all the possibilities of forthcoming actions from your opponents’ sides and roughly plan your next strategies in advance.
For example: You were dealt with A♥ T♥. The flop came out A♣ T♣ 6♥. You now have two pairs and you think of betting. However, before betting you must take into consideration, the possible actions that your opponent might take after you bet.
What if he/she raises? What should be my next action?
Thinking about the future streets always helps players to avoid being in tricky situations. Therefore, it is always considered essential to have a rough plot of your future actions.
These are some of the poker tournament tips that help players while playing. We hope the next time you play a tournament, they assist you too.
Do let us know if you have liked reading our article or not. Share your views by writing down in the comment section below. Do not forget to share it with your friends.