Poker tournaments attract an ocean of players from around the globe. They have earned such popularity among people by giving them an opportunity to put small amounts and win big prizes, which makes them available for everybody.
All gamblers start playing with the same amount of money, called a buy-in. In addition, a poker room charges an entrance fee for participation in tournaments. If a buy-in is $100 then establishment may charge extra $10 for the entrance. This means that player will pay $110 in total. If 100 players take part in the tournament the total winning will be 100 x $100 = $10000. Sometimes, the tournament winner takes the entire prize pool, but more often, it is shared among a few of the best players. For example, 30% for the first place, 20% for the second, 13% for the third, and so on.
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In a Multi-Table competition, players start with a fixed number of chips. Participants of different tables compete each other. At the same time, antes and (or) blinds gradually increase. Once the players lose and leave, the tables are "broken". To keep tables full, the poker room's software automatically relocate the players. Eventually, the rest of players are brought together at the final table, where the winner takes away all the chips from his or her opponents, which means from all the players participating in the tournament.
Shootout or Single Table Tournaments
Shootout is a special type of multi-table tournament. Usually, gamblers move from table to table to keep players' balance at each table. As a result, nine participants are meeting at the final table. There is no such balancing of tables is done in the shootout. You play until you're the only left at the original table. Having won this table, you are moved to another one where you are already playing against the gamblers who also won at their initial tables. In a Double Shootout, you have to win two tables in order to win the event. Although, it is common that losers from the second table also have some reward.
Satellite is a small tournament in which the prize is a participation in the larger tournament. Participation here is less expensive than in multi-table tournaments. If you have many players in the satellite, you can have two or more participants who may win the best seats in the large tournament. In addition, other gamblers can also be awarded with cash prizes.
Freerolls are completely free tournaments. There's no minimum payment for participation (buy-in) or entrance fee, but you can still win your real money prizes. These tournaments are considered as so-called promotions of poker rooms to attract more players. Eventually, many of those freerolls players start betting for real money. These tournaments can be found in almost every poker room. Freerolls don't offer big winnings, but they are held on a regular basis. It's a great opportunity to practice game skills for newcomers. Even though it's a game on "funny money", its level is much stronger than at the training tables.
Sit and Go is a competition which does not have a pre-assigned time. It begins when all the seats are filled. It can be both a multi-table tournament and a single-table game.
One can separately emphasize a headsup game where there are two players at the table, competing face-to-face. The victor takes all. There also exists headsup for four and more participants. In this case, two persons play at each of two tables, and then the winners meet up at the final table.
Rebuy means that you have an opportunity to purchase more chips during the game. As a rule, when you run out of chips you leave the game.
There is a particular "rebuy period" in the beggining of tournament, during which you are allowed to buy more chips. The period is usually lasting during an hour, until the first break starts. Once the period is over, no rebuys are available.
However, there also may be "add-ons" in the end of rebuy period, when you can also buy extra chips. In the course of such events, there may be a fixed number of rebuys available.
Turbo or fast tournament is one in which blinds increase very quickly. Blinds are raised every five minutes (sometimes every two minutes).
In these tournaments, the luck plays a crucial role. There's a bit of a post-flop game, as gamblers are forced to go all-in or to drop cards. These competitions are usually of aggressive game style that plays not the last role.
It is relatively recent type of tournaments available in the Party Poker room (there, it is called as a hellcat). This is essentially the same Sit&Go, but with one significant difference. They're limited in time. The game is not lasting until one gambler left, but ends within a specified period of time. The winners are defined by the number of chips at the end of the game. Of course, the tournament can be over before there's only one participant left at the table.
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