3 Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament Rules and Strategies! Game Introduction
Are there any special skills we can apply to Texas Hold'em poker tournaments? Today we’ll introduce 3 Texas Hold’em tournament rules and strategies!
What are the differences between the home game Hold’em and Hold ’em tournament? Indeed there are, though before we learn about the tournament skills, we first need to learn the differences between our home game and the tournament.
Texas Hold’em Tournament Rule 1: Use specific chips
Before we learn about tournament strategy, we need to learn about the rules that a tournament is different from our regular home game. The first one that’s different is the chips they use to play. Cash game chips are different from tournament chips in size, weight, and surface. Those chips were made specifically for the tournament in order to separate it from the regular cash games. They do not possess any value itself rather than keeping points. So the casino won’t worry about players using it to cash out.
Texas Hold’em Tournament Rule 2: Group Stage Eliminate
The second difference is the way the tournament is held. They are held in the group stage, each group contains 10 players all played on the same table. Those who have no chip left behind are eliminated. Fewer and fewer players remain in the tournament and they will regroup the remaining ones at the same table and keep playing till the last one stands. They tend to set a bubble barrier, which means only a few of the remaining players may get their prize money, and the later you survive, the bigger the amount of the prize.
Texas Hold’em Tournament Rule 3: S/B Raise with time
The third difference is that small blinds and big blinds raise as time goes on. This is also an element that makes the tournament more exciting. Which means we need to be more aggressive than before to win it. In the cash game, the blinds were set and it’s fixed, unless all the other players agree to a raise otherwise it’s not changing. Though in the tournament, they raise as time goes on, normally change in every 15 minutes. Every time the blind raises, it raise double. The reason why it’s set up like this is to shorten the game time and provoke the players to take more action.
Texas Hold’em Tournament Strategy 1: Your blinds will get robbed if you pick cards to play!
Going through the previous descriptions above, we all know that we can’t be too conservative playing in the tournament. Therefore if we only play when we’ve got a hand, our stakes may already be gone by giving up on all our blinds. Also, the blinds raises with time goes on, so we will be losing more of our stake at the later stage if we remain conservative till then. Therefore the right way to play in the tournament is not all about hand selection pre-flop, but rather than betting actions post-flop. We should be including the strong hands and also some suited and connectors as our pre-flop playing hands. That way once we are in the flop, we get to decide whether our hand may seem like to the others and then take action with that analysis.
Texas Hold’em Tournament Strategy 2: Attack when you are ahead!
As time goes on, there will be more and more players get eliminated. The remaining players will usually be in big stakes. Keep attacking with this advantage. Those who only wait for the opportunity to go in will gradually lose their advantage and end up eliminated in the end. So be as aggressive as you can be and bully those short stakes as you can. Give up when you are sure you are behind, otherwise, keep attacking and take away all their chips.
Texas Hold’em Tournament Strategy 3: All in with an Ace!
The third one is rather personal sharing. I was once a dealer and also a Hold’em player before. I’ve played in 15 Hold’em tournaments and ended up in the final table 12 times. A lot of pros were shocked by my strategy since in their point of view, it doesn’t make any sense at all. How simple was my strategy? Well, I go all in whenever I saw an Ace in my hand.
Though I didn’t use this from the beginning. In the beginning, we should be playing regularly, only with a little more aggression. Then as time goes on, more and more players got eliminated. Once there are only half of the players left, then we get to use this kind of strategy.
Judging from my personal experience, I would normally be playing regularly from the first three to 5 blind stages, then once there were more and more players got eliminated, I would turn more aggressive. After half of the players were gone, I will push all in if my hands are between A/10-pocket Aces. When I get into the remaining 30s, I will go all in with a combination of hands as long as I have an Ace. I know this might seem like a strategy of luck, but trust me, with this image on the table, people tend to avoid going crazy with a nut who’s being extremely aggressive on the table. The goal is to stir up the table so that the pros won’t know the type of my hand I choose to go all in with.
That’s all for today, I’m sure you’ve learned more about the game after you’ve read through this article. Playing as how you played in your home game or cash game won’t work in the tournament since it’s not a game where you may exit once you got profit but you have to survive till the very end of it. So more players will choose to bluff in the game and the actions will be more compared to cash games. Therefore we have to adapt as well. Thank you all for today and I will see you next time.
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