Virtually every online poker site in existence offers real money poker tournaments. In online poker tournaments, players compete against one another with a certain amount of starting chips. When a players loses all of her chips, she is eliminated from the tournament.
Players are rewarded in accordance with how they finish the tournament at poker websites, with higher ranking players receiving more prize money that lower ranking players. As such, the largest cash prize in online poker tournaments is awarded to the first place finisher and in some cases is many hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Generally, online poker tournaments are broken down into a few main variations: scheduled tournaments, satellite tournaments, freeroll tournaments, and sit and gos. In a scheduled tournament, players must register before a predetermined starting time and date. At this starting time, the tournament will begin, regardless of how many players have signed up.
In a poker sit and go, play does not begin until the requisite number of players have signed up. Tournaments at online poker sites are also sometimes offered as freerolls, which indicates that there is no entry fee. From here, online poker tournaments are broken down into four sub-categories: single table tournaments, multi-table tournaments, satellite tournaments and shootouts.
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Types Of Tournaments At Online Poker Sites
Below is more detailed explanations of various types of poker tournaments at online poker websites that are played for real money.
Single Table Tournaments
A single table tournament, as its name implies, is an online poker tournament in which play is conducted at only one table. Players compete against one another in order to win chips as normal, and players are eliminated when their chip count falls to zero. Eventually, one player will hold all of the chips at the table, and this player will be declared the winner. Poker sit and go’s are found in heads up, 6 man, 9 man, 10 man, and “multi-table” sit and go’s, payouts range according to the number of players who buyin to the poker game.
Players are ranked in accordance with the order in which they were eliminated from the tournament. The final player eliminated wins first place, the second to last player eliminated is declared second place, and the rankings continue in this fashion.
Single table online poker tournaments are almost never classified as rebuy tournaments, in which players can purchase more chips at a predetermined point in the game. Instead, elimination in a single table tournament is usually permanent.
Most single table tournaments use the sit and go rule format, in which play begins as soon as enough players have taken their virtual seats. Single table online poker tournaments can be played with any poker game type, such as Texas Holdem, Omaha, 7 Card Stud, Draw and more.
Multi-Table Poker Tournaments
Most poker sites with online poker tournaments feature multi-table tournaments, which include several tables of players simultaneously competing to place as high as possible to win a monetary prize. As in a single table online poker tournament, the prizes are larger for the top-ranked players.
The rules of a multi-table tournament dictate how players advance from one table to another. In large multi-table tournaments, only the winner of each table advances to the next table, at which point he will face off against other winners from the first tier of the tournament. In other cases, the top two or three players from each table will advance, at least in the early rounds of the tournament.
Unlike single table tournaments, multi-table tournaments sometimes include rebuys. A rebuy multi-table online poker tournament allows players to purchase more chips at a certain point, or points, during the tournament. In other cases, players who lose their chips are permanently eliminated from the tournament.
In almost all cases, chips have no actual cash value during a multi-table tournament, or any other tournament type for that matter. Instead, players are only rewarded based on their final placing.
Online poker tournament sites usually host very large multi-table tournaments with guaranteed prize pools on a weekly or monthly basis. If a tournament has a guaranteed prize pool, it means that a prize schedule is determined before play begins. The poker site is then required to adhere to the payout schedule, even if the tournament isn’t filled to capacity at the starting time.
Satellite Poker Tournaments
Satellite tournaments are unique in that they typically award winning players with free entry into another tournament. This free entry ticket can be accompanied by a monetary prize, in some cases.
In almost all cases, the free entry ticket won through a satellite tournament will lead to a larger tournament with a bigger prize pool. Often, winning a satellite online poker tournament will lead to entry to a live tournament, such as the World Series of Poker.
Online Poker Shootouts
A shootout is a unique online poker tournament type which essentially acts as a series of subsequently played single table tournaments. The winner (or top two or three players) from each table advances to the next table. A shootout is not to be confused with a steps tournament, which follows a similar structure but allows players to buy into later rounds directly for a higher fee.
Shootouts generally have prize schedules that heavily reward everyone at the final table, thought he biggest prize is always reserved for first place.
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