Freeroll tournaments are one of the most popular forms of poker in online play and for one very good reason. This is because it doesn’t cost you a single cent to enter these events. They are quite simply promotional poker tournaments held by the poker sites as an incentive to their database of players to try their hand at playing poker for real prize money. In actual fact all players can participate in a freeroll and they are usually on a first come first served basis.
The mechanics of the freeroll poker tournament are really very simple, you are playing a poker tournament just like any other and there will be prize money just like any other. These days you can be a winner in online poker without it actually costing you anything. If you played in a freeroll poker tournament every single day then sooner or later you would cash and be ahead irrespective of how good or bad your poker skills are.
Freeroll Tip #1 – The Luck Factor
Do not expect to cash in a freeroll event. You need to remember that these tournaments are aimed at the masses and to give as many people as possible a chance to play poker. The field will be very large and you need to accept that cashing will be tough. Poker skill will have very little to do with who actually cashes in these events although skilful play will put you ahead of the rest over time, it will still be luck that decides the cash places and the winner.
Freeroll Tip #2 – Patience
Most poker tournaments have a wild phase at the beginning during the early stages but freerolls are really something else. You will get totally wacky play simply because the players will be novices to a high degree and simply blowing off the chips that they haven’t had to pay for. So this means that sitting tight during the early levels can be a very good strategy. Simply preserving your chips can ensure that you outlast a very large percentage of the playing field.
Being patient can pay dividends in other ways as well because when you do get big hands then your pay offs can be very big because so many more players are coming in with inferior hands and committing too many chips with them.
Freeroll Tip #3 – Easy Targets
What you have to remember is that nobody in this tournament has paid to enter. Players also know that their chances of cashing are slim because of the large player pools. So the natural knock on effect of this is that there is really no commitment to turn up and play if you have already signed up.
In the several freerolls that I have played in the past there have always been a fair number of players who have simply not turned up to play in the event. If any of these players just happen to be on your table then their blinds could be up for grabs and so the lesson is clear, keep a look out for players who are absent.
Freeroll Tip #4 – Switching Gears
You need to be aware of when the play becomes more serious. Believe it or not, the final one hundred players can be playing the event as if their life depended on it even if it is a freeroll. There are essentially two main reasons for that and the first one is to do with an expenditure of time. Nobody wants to spend several hours playing poker and get really close to cashing and winning some money only to then get eliminated. So; the nearer that players get to the money the more serious that they become about the outcome.
This stage of play will present you with some great opportunities to steal a few blinds from players who are starting to tighten up their play. You will be able to see these changes quite clearly and play that was absolutely crazy at the start can turn into a folding contest when these people get close to the prize money.
Freeroll Tip #5 – Volume
Why not simply sign up and play as many freerolls as you can on as many different poker sites as you can? If you are not concerned with how long it actually takes you to make your money and are just playing for the enjoyment without it actually costing you anything then you can simply drift from site to site and play freeroll poker. The largest freerolls can have thousands of dollars in prize money and so they are not to be sniffed at. I have heard of people who have made around $10,000 in a year playing nothing but freerolls. That is very impressive when you think that in order to get that money then the player risked precisely $0 in order to get it.
Written by: Carl “The Dean” Sampson