If you’re a poker player looking for ways to up your game or just for a more competitive environment in which to test your poker skills, online poker tournaments could be the way to go. The best online poker sites, such as BetMGM, host daily tournaments that offer you the chance to increase your endurance levels and hone your skills against like-minded players in a secure, competitive environment. With a wide variety of buy-in levels starting from less than a dollar, you’ll be sure to find tournaments that match your personal ambition as a player.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know, from the types of daily online poker tournaments you can join online (if you’re in Vegas and are looking for tournament action, check out our Guide to the Best Poker Tournaments in Las Vegas), other elements that affect tournament play, as well as some poker tournament tips, so that you can have a great time.
MTTs and SNGs
There are two main types of online poker tournaments you can play at BetMGM and other sites: Multi-table tournaments (MTT) and sit and go’s (SNGs). The difference between them isn’t the type of poker you can play. There are SNGs and MTTs for every popular variant, such as Texas Hold’em poker, Omaha and Five Card Stud. The difference lies in the timing and logistics for each of these tournament formats.
MTTs have scheduled start times and multiple tables of players. SNGs don’t have officially scheduled start times. Instead, they start whenever a specific number of players register. An 18-player SNG will start as soon as there are 18 players registered to play. That could be minutes or hours after registration opens. An MTT will begin precisely at the scheduled time.
Online poker table limits
The number of players at a poker table changes the dynamics of the game. Depending on your skill set and playing style, you may prefer to play poker online at a table with more or fewer opponents. You’ll usually find 8-max (maximum eight players), 6-max, 4-max and heads-up (one-on-one) tournaments, with the 6-max and heads-up varieties being the most common.
It’s a good idea to research how the different table numbers can affect strategy or the flow of the game. Here’s how the number of players affects the game or how you choose to play.
- As a rule of thumb, facing fewer opponents at the table means having to play more aggressively.
- Fewer players mean more hands played since a single round takes less time to get through.
- More players mean potentially larger pots but also potentially tighter play, depending on your position at the table.
- The strength of a hand goes down against more players as the chances of another player having a stronger or hand of equal strength go up.
- Games with more players are more likely to have a “fish” (a weaker player).
- If you like the idea of having one showdown after another, heads-up online poker may be the way to go!
Shootouts were common during the Wild West days of gambling, but today’s poker players conduct their shootouts with cards instead of firearms. Shootout tournaments are multi-level SNG events that run multiple single-table tournaments at the same time. Once each table has a winner, the winners match up for another round of single-table play. This repeats until the ultimate survivors meet for a showdown at the final table.
A poker shootout with 100 players might start with 10 tables of 10 players each. Each table would play down to a single player and the final round would consist of those 10 remaining players. The shootout format gives players a chance to learn about their opponents and adapt their game.
Payouts for multi-level poker shootouts usually start after a player wins their first table. This gives skilled players the opportunity to potentially win big money.
Apart from the tournament type and table sizes, online poker tournaments have other structures that can help you with your choice. One popular structure is known as “rebuys.” This means you can pay for more chips if your stack falls below a specific limit and within a designated period.
For example, if you’ve joined a rebuy tournament with a 10,000-chip starting stack, and the tournament rules state that you can rebuy whenever you’re at 10,000 chips or lower during the first hour of play. If you meet those criteria, you can pay your entry fee again in exchange for another 10,000 chips. When the rebuy period is over, you can also pay a fixed “add-on” amount to add more chips to your stack. What this means is that rebuy tournaments tend to have larger prize pools because players gamble to increase their stacks during the rebuy period. You can’t be knocked out as long as you rebuy.
The potential downside of rebuy tournaments is that they can get expensive if you rebuy and add on repeatedly. The key is to play responsibly and plan your rebuys within your budget.
Reentry tournaments also allow you to purchase more chips, but unlike rebuys, you can only do so when your stack’s reduced to zero. Another important difference is that rebuys allow you to purchase more chips and keep the same seat, but reentries give you a completely new seat, as though you’re a new player who’s just registered. Reentries sometimes come with add-ons, depending on where you play. BetMGM’s Progressive Knockout (PKO) Tournament is an example of a reentry.
Maybe you want to play in a high-stakes tournament, but the buy-in is too risky for your bankroll. The way around that is to enter a satellite tournament. The purpose of these low buy-in tournaments is to give you a chance to play poker online against other players for a ticket to a higher-priced online or live poker event. Many players use the satellite route to get into the WSOP, for example.
Here’s an example of how it works: imagine you want to enter a $500 buy-in online poker shootout and the poker site is running a $50 satellite shootout event awarding one ticket to the main event for every 10 players who register. If 50 people show up, there’ll be five seats up for grabs. In short, satellites are a way for you to take a shot at bigger events without putting too much pressure on your bankroll.
Basic poker tournament tips
If you’re new to online poker tournaments, here are some common-sense tips for you to consider.
- Firstly, determine what level of buy-in you are comfortable with and how often you want to play poker tournaments. After all, tournament buy-ins can range from $0.01 up to $100,000, which means costs can add up if you want to play regularly.
- Secondly, look at the tournament structure and details such as the blind structure, payout structure and poker variation. If you just want to play Texas Hold’em poker, don’t join a tournament with multiple poker variations.
- Thirdly, look into how big the tournament is and how much time you’ll have to commit. If you’ve only got a few hours to spare, daily tournaments are the way to go.
Get in on daily poker tournaments at BetMGM
You don’t have to look for the best daily poker tournaments in Vegas to enjoy good daily poker events. To get in on daily poker tournaments, simply register with us here at BetMGM. We have a daily tournament schedule that allows you to buy into 70 different MTT events for as little as $0.25. Our $10,000 Daily gives you a chance to take home your share of a daily prize pool that’s guaranteed to pay at least the top 14 finishers. You can also join one of our SNGs and be playing for an exciting pot within an hour.
BetMGM also offers a host of other casino games, including online slots, roulette, blackjack and more when you register on our site!