Strategy for Playing Poker Tournaments

Tournaments are one area of poker where anyone can jump in and start playing.  But just playing won’t be enough to win a poker tournament, or even cash, because only about 10% of the players earn any money back.  This shouldn’t discourage you from playing poker tournaments though because you can do excellent in them as long as you know proper strategy.

Early Stages

Your poker tournament strategy should be primarily dictated by what stage of the tourney you are in.  So for the early parts of a poker tournament, you should be focusing on playing as conservatively as possible to avoid wasting your buy-in.  Too many people are maniac players in the beginning who will make crazy moves just to double their stack.  And the bad part is that they are successful sometimes; you don’t want to be on the other end of their success!  So stick to playing tight in the beginning, and concentrate on slowly building your stack.

Middle Stages

Sooner or later, the maniac players will bust out of a tournament thus allowing you the freedom to be more aggressive yourself.  During the middle stages, you should be looking for fish who got lucky enough to make it this far, and take advantage of them by stealing their blinds and small pots.  This is the point where you need to increase your stack size for a run at the money later on.

Late Stages

If your stack is low at this point, you should be focusing on how you can do something drastic to double up and make the money.  Look for a chance when you have solid cards and go all-in in order to double up.  If you’re one of the bigger stacks, take a more conservative approach while looking to exploit your advantage against smaller stacks.

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