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Secrets for Playing And Winning Poker Freerolls

Posted by tempdude | June 5, 2012 | Posted in: Online Poker Strategy | Comments (0)

So what exactly is a freeroll?

A freeroll is a form of poker tournament whereby participants do not pay a fee to join. They’re primarily played to get understanding of the game of poker as well as for players to boost their skill. Freerolls are available at almost every poker sites online with differing amounts of players and prize pools. Sites also give an incentive to players for their loyalty to the site with special freerolls. These normally have a much higher pay out and much lower amount of players.

Experienced poker players feel poker freerolls are a waste of time becuase they are full of bad players and bad play. However if the play was similar in any other game, they would say how wonderful it is, so why is it any different for freerolls? The answer is its not, freerolls are a great way to build your bankroll and reasonably easy once you know the way to play. So next in the article, is the best strategy to win freerolls. The type of freerolls this strategy must be used for are the general tournaments which are offered to anybody and not those that require player points or a number raked hands because these games have a much higher standard of play.

Poker Freeroll Strategy

So to succeed at poker freerolls, you need to have a strategy which ensures you stay in the tournament but still have plenty of chips left so that you can go for the win. As freeroll pay out structures usually are very top heavy, you should go for the top positions because you will simply be winning pennies if you finish anywhere outside the top 5. To achieve these positions you need a bit of luck and alot of skill. The biggest challenge is to just outlast the first hour in a freeroll, so to start we will examine your opening hour strategy.

Opening Hour

In the opening hour, play is at its very worst. You’ll be facing many opponents, happily risking their chips each hand because they know they have nothing to lose. At this time in the tournament, you’ll want to keep it tight and play fewer hands as you normally would when you are out of position. Only call an all-in using one of the top 5 hands because it is likely you will be facing more than one opponent which dramatically slashes your odds of winning the pot. You should also when as many cheap flops as you can, but only if you have position on the rest of the table. The best possible position is the dealer button, where sub-par hands become fairly strong and worthy of a call so long as the pot hasn’t been raised. Hands will be more deserving of a call at this stage as if you hit a monster hand and you’ll more then likely be paid off. I’d especially call suited connectors in late position, as any straight or flush is very likely to double or even triple your stack. Around 30 minutes in to the tournament a lot of the bad players have been eliminated and play is at a higher standard. Blinds will be higher and may even be worthy of stealing with regards to the blind structure. You want to be collecting as much chips as possible coming up to the break as they will be crucially needed in the next stage of the tournament. You can start to loosen your play while you’re in earlier positions now and hands like AJ become playable. As you are nearing the break you could find play on your table becoming much tighter, as players don’t want to be eliminated prior to the break. This is the point in which you really need to become the aggressor of the table. Start raising more pots and try bullying players with less then average stacks. You can see your stack increasing constantly and you will be climbing the leader board. As the break approaches, relax and refresh yourself. The following part of the tournament really makes or breaks the game. You need to be fully focused if you want to reach your goal of the top 5.

Middle Stage

The middle stage decides whether you’re making money from the tournament or be leaving empty handed. You will realize play directly after the break is much looser the immediately before it. You might calm down and be ready to fold hands and see the other players battle it out. Obviously you still need to be taking down pots. Steal pots anytime you can and by now you ought to know the weaker players on your table. Use this in your favor and try to exploit them. You should be higher than the average players chip stack. As the bubble approaches play will change very much like when the break was coming up. Players will tighten up and pretty much stay out of all hands providing you with a great opportunity to steal more pots then usual. I would advise you to keep away from stealing a pot which involves the player with the highest amount of chips on your table. This is becuase they will not be bullied off a pot as easy as others. Lower stacks will usually fold their hand as you apply this strategy. Your stack will grow from winning just a couple pots this way and you’ll start climbing the leader board.

Following the bubble has passed players with low chips stacks will go all-in with almost any hand. This is a complete turn around from their pre-bubble strategy since they’re happy to have made money, but know they will need to double up in an effort to finish in a position to make real money. You again need to tighten up and just play your premium hands, but also picking your spots and ultizing your position to win pots. This then will take you to the final table which is the final stage of the freeroll.

Final Stage and the Final Table

since you got to the final table in the poker freeroll, congratulations your hard work has worked. Of course you are now here to finish as high as possible. Keep your play tight until there is 5 or 6 players left. After this you really need to play super aggressive and start stealing pots whenever possible. You may also have to pick a spot to double up if you are getting short stacked. If you are still in the tournament when play is 3 handed you should be in a great position. Your play now really is determined by your individual preference. If you are pleased to finish second, let the other two players to battle it out and knock one another out. If you are going for glory, play in the pots. When there is only 3 players left, average hands become much stronger and even deserving of a raise. You need to get your chips in with any Ace and you’re likely to be ahead. If you played to finish second, once your heads up you’ll probably have a smaller chip stack and you should push with any decent hand. If you went for glory and were able to knock the other player out, you can use your chip stack to bully your opponent. Be certain that you’re forcing them to risk all their chips if you have any sort of hand and eventually you will knock them out. They could double up a couple of times but if you don’t get incredibly unlucky, you will win the tournament.

So, there you go. Keep to the steps for each stage and you will be making more money then ever from playing both online poker freerolls and sit down freerolls.

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