Freeroll Strategy

Free To Enter, Money to Win
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Freeroll tournaments are extremely popular at any online poker rooms. Players love the fact that they can register for free and compete for prize money, which can range anywhere from $5 to thousands of dollars. Players of any level can benefit from these tournaments. For instance beginners to online poker can enter free and potentially build their bankroll. They are also great practice for tournament players, offering the chance to try out new strategies against thousands of players without having to risk their bankroll. If you want to be a successful freeroll player you should learn to be very disciplined and stick to your strategy. To make this easier we have created a three stage strategy for you to follow in your next tournament.

Early stage of a freeroll:
The early stage of a freeroll is the most important stage and it can either set you up for a great tournament or see you knocked out. Usually at any table of a freeroll there will be two or three players who simply don’t care and will go all-in with any hand. It’s happened to all of us, we get a pocket pair of Aces or Kings and go all in to get called by an uncaring player who ends up winning the pot with two small pairs, subsequently knocking you out. Your goal in early stages should be to build a big stack of chips, or protect the chips you have. Remember at this early stage the blinds are still small so there is no need to play every pot. However it is good to see as many flops as you can. I would suggest playing tight and not playing with any cards less than a 10. This is how hundreds of players get knocked out so early – they chase pots hoping to hit a certain card, or they bluff which is something you shouldn’t be doing in freerolls because it is highly likely someone will call you. I suggest sticking to a bet limit, in early stages when you have decent cards don’t bet any more than 3 times the big blind. The reason for this is because by the time the blind limits are raised to that amount, you will gain alot more for your risk and also there will be lots more players knocked out (the players left then play properly instead of going all in every hand).

Middle Stage:
The middle stage usually begins after the first break of a tournament. The blinds are crippling a lot of players and half the players have been eliminated. At this point you should have an average – large stack. If however you don’t, you need to double up a few times to get back into the tournament before the blinds knock you out. If you are above average though, then this is the time to increase that pile of chips. Your main goal should be pressuring the short stacked players, stealing their blinds or eliminating them. Even bluff’s can pay off at this stage, with many players folding any hands in the hope of blinding their way to the money. Finally you should avoid the large stacks at your table, as long as you are around the average sized stack then there is no need to get involved against players who dominate your chips, they will most likely call you everytime. Of course this works two ways, you can either avoid them like we have discussed, or you can risk a good hand (Q,Q’s and up) against a big stack in the hope of doubling up.

Late Stages/Final Table:
If you reach this stage you most likely have your eye on the prize pot, but don’t let this deter you from being aggressive (best time for aggression since so many people are scared to bet in the hope they finish higher to win more money). Again, like the middle stages if you have a below average stack you simply must risk your chips and hope to double up a few times. The final table is mainly about the amount of chips players have, someone with $100,000 chips is always going to call against someone with $5,000, however if both players have around the same sized stacks they will generally play much tighter and hope the other person gets knocked out first. Big hands and pocket pairs are great cards at this stage. If you are fortunate enough to get down to a heads-up battle, well done! Again chip size is an important factor and a lot of players go all-in every hand just to finish the tournament. You should look to raise every hand and keep pressure on your opponent. Keep in mind no matter the result, you invest $0 and are already in the money, this is a great achievement!!!

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