Before playing for real money, many of you will want to try playing for free. Fortunately, this is possible on most online poker sites. You register an account and have the opportunity to play with fake money aka play money.
Many of the best sites also offer freeroll poker tournaments which reward the top prizes with cash. This a neat way to familiarise yourself with the site, it’s software and how the games run.
This article is for those of you looking to play freerolls to build up your bankroll. If you use the tips in this post, you should have a better shot at finishing in the cash positions on the major poker sites and their sister sites too.
At the early stages of a freeroll, you will notice a lot of moving all in and big pots. It will seem insane watching players move all in and show speculative hands. This is a common theme in the early stages of all freerolls. Players register because it’s free then proceed to gamble recklessly. This means you should be a little patient.
Don’t expect to see many flops and play solid tight aggressive poker. If you find a solid hand (ace queen or pocket tens and up), then go with it.
The hands that are speculative or medium strength should be discarded in the early rounds.
Freerolls are very different to cash tournaments. Players fall into three categories; the reckless gambler, the player who doesn’t know the rules and the player trying to play well. It’s your job to pay attention and correctly assess which category each player at your table falls into.
By understanding their motivation, you will be able to adapt your strategy accordingly. For instance, a reckless gambler is not someone you can bluff. Conversely, an over bet for value is unlikely to work against a player trying to be solid.
Bubbling a tournament is where you just miss out on the money. It’s a pain when you miss it but you can’t be scared to bubble. The bubble portion of a tournament is usually the mid stage, blinds are creeping up and you might be getting short chipped. This is not territory you want to play your tournament in.
Instead, look to steal blinds and antes from those who are playing conservatively on the bubble. This means open-raising more liberally from middle and late position and generally taking shots at pots where nobody seems interested. It will help your stack tick along and keep you in the race.
Finally, freerolls are a chance for you to learn Texas Hold’em and enjoy it at no cost. Don’t lose sight of that when you play. Obviously, you want to win and get cash but gaining experience is valuable too.
When your involved in hands, go with your gut instinct and have conviction in your reads. This is something that many beginners lack and will give you an edge in the long run. Even if you’re wrong once or twice it will help your long-term game development to follow through with your gut.
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