When it comes to playing poker, it isn’t always necessary to use money in order to win money. Too good to be true? Absolutely not! That’s where freeroll poker comes in, where you can cash in on tournament prizes without having to shell out cash on a buy-in.
In addition to providing you with a way to boost your bankroll, freeroll poker tournaments give you the opportunity to practice your poker skills in a low-pressure environment.
How to Enter Freeroll Tournaments
When you take part in poker freerolls, you get all of the excitement of tournaments but without having to spend any money on an entry fee. You can either earn entry into one of these competitions from special promotions that are offered to new players, or by using player points to spend on a buy-in. There are also a select few freerolls that can be accessed from the tournament lobby.
What Are the Benefits of Playing in Freeroll Poker Tournaments?
Paid tournaments are where the lucrative prizes are in the online poker tournament, but there are some great benefits of taking part in freeroll poker competitions too. Both beginners and more experienced players can experience the positives of freerolls, including:
- The ability to take part in a tournament with cash prizes without spending money
- An opportunity to practice your poker skills and try out new strategies
- The possibility of earning entry into bigger tournaments with larger prizes
- The chance to build up a bankroll from nothing
How Do Poker Freerolls Work?
When the freeroll begins at its scheduled start time, players are all provided with the same number of chips, ranging anywhere from 3000 to 5000. The blinds start at 25/50 chips and they will increase every 15 to 20 minutes – with breaks every few levels. In this way, freeroll poker tournaments are essentially the same as paid poker tournaments.
Freeroll Poker Prizes
In paid poker tournaments, the prize pool is made up using a small portion of each player’s buy-in. Since there is no entry fee in a freeroll tournament, the prize pool is paid for by the site operator. This is why you’ll find that the prizes are a lot less generous than they would be in a paid tournament. The top prize in the average freeroll poker tournament tends to range from $50 to $100. During special events, you can find more generous prizes – but they also attract a huge number of runners.
Freerolls also act as satellites. In these tournaments, there are no cash prizes available. Instead, you win entry into tournaments with larger prizes. They present players with a great opportunity to work their way up and add to their bankrolls significantly if they’re willing to be patient.
Satellite freerolls are particularly beneficial to intermediate players. At this point in your career, you’re likely to have a decent bankroll and want to make the jump from microstakes to regular stakes – but grinding it out in cash games and smaller tournaments is a bit of a pain. However, making your way into a big tournament via freeroll presents you with the chance to make that jump quickly and, if you’re dedicated, it’s entirely possible.
Poker Freeroll Variants
Poker freeroll tournaments are mostly only Texas Hold’em games. On occasion, you’ll find Omaha games, but not too often. So, if you’re looking to brush up on your Hold’em skills, then freeroll poker is the way to go. You’ll also find both turbos and regular timed tournaments.
Finding the Best Freeroll Poker Sites
All online poker rooms offer freeroll tournaments, but no two sites have a similar selection. It’s up to you to decide which online poker site provides the best freeroll events that cater to your gaming tastes.
How Often Are Their Freerolls Available?
If you’re only interested in playing in freeroll poker tournaments, you’ll want to play at a site that has multiple events daily. If there’s only a couple of freerolls available per day, it makes pickings pretty slim, especially since these tournaments are highly competitive. What if you bust early? Then, you’d have to wait until tomorrow for another chance.
Also, take a look at the Promotions page of any site that you’re thinking of joining. Some sites offer you the chance to redeem your player points for freeroll entries, and it would be a good idea to sign up to a poker room that has that kind of promotion available.
Consider the Prizes
Depending on where you are in your online poker career, the types of prizes available from freeroll poker tournaments should have an influence on where you decide to play and what events you choose to enter. By taking a look at the tournaments lobby, you can check out various prizes available from their freerolls.
If you’re a beginner or just looking to have a little bit of fun, then it’s best to play in freerolls with cash prize. Of course, you’ll only be playing for a few dollars but, if your bankroll is on the smaller side, cashing in a freeroll can go a long way.
For more experienced players, consider going for freeroll satellites. While there are no cash prizes on offer, you’ll be able to earn entry into tournaments where the prizes are bigger and better. It does take a bit of patience, since you have to play through a number of tournaments before you can make the money, but these types of freerolls can provide you with the boost hat you need to take your career to the next level.
There’s no point in playing freeroll poker if you can’t really trust the operator. It’s important that you play at online poker rooms that are reputable, who you can rely on to pay out their prizes and offer a secure online gaming experience.
The first thing that you should do is visit player forums. You’ll not only be able to find out from experienced poker players where the best freerolls can be found; you’ll also get their honest opinions about sites that you should avoid.
Keep an eye out for common complaints about any site that you’re considering; if there is a particular flaw that a lot of players mention, consider if it’s a deal-breaker for you. That being said, any site that has multiple complaints about payouts is not worth taking the risk with.
Are No Deposit Freeroll Poker Tournaments Available?
More and more online poker sites are offering players the chance to claim no deposit bonuses. These types of promotions allow players to gamble at the site for free without having to deposit any cash, and you’ll be pleased to know that freeroll poker tickets are often provided as no deposit perks.
As part of your welcome bonus to most poker sites, you’ll be provided with freeroll tournaments upon your registration. There’s no need for you to make a deposit; just verify your account, and the ticket will be available in the promotions section of your profile.
This is a great way for you to get to know the site’s software and determine if this is the kind of poker room you’d like to be a part of. You also get a good idea of what traffic is like, and whether or not there is enough competition to keep you entertained. On top of all this, you can earn a cash prize.
Winning in Freeroll Poker Events
Once you’ve found the perfect poker site to register with and claimed your first freeroll tickets, it’s time to learn how to take down a tournament. Although you’re not risking any money to take part in this event, you still don’t want to bust early, so you should ensure that you know some freeroll poker strategy.
Freerolls have a huge number of runners, so the key is to not bust early. You’re going to be playing against a lot of beginners, who tend not to play at the top of their range and can luck out with some pretty shocking hands. As such, you should stick with a tight strategy where you only play your best cards. So, in the beginning, your range should be limited to:
- High Pairs (10+)
- An Ace with a high kicker
- King-Queen suited
As the field whittles down and you’re left with about half of the original runners, your can turn to a more aggressive strategy. Start introducing smaller hands and betting larger amounts with them, so that you can get players to fold allowing you to grab their chips. Here, bluffing still isn’t advised.
As you make your way to the final table, you’re going to need to work with more complex strategy. You’re going to want to introduce bluffing into your strategy and begin taking a look at the way other players behave in order to determine what type of hands they have. Pot odds will also become important, so it’s a good idea to read up on these basics before you get started in your first freeroll poker event.