Online Poker Tournaments

How Do Online Poker Tournaments Work

Online poker tournaments are the most popular way to play the game. Since the first online poker sites launched in the late 90s, the game has continued to grow and gain new fans. Online poker tournaments offer an exciting way to play the game, taking the excitement of live poker tournaments and making it more accessible.

Although cash games might be more common, poker tournaments offer a different way to play the game, and most online poker sites feature lots of regular tournaments you can join. Before you dive in, you should first familiarise yourself with how poker tournaments work.

Types of Online Poker Tournaments

Just as there are lots of different ways to play online poker, there are also many different kinds of poker tournaments. Before you join a tournament, you should always check the format, as it will have an impact on how you join and the way you play. Here are a few of the most common:

Sit n Go

Sit n Go tournaments are offered by most online sites, and they’re usually the most common. There is no set beginning time for these competitions, which makes them ideal for online play. There are a set number of seats available, and when all of the seats are taken, the competition begins. Sit n Go is typically played with up to 10 players at a single table. A multi-table Sit n Go can have hundreds of players involved.


Freeroll tournaments are one of the best options for beginners as they’re completely free to enter. Despite being free, there are still prizes up for grabs, including tournament entries and cash. This is a great way to build up your experience and bankroll as a new player, and most sites will offer multiple freeroll tournaments a month for anyone to enter. Because they’re free to enter, the level of competition can be high.


If you’ve ever watched major tournaments such as the World Series of Poker, you’ve probably wondered how those players got to enter such a prestigious event. Satellite tournaments are the answer. Anyone can join these online, and getting to the final rankings in the tournament will mean you have a spot at a bigger tournament with even bigger prizes. While you can buy into major tournaments, this offers a far cheaper way to earn a shot at winning some huge cash rewards.


In most poker tournaments, you start off with a set amount of chips after entering and paying your buy-in. Once those chips are gone, you’re eliminated from the tournament. However, rebuy tournaments are different. With these, you can rebuy your chips within a certain timeframe outlined in the tournament terms and conditions. The poker site will also limit the number of times you can buy back in.

How Long Do Online Poker Tournaments Last

Just as there are many different types of poker tournaments, there’s also a lot of variation in how long they can last. It will all depend on the type of tournament, how many people take part, and other factors. Generally, poker sites will implement a structure to the event to control how long it takes.

In any game of poker, the big blind and small blinds are used as mandatory bets to encourage betting. In a tournament, the blinds will increase over time to help eliminate players with smaller stacks of chips. The poker site will set the time intervals that the blind will increase as well as the amount it will increase.

How to Join an Online Poker Tournament

Joining an online poker tournament is as simple as choosing an online poker site, creating an account, and then joining the tournament. The rules and buy-in will depend on the type of tournament and the poker site you’re using. Make sure to read through the rules carefully so you understand whether rebuys are possible and the blind structure.

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