How to Play Tournament Poker 10 and 6 Handed Poker Strategy Tournament Structure

How to play tournament poker

Over every poker tournament you ever play requires different play and strategy to cash games. Rebuy tournaments barley differ to cash games because you have the freedom and security of extra chips if you make the wrong decision. Every decision you make during a regular tournament is critical to your finishing position and gradually as the blinds rise you will become short stacked if you have lost unnecessary chips.

Overall your playing strategy should be tighter than your cash game style and only play highly valuable hands pre-flop such as AK, KK, QQ, JJ etc. Rebuy tournaments have no specials rules however it is best you give yourself a limit to how many times you rebuy and play as tight as you would during a regular cash game. Many players take more chances early on in the tournament to gain chips. Aggressive pre and post flop play is common at the beginning of tournaments to grab as many chips as possible. Once you have 80 big blinds start calling with slightly weaker hand to fish for flush and straight draws to catch out opponents, this is a common strategy and usually has great results over 20-30 hands gaining you a wider chip lead.

6 and 10 handed tables

Most tournaments are either 6 or 10 handed which means there are 6 or 10 players at the table which will be your main focus of opponents in the tournament. 10 handed tournaments can get really frustrating because 20 cards out of a 52 card deck is now in players hands around the table and your AK could be weak against J 10. 10 handed players will fold K5 A5, any hand with weak kickers that are off suit which means when you do hold AK, AQ AJ it is harder to know your odds and you don’t know if the majority of the cards have been folded.

6 handed games are the most common tournament structure and usually the most common played by poker players. Playing against 5 other people is in the middle, there isn’t too many cards from the deck and you get a fair amount of time from the blinds. Overall 6 handed tournaments are the best place for a poker player to start playing tournaments and then try 10 handed after you get the feel for the 6. Always remember that poker is about reading your opponent and the value of your hand, even in tournaments you can bluff and call if you think your opponent is bluffing. Calling with Ace high or second pair is fine but only at the right price remember these chips at this table are all you’ve got.