Tournaments are poker competitions that start out with a number of players (sometimes they have more than 1500 players) who all play until one player captures all of the chips and wins. Poker tournaments are popular among poker players for several reasons: they are a fun way to play poker, the entry fees to play are usually low, players have a chance of winning part of the large prize pool collected, and finally tournaments offer both novice and experienced players a chance to play against worthy opponents.
There are a lot of poker games offered for play at casinos and online poker rooms, however tournaments usually only offer three poker games Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and 7-card Stud. These games are the choice of tournament organizers because of the large following they have.
A poker tournament can have as few as 6 players (a single table tournament) to thousands of players (multi-table tournaments). The multi-table tournaments start out by seating all of the players in groups of 8 to 10 at as many tables as are required. As the tournament progresses and players are eliminated the tables are balanced (to keep the number of players at each table the same) by moving players from table to table. As tables become empty they are removed until only a single table with 8 to 10 players remains. The players at this last table play among themselves until one player wins all of the chips at the table.
There is only one winner in a poker tournament this is the player that wins all of the chips. At the start of the tournament all of the players have the same quantity of tournament chips and all tournament play starts at the same time. The tournament players play non-stop until they lose all of their chips after which time they are out of the tournament. Player after player is eliminated over time, tournaments often last for several hours, until there is only one player left. To make the game more interesting as well as to speed up the elimination process the stakes rise as time goes on (the blinds are usually doubled at a set time interval). By increasing the blinds you make it harder for the players having fewer chips to remain in the game.
To be eligible to play in a poker tournament players simply pay a couple of fees. One fee is an entry fee. This fee is kept by the tournament host and covers the costs incurred in running the tournament. Payment of the entry fee entitles a player a seat in the tournament and a quantity of chips with which to play (these chips have no cash value). The other fee they have to pay is a buy-in fee. The buy-in fee is used by the tournament organizer to pay out the tournament prizes. Every tournament has its own prize payout rules, however usually the few who make the cut and end up at the final table are awarded all of the prize pool.
The prize money is awarded to the players based on their tournament ranking. The better the ranking the greater the percentage of the prize pool you earn. The top ranking players earn the most, 1st ranked players usually earn around 30% of the prize pool, 2nd ranked players usually around 20% and so on until the 10th ranked player who earns around 1% of the prize pool. The number of players who share the prize pool is determined by the tournament rules while the size of the payouts depends on the entry fee and the number of players entered.