Tournaments – Re-buys and Add-ons

Poker tournaments sometimes allow players an option to re-buy chips. The re-buy option can be exercised at the start of the tournament and allows players to re-purchase tournament chips if they lose them. Players can re-purchase the same number of chips that they started off the tournament with. Different poker tournaments have different re-buy rules some tournaments allow only one re-buy but some allow an unlimited number of re-buys during the first hour of play.
Similar to the re-buy option is the re-buy option. The add-on option differs from the re-buy option because it is usually offered only one time after the re-buy period and a player doesn’t have to have used up all of his/her chips to exercise the option. The newly purchased chips are added to the chips already held by the player.

All of the money collected from selling re-buys and add-ons (less house expenses) is used to increase the prize pool.


A poker tournament has a set structure for betting with the limits increasing at regular intervals. The levels change differently depending on the tournament rules; some tournaments use time as the key to change the limits while other tournaments use the number of hands of poker played as the key to increasing the betting levels.

Balancing and Collapsing Tables

A large tournament has to start out with several tables each having 8 to 10 players, in order to accommodate all of the tournament players. As tournament play progresses some players are eliminated from the game. This creates a problem for the tournament organizers as the number of players at each table will differ, and for fairness the number of players at every table should remain the same. To keep the tournament fair the organizers try to keep the tables equally populated by moving players from table to table as required.

This practice of moving players from full tables to less full tables is called balancing the tables. This is done whenever the difference between tables exceeds 3 players.

Another tournament practice is that of collapsing tables. Collapsing tables is the practice of removing tables from the tournament when there is a table full of empty spaces among the rest of the tables in the room. Thus if the tournament is being played with eight player tables and eight empty spaces are in the room one full table is selected at random and the players from this table are moved to fill the eight empty spaces and that table is taken out of tournament play.

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