Betfair Casino tournaments are different from the traditional ring games found in most online poker rooms. In the online poker tournament, the game is not simply on going, but rather a formal gathering with a structured buy-in that results in a single winner. Tournaments can take considerable amounts of time and gain the winner considerable amounts of money. The largest tournaments have pots worth millions of dollars.
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Unlessyou’re invited to an invitation-only, sponsored tournament, there is a setbuy-in all contestants must meet before they can join the game. The buy-insfrom all of the Betfair Casino players are combined to make the ultimate prize. Your buy-in toa tournament earns you a chance to play and a set of chips with essentially noindependent value. The player holding the chips at the end of the tournamentwins the prize.
The multi-table tournament is how the large tournaments are handled. A large number of players enter the tournament and are given seats at many tables. As players lose at each table, the players at the tables are condensed until a final table of players plays for the final prize.
Increasingly, the largest of the multi-table tournaments, the World Series of Poker, has expanded online. Now online poker players can get in on the action with a low buy-in and play not for the biggest prize, but for a seat at the main tournament. In 2003, Chris Moneymaker won a seat at the big tourney after a $39 online poker buy-in, and came out the winner of the entire event.
Verycommon online, a sit-and-go, or SNG, tournaments are single-table tournamentswhere eight or nine players come together and when all players are seated, thetournament “goes” or begins. The SNG tournament is much like the final round ofa multi-table tournament, but every player has an equal number of chips at thestart and fixed payouts are often used.
Tournament Betting Formats
In a tournament, betting can be limited or not. There are three forms of betting in a poker tournament:
Fixed limit betting has a set amount that can be bet on a hand, although these limits do increase throughout play. This is a typical format for a seven card stud with a 10/20 stake. This means the raises would be $10 in the first three rounds and $20 in later rounds.
Semi-structured betting allows ranges for raises. Under this format, players must raise more than the last player raised. If one player raises the bet by $10, the next must raise it by at least $10 and so on.
Unstructured betting is also called no-limit. Some aspects of the game are fixed such as blinds, antes or bring-ins are fixed the players can bet as much as they like, even in the earliest rounds of play. In unstructured betting tournaments, players are able to “go all-in” meaning they bet all of their chips at once. This can happen early in the game as well as later in the event.