Basic Poker Strategy: Freerolls – The First 90 Minutes

Freeroll tournaments are terrific, especially if you get in on the action where you can get your chunk of thousands of dollars, but the competition is fierce and can actually be tougher than low-stakes real money tournaments. So, how does the average player prepare and make sure they walk away with money?

Hand Selection

It can seem restrictive, but place most of your faith in AA, KK, AKs to start. The smart player who goes all in with those pocket cards and only ends up playing in four or five hands can frequently end up in the middle of the pack without risking very much. In mid-to-late positions, you can open up a bit more: AK (offsuit), AQ (suited/offsuit) and QQ. Be careful and make sure you’re not facing down someone who may have better cards, but going all in with those can shake up the pot and you might be able to knock the others out without taking it to the river.

You can risk up to 20% of your stack for pairs 66 and higher when playing in a mid to late position and early position cards, limp in with connectors as low as 76 or when you’ve got suited Aces or Kings.

After The Flop

“Play strategically” is the only advice that you need when you’re playing in the first chunk of a freeroll tournament. Many players try to outsmart both themselves and the table when playing in freerolls when smart, minimalist play will get you further. Just use good betting strategy — for instance, when you’ve got a great pair on an unpaired board, be willing to bet up to 4x the minimum amount but fold when someone raises you to 50% of your stack or try to slow-play after the flop to bring in more action if you’re holding trips, a straight or a full house — and you should be fine.

The Basic Tenet For The First Hour

Don’t let them see you sweat, even if you’re just playing online poker. If you end up missing a big bet before the flop, consider making another big bet soon after as it can shake up the other players significantly.