Basic Poker Strategy: Turbo Tournaments

Find out what the difference is in playing a turbo online poker tournament versus a normal one and how you need to change your game to match the faster pace.

Turbo tournaments are frequently the bane of a beginning-to-mid-level poker player’s existence, as they can either reward a cunning player greatly or utterly humiliate those that aren’t ready for their rapidly-growing blinds and aggressive (and sometimes downright vicious) play.

How can you improve your game at a Turbo tournament? Let’s go over some basic changes you can make to your gameplay in order to best others at the online poker tables.

In a turbo multi-table tournament, you can and should play the early blind rounds in much the same way as you would a regular freeze-out tourney. Your game should shift pretty radically, however, when the blinds begin to get large in relation to the average chip stack.

When it becomes a matter of wagering a significant percentage of your chips in the blinds, you should be willing to go more aggressive and push in with a slightly broader variety of pre-flop hands and be willing to go all-in on coin flip hands when the river looks good.

In turbo tournaments you must be the aggressor to succeed and while I avoid using the term “gambling” to describe poker play most of the time… that is exactly what you must be willing to do in order to get your chip stack large enough to compete in latter stages.

Sit and Go turbo tournaments also require a similar strategy, but your aggressiveness needs to be kicked up a notch. In these tournaments, the blinds rise even more quickly relative to the total amount of chips in play and the tournament will have fewer players, meaning that you have even less time to wait.

You’ll want to push others hard and try to play in situations where you are ahead when you go all-in or, again, it’s pretty much a coin flip with chips in the pot from players who are no longer playing in the hand.

You do want to be careful, however, to never risk more than a third of your chip stack pre-flop unless you go all-in and are willing to walk away.