Win Your First Ignition Poker Real Money Tournament

When it comes to real online poker, a big tournament win is the dream of all dreams, right? While cash games are great and pulling in regular pots at an online casino is our idea of a good time, there’s nothing quite like the rush of your first serious tournament win. It’s the best.

The path is quite the adventure. After fighting your way through group after group, opponent after opponent, you finally find yourself at the final table in the online poker game. It took luck, it took guts, and it definitely took sharp play, but you made it. Now only a handful of people sit between you and real glory. There’s a nice, juicy payoff waiting for you, if you can handle the other players.

But wait, how did we get here?

In this article, we’ll walk you through a few of our best online poker tournament tips including tournament selection, optimal play at every stage, key strategic decisions, and how to finish strong in your games. Armed with this tried and tested advice, you’ll be ready to finally make it all the way to the top at our online poker tournaments.

We’ll start with tournament selection.

1. Choose Your Online Poker Tournament

There are tons of online poker tournament styles at Ignition Casino. The larger tournaments at our casino with the best guaranteed payouts tend to run on a schedule. If you want in, you’ll need to take note of the game start time and queue up with the other players. The advantage usually is that these have tons of entrants and big winnings at stake. There’s also Sit & Go online poker tournaments with fewer players that start as soon as enough players have bought their tickets. These real online poker tournaments happen on demand pretty much 24/7, giving you the chance to crack final tables multiple times each day.

There are also freerolls. These are games that give you the opportunity to play free online poker tournaments with no buy in or entry fee. The prize can be cash or entry to more lucrative tournaments – it all depends on what’s offered. These are a great option if your bankroll is small or nonexistent. Stick with it and you’ll soon be big stacking and enjoying your pick of online poker games.

Choose Your Online Poker Tournament

2. Early, Middle, and Late Stage Play

Okay – you picked one of our real online poker tournaments that works for you. Now what?

Let the games begin! Shuffle up and deal.

Early play

Online poker tournament games are a bit of a struggle against time as well as against the other players. At modern online casinos, blinds will increase as the tournament goes on. Let’s say you start with a stack of 1,000 chips and blinds are 10/20. After a set interval of time, the blinds will double to 20/40. After more time passes, they will be 40/80. As this effect piles up, it keeps people from sitting on the fences and dragging tournaments out forever. (We’ve got lives to live, right? Well… at least we’ve got other poker tournaments to play. That much we know.)

For that reason, playing the earlier stages in an online poker tourney you can be somewhat picky and tight. Look for the best cards in each position, but then be aggressive. You can’t let opportunities pass you by, and other players are likely to be playing loose and splashing a lot of chips around. You also need to keep an eye on other players’ stacks. Players that are getting close to only 10 big blinds are getting ready to shove all-in with almost any two cards. Get good cards and don’t let anyone push you around.

If your hands don’t go your way, you’ll need to loosen up a bit and vary your play. If, on the other hand, things work out and you’re a big stack at your tables, you can get aggressive. Lean on the other players and take advantage of position. You can afford to make moves, while other players can’t.

Middle stage play in online poker tournaments

Many players have been eliminated, and people are settling in. If you’re in good shape and playing well, you can continue looking to get decent cards and making them pay. Your goal is to continue leaning on smaller stacks and busting them out throughout this phase of the game, while playing a bit more conservatively against big stackers. You don’t need to take them on head to head just yet, unless you’ve got solid reasons to (you know they’re playing too loose and trying to bully you, or you landed a sneaky nut draw and have the best hand at the table).

Hang in and play to accumulate wins. Avoid the big boys in your online poker games in these situations, if possible. The risk isn’t worth it.

Middle stage play in online poker tournaments

Late-stage play in online poker tournaments

You’re so close to being “in the money” that you can taste it. Now it’s time for a bit of caution to ensure that you cash for real. You don’t need to make big, risky plays here and wind up eliminated on the bubble. Let other players knock out the final non-cashers, and make sure that you’re in the money in as many of your online poker games as possible. Then buckle up – it’s almost time to play for the big bucks!

3. Betting Preflop and Postflop

Real online poker tournaments and free online poker tournaments at our casino both abide by the same rule: there’s a lot of preflop all ins and postflop all-ins. You’ve got to be ready for that, knowing whether you’re calling it all or folding. When you toss a bet out there preflop, know that someone may well play back at you. Tournaments are different than online poker cash games, and people often get an all or nothing mentality going. Don’t be surprised by the increase in all-in decisions both pre- and postflop.

4. When Hold, When to Push, When to Fold

Playing and winning real online poker tournaments require solid strategic decisions. Instead of grinding out profit over time throughout many games, you’ll need to make a few key calls that will either put you in shape to cash or bust you out. Holding your cards is incredibly important against loose and aggressive players who are simply trying to clear everyone out of their path. Make them pay and showdown with the goods.

If you get strong hands – even those that aren’t the nuts or near nuts, you can probably push all in during many situations in your real online poker games. A tournament win generally requires a few big moves, so when you have a hand you need to make it pay.

Folding often comes down to understanding when you won’t be able to push a player out of a hand and simply letting it go. As we said, tournament games have a lot of loose aggression, so when it becomes clear that you don’t have the best hand or can’t push someone out, you need to consider folding. Another classic situation to avoid is when two bigger stacks are going at it. If you’re not comfortable putting your two cards against any others, you’re almost certainly beat there. They have no reason to bet big unless they get serious hardware in their hands.

Don’t become collateral damage when large sharks are playing their games online. Just fold and fight another day.

When Hold, When to Push, When to Fold

5. Head to Head at the Final Table

After all the complicated strategies about starting hand standards, positioning, and postflop play, we’re down to what some people love most about online poker: playing real mind games. You’ll be betting and raising with all kinds of cards. The odds are, your opponent will be, too. Eventually, you’ll know when it’s time to get real and shove your chips. It might be a high pair preflop, or it might be a strong draw you play when you think you can get a fold. Either way, we’re way beyond odds once you hit the final two players of our real online poker tournaments.

Cash is guaranteed – now it’s time to fight for the top prize in the game.

Your next real online poker tourney could be your biggest win ever. Let’s play!