How to play freeroll poker tournaments, and basic strategy tips

The iconic image of the low-lit casino, quiet save for the gentle clink of ice-cubes against the whisky glass, as a backdrop for an intense game of tuxedo-clad poker will never completely be replaced.

However, in the digital age, this historic favourite has been brought into a new and dynamic era.

The evolution has begun, and if it’s left you wondering whether there’s something in it for you, you’re not alone. The Internet has flung open the doors to welcome new players.

So, what’s it all about? Read on!

What is poker freeroll?

In the world of online poker, a freeroll tournament means that you don’t have to pay to enter, and yet still have the chance of winning a real money prize.

There’s nothing not to love about being able to play for free, particularly if you’re new to the game or want to try out a new strategy without any of the risks. And that’s the real point of poker freeroll tournaments: they’re a playground for developing skills, picking up tips, trying new ideas, and getting started winning real money rewards.

Unsurprisingly, free poker tournaments are one of the most beloved games in the casino world.

Free poker tournaments: too good to be true?

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is, right? In this case: nope. Poker freeroll is one of the rare cases where the unbelievable really is true. Most tournaments are completely free to enter, making them one of the most popular ways to play online poker.

As with everything in life, there are plenty of variations on the theme, and some freerolls do have special restrictions or fees. For instance, a restriction might be that you have to have already made your player deposit, or might be linked to a specific password or promo code.

However, for the most part, free poker tournaments are there to encourage you to play, not to put you off, so expect these games to welcome you with open arms.

Why would a casino give away free money?

Poker freeroll isn’t going to bankrupt a casino. The prize pools are usually less than £100, so unless you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, free poker tournaments are about having fun rather than winning big.

Encouraging people to improve their skills is a good investment for casinos. From their perspective, poker freeroll trains the great players of the future. All eyes are on the lookout for the next Jason Somerville, whose career famously began when he went on to play his first freeroll win in a cash game. The rest, as they say, is history.

Who plays poker freeroll tournaments?

Poker freeroll tournaments are not only for beginners, although new players tend to start their careers in the safe environment of poker freeroll.

More experienced players will often join a game in order to try out new strategies, or whilst they are trying a new online poker environment. Poker freeroll is usually one of the welcome offers made by online casinos, so they are available to anyone who is joining, whether they’ve got experience or not. It’s not an offer that better players are going to turn down.

This mix of experience levels can make free poker tournaments one of the most dynamic poker environments. Games can range from a couple of minutes of nail-biting fast-paced intensity, to marathons of strategy. As such, they offer a perfect, zero-risk learning environment.

Poker freeroll tips

Everyone in the poker universe is full of advice about how to nail the perfect freeroll and launch that winning streak. Professional player Dirk Oetzmann advises that it’s easier to focus on what not to do rather than worrying about complex strategies.

Don’t go all-in all of the time. Why? Because the maths simply doesn’t work. Winning at poker is about being calm and careful.

Don’t bluff. There’s no point. Freerolls aren’t about winning serious money, so most players won’t treat the games that way, especially in the early stages. They’ve got nothing to lose by playing recklessly, or at the shallow end of a bottle of whisky.

However, if you do find yourself in possession of an enviable hand, just go for it. Push it all in, and see what happens.

Once the game has matured and things are getting serious, Oetzmann advises switching to the traditional ABC technique. At that point, it’s time to get focused and start playing seriously.

The verdict

Poker freeroll is a brilliant introduction to the adrenaline soaked world of poker tournaments. Everyone loves a free game, especially when there’s the chance of making a win, so don’t let this chance pass you by when you’re offered it!