Strategy for Playing Tournaments Early

Playing hands early on in poker tournaments are sometimes insignificant because the blinds are small and the stacks are massive. You shouldn’t overlook certain hands in situations for this reason. The reason is that if you catch a flop, you can double up or win a big pot against a player who doesn’t see your camouflaged middle suited connected hand. Playing suited connectors early on in tournaments is one thing you should always look to do, whether it is calling a 3 bet before the flop with them or seeing a flop cheaply, you should look to play them. You will either get paid off by a double up or you will lose a small percentage of your stack. Most players will shy away from hands like 45 suited, but if you want a big stack early on you should play these hands.

Looking for value in hands that other players don’t see value in will help you take big pots off of players without them seeing what you are doing. Once players see that you could have any hand in any situation you are now feared by your table. This is what you want to happen early on in a poker tournament. This will allow you to read players easily and get your chips in when you want to get your chips in. It makes you winning a poker tournament more feasible simply because nobody wants to play a weak hand against a maniac. If you get put to the test your opponent probably has a big hand, but also you will induce bluffs when you do have monster hands. You get value later on in tournaments from showing down one or two weak hands. This is something to keep in mind because when you are unpredictable in return your opponents become very predictable. It gives you a massive edge and you will find yourself deep in tournaments with a ton of chips. When this happens more frequently you will see that playing one or two suited connectors early on establishes a great table image for you.

When you are dealt big pairs early on in poker tournaments the main thing you want to do is win a small pot or win a big pot. The one thing you don’t want to do is go bust right away. You have to be able to lay down big pairs early on in tournaments if the board is connected or you think you’re your opponent could have a big hand. It gets tricky if you play big pairs out of position especially if you 3 bet pre-flop and inflate the pot. If you have a hand like QQ and a king hits the flop you are now guessing whether they have it or not, that is why you should most times just call before the flop only early on in the tournament. You can let your opponent bluff at the pot and simply call them down to win a small pot. When you inflate the pot out of position you are in trouble unless you have a solid read on what your opponent is capable of. When playing big pocket pairs you don’t want to over commit or under commit to a pot, but rather think of what your opponent could have and then just go from there. Thinking of the best solution and way to play a hand is up to you, but you certainly don’t want to have your opponent go all-in and you not be able to snap call them.

Poker tournaments are the longest grinds out there and winning is your goal from when hand one is dealt up until the last hand is dealt. There is a great deal of variance in poker tournaments and approaching the early part of them effectively should help you down the road. You shouldn’t look to move it in on flush draws early on or play big pots out of position. If you are playing a big pot you should be certain that you have the best hand. If you are unsure whether you have the best hand or not then you should probably not be in the pot to begin with or you should look over the type of opponent you are playing against. There are a number of different styles out there and way players approach tournament play early on. The best way isn’t to play aggressive or to play passive, it is to look over how the other players are playing at your table and make the proper adjustments. If you make adjustments and change gears frequently, then you will leave your opponents guessing. Changing gears will help you advance to the later stages of the tournament and always leave your opponents in wonder of what you are doing.