Online Poker Tournaments

Online poker tournaments is one of the most popular methods to play online poker. The biggest poker sites will have new tournaments running 24 hours a day. There are also scheduled million dollar tournaments, which draw in thousands of players. But if you're just starting on the online poker scene you may be unfamiliar or unsure of what the different types of tournaments are, and how to play them. This list will help.


The name of this tournament typically attracts the eye. Players love 'free' and 'freerolls' are extraordinarily popular. The prize pool varies, and will only be impressive on the biggest poker sites. The smallest poker sites with the least traffic may offer few, if any, freerolls.

But what exactly is a freeroll? These are tournaments that are free to enter. Players may simply need to register, other times points from the VIP or Loyalty program pays for your entry. Freerolls generally do not offer rebuys.

There are also exclusive New Player Freerolls, entry to these are with special tickets given to brand new accounts. Most professional level players won't bother with a tournament that has a small prize pool. But don't assume freerolls mean easy competition- this is a great place for players to build strategies, and the ones that have a large prize pool attract a lot of attention.


These tournaments are called guaranteed because of the prize pool. The pool amount is “guaranteed” no matter how many players enter. It can be difficult to get in to these tournaments. The stake level varies, as does the prize pool. Guaranteed tournaments can range from a few thousand dollars all the way up a few hundred thousand. Some poker sites are famous for their Sunday Guaranteed tournaments, with a million dollar prize pool.


Bounty tournaments offer a very cut throat poker experience. This type of tournament requires a much different strategy- as players are no longer only trying to build their stack to make it to the final tables. This tournament type is not offered by every poker site yet, but they are building in popularity.

In this type of tournament players earn a 'Bounty' for every player they kick out of the tournament. This is paid into the player's bankroll immediately. It can be used for rebuys or add ons, but it is in your bankroll, it is not deposited as chips so you don't need to worry about losing your prize. This type of tournament most commonly splits the potential prize pool into two halves. One percentage is paid out like a typical prize pool, the other is used to pay the bounties as players are kicked out.

Sit and Go

These poker tournaments are the most commonly held- and on the bigger poker sites you can find a Sit and Go open any time of the day. These are typically very small tournaments and commonly range anywhere from 2 to 18 players. The small number of players allows a very fast turnover, so players can sit down, and typically have a very short wait time before the tournament starts. This is very different from the other types of tournaments which can take registration sometimes days in advance.

The prize pool of these type of tournaments is rarely very large, and buy ins can be as low as $1. Despite this, this type of tournament is extremely popular. Some poker players don't tend to realize Sit and Gos are a tournament, as poker rooms will typically list them separate from the Tournament and Ring Games. Some poker rooms will even see more traffic at the Sit and Gos than they do at the Ring Games.


With the growing popularity of online poker, more and more players want their chance at the WSOP. These Satellite tournaments vary wildly. Some of the biggest poker rooms offer freerolls which the prize is a ticket into a WSOP Satellite. Any tournament that leads to the WSOP will have a very high level of competition.

The stake levels get higher the closer you get to the final WSOP tables- but for a very skilled player it is possible to start with the free roll and low stake tournaments at the very bottom of the ladder and win their entry into the higher level satellites.

No matter what poker room you play at, nearly all of them will offer a WSOP satellite, and some will even sponsor players. With multi-million dollar jackpots, the coveted WSOP bracelet, and the fame of winning a world-famous poker tournament, it is no surprise that even the low level satellites attract more attention than nearly every other tournament type offered by any poker room.