When it comes to playing poker, there are two main variations; Cash Games and Tournaments. In this article, we will consider the latter, and help you find the best poker sites for tournaments.
Before we start, we must note that the poker site tournaments can vary by country, and therefore if you didn’t find anything on this list for your pleasing, then I’d recommend using the search bar at the top to find the best poker sites for your country.
At the end of this article, we will discuss and consider points surrounding poker tournaments, but without further ado, let’s have a look at the best poker sites for tournaments.
Best Poker Sites for Tournaments SummaryError::no related data to this provider name: 888Poker. Please double check is the provider name correct.
- Excellent choices with plenty of low-level players
- Plenty of tournament options
- Superb sign-on bonus
- Limited high-stakes games
- Six tables maximum
888 Poker runs the second biggest poker network on the planet, so it’s unsurprising that they feature so highly on this list. When it comes to tournaments, it’s very hard to beat 888! With tournaments running every hour you will surely find a place to start playing. The tournaments offered, come in great variations. Whether you’re looking for small buy-in and quick games or ones with huge jackpots and plenty of gameplay, you will surely find something to suit you. Alongside this, they also have great live event satellites which can grant you a place at real world championships!
On the downside, the high-stakes games are limited, and nothing will beat PokerStars’ Sunday Millions but, of course, many of us are quite contempt with playing smaller, more enjoyable games. If you’re looking to play tournaments in the long term as well, then the limit of six tables might become a hindrance, but even this takes a lot of practice.
- Biggest poker network
- Best rated software
- Biggest tournament prizes
- Play at 24 tables at a time
- Lot of professional players
- Extended tournaments
PokerStars is the biggest poker network on the market, which poses plenty of up and downsides. The most significant negative is that with plenty of players, comes plenty of sharks. Therefore, if you’re more of a casual gamer, instead of a pro grinder, then you’ll probably want to avoid the mid-high level tables on this network. Of the Poker Stars tournaments, the second biggest downside is that due to the stack sizes and sheer number of players, gameplay can often be very drawn out.
On the flipside though, a large player base means that PokerStars the most tournaments at any one point. Therefore, whether you’re looking for Stud poker, Texas Holdem, Turbos, and so forth, of whatever size, then you’ll be able to sit down and get going. No matter what time of day! They are also able to claim the largest guaranteed cash prizes, and very rarely they will have a super huge $10 million Sunday millions, instead of the standard one million. If you’d like to try and get a share of that, then start playing at PokerStars today, just watch your step.
- Huge sign-on bonus
- Relatively soft competition
- Razz poker also available
- Nothing to get spectacularly excited about
- Graphics could do with an update
Titan Poker is one of the best poker sites of the iPoker/ Playtech network, so there is very little negative to say about them. The biggest downside, of course, compared to the above is that it doesn’t have the same levels of traffic, so sometimes games can feel empty, and it might take a while for SNGs to kick off. Secondly, the graphics are not the most up to date, and it could do with being brought into the 21st century. Lastly, while there are plenty of pros to Titan Poker, the site is just missing that little special flair that makes playing online poker special.
Of course on the plus side, the site offers a huge poker bonus to get you started with. The low levels of players also means that the usually you will be playing with fish. They have a large selection of tournament types and sizes, catering for all levels of players. They also have large guaranteed prizes and plenty of poker types to choose from. With a large European user base, you’ll find Titan Poker to be a pleasant though somewhat dull experience.
- Many novice players
- Great software
- Plenty of variation and bonuses
- Many poker variations
- Multi-tabling can be difficult
- No third-party software allowed
Party Poker is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to online poker. They have a super selection of games available, with plenty of bonuses and every aspect of their service fits in the modern environment. When it comes to gameplay, bonuses, tournaments and promotions, there is absolutely nothing to fault with them.
Where users might find Party Poker a bit of a let down, is that they have banned the use of all external software. They have done this in the name of bringing back more enjoyable poker. While we agree with this, some can argue that using tools to learn and improve can also be called pleasant. This does make the game more casual and, of course, leads to a more casual player base. If this sounds like something up your river, then they are a worthwhile place to stake your money.
- Super unique features and bonuses!
- Very efficient software
- Big guarantees
- Traffic is slightly small
- Some rewards need to be earned quickly
RedKings might not be such a household name as the above poker sites, but don’t let this put you off. The company has invested heavily in making a network; that is not only modern but also has a few quirks that make gambling more exciting. What other company will give you 500 euros if you get beat while holding pocket red kings?! When it comes to tournaments, the company bangs the nail on the head with an excellent equilibrium between competition level and prize pool. If you’re looking to play competitively but still want a relaxed feeling, then the RedKings Tournaments were made for you.
RedKings also offers plenty of bonuses to choose from. This means that you can try and earn a whole $2500, or you can aim for a smaller sum that you might be more likely to achieve. On balance, RedKings is a friendly, well-established poker site with pleasant tournaments that will please most readers.
Poker Tournaments Considerations
While poker tournaments are undoubtedly great, there are a lot of factors to consider, before you decide that they are for you instead of cash games. You might often find that advanced players often play multiple variations of poker. However, if you’re a beginner, it’s better to hone your skill in a particular area before you spread your wings too much and end up flying too close to the sun.
Tournaments started gaining momentum on late night TV, and while the initial idea of watching might seem boring to a few, it’s extremely entertaining. Since then they have gone from strength to strength due to two facts. Firstly everyone starts with the same chip stack so you’re not playing against the odds, and secondly, you can never lose more than you started with.
Most poker sites will have the classics of Texas Holdem Poker and Omaha Poker, but some will also host Chinese poker, stud and more. Poker tournaments also come in a lot of formats, keep reading to find out more.
Tournament Types and Formats
Multi-Table Tournaments, or MTTs as they are more commonly known, are the staple of the tournament poker world. At the start of the tournament you pay a fee, a small chunk of which goes to the poker site and the other gets added to the prize pool. In return get provided with a stack of chips that’s the same size as everyone else’s.
As the name suggest you then play poker as usual but now and then you might get moved to a different table to even out the seating as people drop out. If you hold all the chips at the end of the tournament you win the prize pool. However, with tournaments, even placing can help and often even the 10th place gets paid. Standard tournaments start at a fixed time, so you’ll need to be available for when it does.
Sit and Gos are where the tournament starts as soon as enough seats have filled. If you’re looking to start playing tournaments straight away, then these are your best option, and unsurprisingly they are extremely popular. Because of the limited registration time, you’ll also find that there are fewer players, which gives you a better chance of winning.
Unlike with standard MTTs, in a shootout the tables don’t get balanced on a regular basis. Instead, only when just one person is sitting at a table, will everyone move onto the next. This means that at the start of each round everyone will have the same chip stack. This makes the game more exciting as the possibility of opponents having ridiculously outweighed stacks is removed.
Turbo Tournaments are the speed version of speed poker. Not only are blinds increased at a much bigger rate, but actions are required quicker as well. For the brave, some poker sites also host Super Turbo Tournaments.
Bounty tournaments usually feature a variety of pros. The game works just like a normal MTT, but if you knock out a player you will receive additional chips/ prizes and in some cases cash.
Not all of us can afford entry into $500 buy-in tournaments, the WSOP, WPT, or many other larger tournaments that we’d like to play at. This is where satellite tournaments come in. Instead of winning a cash sum at the end, you win an entrance ticket to the next tournament. In some cases you could enter a $2 tournament, win a ticket for a $10, then for a $100 one and then win $600 at the end of it. This is called the Moneymaker effect, due to Chris MoneyMaker winning $2.5million at the 2013 WSOP and having only spent $39 on an online satellite tournament.
One of the biggest draws of poker tournaments is the possibility of winning large cash prizes, with considerably little paid as an entrance fee. This is due to the fact that the cash amount collected from every player is only paid out to a limited number of winning players.
With standard MTTs, the poker site will provide a guaranteed payout to an X amount of top finishers. For example, let’s look at one of the largest poker tournaments, the PokerStars Sunday Millions. Here, as the name suggests, there is a guaranteed $1million for first place.
With SnGs the cash prizes, and places paid out, will depend on the number of people taking part. While the prizes aren’t as great as with MTTs, the action is slightly more predictable, shorter, and more importantly on-demand
When it comes to playing online poker, whether as a hobby or as a way of making me, you should never spend all your time playing poker. 24/7 poker, while sustainable in the short term, will never be beneficial in the long term. Therefore, it is important to consider the tournament timings; starting time and duration.
The starting time with MTTs is less important, and is beneficial, as it allows you to plan your day/ week in advance since it’s fixed. On the other hand Sit and Go tournaments do not have a set starting time. Instead they start when enough players join. Depending on the number of players available, and the size of the tournament, this can be as low as a few minutes, and we’ve never waited more than an hour.
The other fact you have to consider is tournament run time. While some tournaments can end within an hour, this is an unlikely scenario. Often they will run for multiple hours, and you’ll need stay alert and focused for the whole duration. Granted, there are breaks, but not many poker players can win an eight-hour tournament with very little rest.
Tournament Risk and Strategy
When it comes to tournaments, the strategy to use fairly different from cash games. This primarily stems from that fact that in cash games you have a maximum of nine opponents, whereas with tournaments this can go to a thousand and above! However, we won’t discuss the strategy in-depth in this article, as it is covered in our strategy guides. This difference in strategy, and the number of players, inherently creates larger risk and, just as with SnGs you should always start playing at lower levels. Of course most of us will still join larger tournaments for fun, as our eyes will be filled with dollar sites, and we’d like to take a punt.
Free Online Poker Tournaments
Free online poker tournaments are more commonly referred to as Freerolls. As the name suggests, these tournaments do not require you to pay an entrance free. Freerolls are generally provided to newcomers on a poker site, and for VIP players.
While the world of freerolls, is very exciting, we are focusing on the best poker sites for paid tournaments in this article. Don’t fret though, as we also have a list for the best freeroll poker sites.
Online vs Real World Tournaments
In conclusion, many users prefer online poker to real life tournaments as they can get started straight away from the comfort of their home. Online gaming also allows you to track your game, improve your results and manage your bankroll in a more see-through manner.
I hoped you enjoyed reading this list and enjoy the game!