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How To Get Started

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HOW TO GET STARTED

Playing in online tournaments is an excellent way to practice for playing in live tournaments and they’re available every day, all day. You can even play more than one tournament simultaneously if you’re so inclined. Playing online is also a lot faster than live tournaments you’ll play double the amount of hands in the same time as compared to a land-based casino.

Online casinos have made sure to make it very easy to get started: even with minimal computer knowledge you’ll be playing within minutes.

The first thing you need to do is find an online poker gambling site you like. Poker Stars is one of the oldest and most reputable poker sites on the internet. They also offer more tournaments and a bigger prize pool than any other site. Because they’re so popular and have so many different types of tournaments all day, they offer something to suit everyone.

After choosing a site, you need to download and install their software so you can play. Most sites will explain how to do this on their download page. The software you’re downloading is the site’s ‘poker client’ this is the program that you run on your computer so you can play poker and access the site’s tables.

Once you’ve successfully installed the software/poker client, go to the site’s lobby or page where they list tournaments and tournament schedules (some sites list them under the ‘tables’ section). Again, the more popular a site is, the more likely they’ll have lots of tournaments to choose from. (Poker Stars has tournaments starting every five minutes twenty-four hours a day and offers a 25% bonus on your first deposit!).

What you do next depends on the tournament format. Some start at a set time and date and require that you pre-register (such as multi-table tournaments). Other formats, as in single table tournaments (also called Sit ‘n Go), start once a table is filled to capacity (usually nine or ten players) and do not follow a strict starting time. You simply sign-up for the table and wait for every seat to be filled.

Every site has their own method for how you sign up, but usually you click on the tournament tables from the lobby and then click on the game you wish to play. You then have to pay the registration fee which includes the buy-in and a small fee for the casino. You’ll be given a set number of chips everyone gets the same amount and the game ends when one player has won all of the chips.

Most sites will let you leave the game and give you your chips back if it’s before play starts. However, once the game begins and you want to leave, you forfeit your chips.

If you’re brand-new to poker, it’s recommended that you practice with play money before using your hard-earned cash to learn the game, or at least play a freeroll tournament (as the name suggests, they’re free) or one with a really cheap buy-in. Many sites have very inexpensive buy-ins for tournaments, including Poker Stars, who has one of the widest ranges of games on the internet that even beginners will find a free or cheap buy-in some of their buy-ins are as low as a penny and many are cheaper than $5!

One good thing about playing in a tournament when you’re a beginner is that you won’t lose more money than your buy-in (unless you’re playing in a re-buy tournament and bought more chips). And if you’re not too bad, you can play for a long time with that initial small buy-in such excellent value!

So don’t think you need to be an excellent player before you can play in online tournaments there are so many tournaments available at discounted buy-ins that it’s not a concern if you lose.

Now check out table formats to understand the mechanics of different tournament styles.

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