Online Poker Tournaments, an Overview

With the expansion of the online poker and gaming industry, online card rooms offer a range of tournaments for the growing number of punters on the net. Not only are they fun and accessible but a lot of money stands to be made for both the experienced and uninitiated, and there are often opportunities to win big tour packages online as well.

What makes online poker tournaments so attractive is that players are not hamstrung by the strict rules and regulations of the land-based casinos. In fact players often have strategy guides and tables or odds calculators on hand whilst playing.

Online Poker Tournament Categories

There are a range of online tournaments available at most card rooms and these are generally the most popular:

Satellite Poker Tournaments

Many online and brick and mortar casinos offer satellite poker tournaments where the prize is generally an entry to one of the larger buy-in events. For instance the Caribbean Poker Classic has two poker tournament packages up for grabs each year, and these packages not only include the main event buy-in but offer paid accommodation, travel and spending money too! Effectively players from anywhere in the world have a chance of winning an entry to these major poker events including the WSOP, WPT, EPT and the Aussie Millions.

Chris Moneymaker, who won the main event and $2.5 million at the 2003 WSOP, only made it to the felt tables in Nevada via an online satellite tournament. Many amateur players, and some pros too, simply do not have the money to enter the big events, so it is one way the ‘man in the street’ can get to the big time and compete.

Multi-Table Poker Tournaments

All players start off with a predetermined number of chips, and as the name suggests, players at a number of tables compete against each other for the personal chip stacks as the blinds/antes increase. As players are knocked out of the event, tables are ‘broken’, meaning that the remaining players are re-assigned to other tables to keep the remaining tables full. The few remaining players will move to the final table and the winner will be the player who collects all the other player’s chips. Winners are awarded cash prizes according to the number of registered tournament entrants.

Sit and Go

The event will only begin once sufficient players have enrolled to fill the number of seats on offer. Opponents play against each other until one player has captured all the opponent’s chips, and cash prizes, which are determined by the number of entrants, are awarded to the top finishers.


Freerolls are tournaments with no buy-ins.


As the name implies, these events are head-to-heads where an individual tests his or her skill against another.