5 best strategies to win poker tournaments (2023)

Here are some strategies to try out at poker (Image via The Telegraph)
Here are some strategies to try out with poker (Image via The Telegraph)

One of the primary differences between a cash game and a poker tournament is the number of stacks a player encounters. The stacks are comparatively lower in cash games, making it easier to plan out strategically compared to tournaments.

While there are many strategies for players to follow, not all will be effective in every scenario. Moreover, finding appropriate strategies can be challenging for someone just beginning their poker journey.

Here are five strategies that new poker players should consider before competing.


5 strategies to use in poker tournament

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There are many strategies that players can choose to employ in poker tournaments. Here's a look at some basic strategies that can benefit both beginner and seasoned players:

1) A slow start

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A poker tournament is like a marathon. In the early stages of the tournament, it's wise to play conservatively. Many players lose their chips early in the game due to their aggressive playing style.

Players should analyze the opposition in the early rounds and understand how they play. If you see your opponents playing aggressively, it's okay to slow down. Start off at a steady pace but avoid being too cautious.


2) Stack protection is important

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Stack protection is crucial in poker tournaments. If an opponent has a large stack mid-game, you must be careful not to try dominating the table. You can be aggressive with players who have shorter stacks, but against someone with a huge stack on the table, exercise caution.

During the mid-game stage, most players tend to lose out on their hands. Instead of speculating about the outcome of the round, one should focus on playing their hands where they have better cards.


3) Patience is key

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It's challenging to win a tournament during the early games. In the mid-game stages, most players begin blowing their winnings due to haste. With varying stack sizes on the table, players should gauge their hands carefully before making a call.

This strategy goes hand in hand with protecting one's stack of chips on the table. Players with weak hands should not take too many risks unless they're absolutely sure of their position on the board. You will always find an opening or two during each round, so be patient and wait for your chances.


4) Understanding one's position

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One must understand their position on the table at any given time. Be cautious and play conservatively if you have a small stack on the table.

Meanwhile, players can push opponents with smaller stacks into making mistakes if they have a stack larger than the rest on the table. Understanding your position on the table and when to make hard calls is important, especially during tournaments.


5) Timed aggression

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While it isn't recommended to follow a constant aggressive approach, some amount is needed. If players don't show any aggressive intent, they may not have enough chips to survive during the latter stages of the game. Knowing when to push the table is useful.

Although constant aggression reduces a player's chances of making it to the tournament's final stages, some amount of it will help them stack up on the chips required to survive in the tournament.

These are some basic strategies players can use during poker tournaments. As a beginner, once you get the hang of things, you can slowly start developing your own strategies.

Note: This article reflects the opinions of the writer

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Edited by Dinesh Renthlei