How to Win Rebuy Tournaments

Rebuy TournamentsRebuy tournaments give tournament players a unique opportunity to play a more laid back form of poker in which the consequences for losing hands are not as drastic as in traditional freezeout tournaments. For the first hour or so, the players in a rebuy tournament may buy in again if they lose all their chips. The vast majority of rebuy tournaments allow for unlimited rebuys during the first hour.

The unique structure of rebuy tournaments make it necessary to adopt a different strategy than what is usually used for freezeout tournaments. Thanks to there being unlimited rebuys, the entire goal of rebuy tournaments is to build as big a chip stack possible as quickly as possible. There is no need to worry about conserving chips because they can be replaced any time they are lost.

The advantage to playing in rebuy tournaments is that their prize pools end up being much larger than for freezeouts with similar numbers of entrants. Additionally, many players play rebuy tournaments completely wrong and therefore make the tournaments easier for you. The combination of weak competition and large prize pools should be attractive to any serious poker player.

Rebuy Tournament Bankroll

Rebuy tournaments actually cost more than what is listed in the poker lobby. If you play correctly, you will always spend more than one buy in on any given rebuy tournament. This is important to remember so you don’t accidentally play outside your tournament bankroll.

The generally accepted rule is to assume a typical buy in actually costs five times as much as is listed in the tournament lobby. This means that if you are considering playing in a $10 rebuy, pretend like it costs $50 for the purposes of your bankroll management strategy. That way, you’ll play within your bankroll and still have the freedom to rebuy and add on when necessary.

Strategy for the Rebuy Hour

During the rebuy hour, you can build your chip stack through any one of several strategies. Some players like to play extra loose and gamble it up in an attempt to build up a big stack early and then play a more sane game for the rest of the tournament.

Other players like to play a normal, tight-aggressive game to take advantage of all the loose, wild play in tournaments. The tight-aggressive player can still rebuy as necessary and therefore doesn’t have to play as tight as he would in a normal tournament.

The optimal strategy is a mixture of the two playing styles. You want to take advantage of all the loose play and big stacks, but you don’t want to play so loose that you end up making bad plays left and right. Rebuys are nice and all, but they aren’t free.

Use the rebuy period as a chance to see flops when in good position but not to gamble with poor draws. Any time you get a strong hand, play it strongly. Come in with a raise and be ready to get it all in if you catch a piece of the flop. You’ll see a lot of gambling during the rebuy hour so your typical range for going all-in can be a little wider.

Don’t be afraid to mix it up a little during this part of the tournament. Take the opportunity to see a few flops and try to make the most of the time you have. The wild, loose play of the tournament means there’s a good chance you’ll get paid if you catch something strong. By playing more hands than usual, you’ll be more likely to catch the flop you need.

Keep an eye on the other players at the table and adjust your play according to their playing styles. Even though the rebuy stage is all about doubling up as soon as possible, it doesn’t mean you can’t use a little strategy. Push the tight players around all you can and let the loose players hang themselves on your strong hands.

The Add-On

The add-on allows you to add one buy in’s worth of chips at the cost of a regular rebuy. Take the add-on every chance you get. Not only will that extra money act as an additional cushion, but it will allow you to win more chips. If the buy in gives you an additional 1500 chips and you go on to double up three more times after that, your additional chips alone will become worth an extra 12,000 chips you wouldn’t have had without that add-on.

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