Freeroll Poker Tournament Strategy

by Jeremy Olson on January 20, 2012

The vast majority of online poker players out there are freeroll hunters who are looking to build a bankroll. And there’s nothing wrong with this because freerolls present an excellent opportunity to make money without having to risk your own. However, you also have to keep in mind that your time is at stake in freerolls, so it’s important to value this time when playing. That said, let’s take a look at some freeroll poker tournament strategy you can use.

Play Tight, Wait for Hands - The number one piece of poker strategy advise you should keep in mind for freerolls is to play tight and wait for good poker hands. This is especially the case in the early going when blinds aren’t a factor, and you can simply wait for premium hands. Playing like this will help you survive the early going when others who don’t value their freeroll seat are making crazy raises in hopes of doubling up. Furthermore, you are far more likely to get action on your premium hands with the average freeroll players.

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Open your Play up in Later Stages - Around the halfway point of a freeroll, many of the maniacs will be gone, which leaves more tight players like yourself (assuming you took the aforementioned advise). At this point, you need to open up the range of poker hands you’re willing to play because A) others players will be doing this too, and B) the blinds are rising. So if you’re willing to make a preflop raise with AQ or better from MP, you should open this slightly to include AJ too.

Make Bigger Raises to Protect Hands - Whether you’re trying to isolate one opponent after the flop with AA, or you’re trying to force an opponent to fold, you need to make bigger raises in freerolls to protect your hand. For example, if you are in early position with a stack of 2,000 chips and the blinds are at 25/50, you can’t just throw out a 4x the big blind raise here because there could be several callers; if this happens, you lose your advantage. The reason why is because there are more calling stations in freerolls who aren’t afraid to risk one-tenth of their stack to see the flop. So based on the table, you’ll need to make much larger raises to protect your good hands.