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Poker Freerolls - Playing Tight vs. Loose Early

by Jeremy Olson on August 27, 2012

Poker freerolls are definitely a nice way for recreational players to build a bankroll without risking much money. After all, the entry is totally free and any money earned is pure profit. But as many of us know, freerolls don’t completely come without costs because your time is what’s being sacrificed. And due to the large player pool-to-prize money ratio, you’ll be sacrificing a lot of time to make money.

So in an effort to make sure that you’re not wasting time, it’s important to do well in the early stages so you have a chance at the money. This being said, let’s take a closer look at the two main philosophies for freeroll poker tournaments in the early going.

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Playing Tight

If freerolls are a long-term pursuit for you, most people advocate playing really tight in the beginning. The reason why is because many recreational players don’t value their freeroll seat and they play just about ATC. So when you stick to a tight range in the beginning such as AA, KK, QQ, JJ and AK from early position, you have a strong chance to win big hands off of bad players.

Playing Loose

Another way to play freerolls involves being loose in the beginning. The argument for playing loose is that you want to build a big stack in the early stages of a freeroll poker tournament or bust out trying. After all, it’s a waste of time to play into the middle or late stages and not make any money.

However, the thing to consider here is that you’ll be busting out a lot more by playing loose in the beginning of freerolls. So you’ll waste quite a bit of time this way too. From a general perspective, it’s better to play tight in the early stages - except when the table dynamic permits playing loose.


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