Online Poker Rebuys - Rebuy Tournament Strategy

Rebuy tournaments are extra unique in that they offer the player a cheap shot at an inflated prizepool. It is not uncommon to enter a $3 rebuy tournament on PokerStars and be competing for a massive first place prize of $5,000 or higher! If you love playing deepstacked poker for a few hours, rebuy multi-table tournaments just may be the best thing for you. The sheer volume of satellite entrants and dead money in these types of tournaments make it very +EV (expected value) to the serious players out there. With the ability to rebuy as much as 3,000 chips time after time during the first hour (commonly referred to as the rebuy hour) you have a very good chance at building a massive stack to use later. If you are a solid poker player who works on his leaks and is constantly looking to improve it is not unreasonable to expect a ROI (return on investment) of 30%+.

Best Rebuy Poker Sites

  • Full Tilt Poker
  • PokerStars
  • Carbon Poker

Early Rebuy Tournament Strategy

Take the Intitial Rebuy

Before the first hand is even dealt you should have taken the initial rebuy. Popular sites like Full Tilt Poker allow you to rebuy 1500 more chips before you even begin playing your online poker tournament. While many players approach rebuy tournaments with various limits and strategies, far too many people do not take advantage or miss massive edges in the game like taking the initial rebuy. I truly believe you are missing value by not buying those additional chips to start. Our primary goal in poker is making plays that are most beneficial for us and diving after any small edges we can find. If you start a tournament with 1500 chips when half the table has 3,000 you have already put yourself to a disadvantage before the first card even hits the air. Playing smart poker wins the most money in the long run.

Early Strategy

During the first hour of play in a rebuy tournament you will see many a chips flying all over the place at random. It is normal for people to overvalue their draw type hands and often they are worth taking the
shot to hit it. It seems that every table has what we refer to in the poker community as a ‘rebuy maniac’. While his play will look completely random, uncalculated and spewy he is the guy you do want at your table! He will provide your table with much needed chips thus inflating the average stack.

What type of hands should I be playing early?

During the opening blind levels (10/20, 20/40 etc) I like to see a number of cheap flops with suited connectors and mediocre broadway hands. Do not be afraid to limp in on the button for 20 chips with a hand like 8c 9c, especially if others have limped in front of you. Standard you might say, which is indeed true. However unlike a regular freezeout you may play on a top tier poker site like Bodog Poker, I am much more likely to get all my chips in the middle with just an open ended straight draw for example. Where as I may have proceeded with a bit more caution had my tournament life been on the line. I like to gamble to get a big stack during the first hour, but by no means am I throwing money away. Don’t be that guy who pushes All In every hand and turns a $10 buyin rebuy MTT into a $200 event. The object is still to make money, do so by playing smart +EV poker.

Take the Add-On

At the end of the first hour players also have the option to ‘add-on‘. Basically for the price of a regular rebuy you get 2000 chips. As stated before there is no reason to skip this addon. Whether you have 3,000 chips or 30,000 always take the extra chips. Remember that in a tournament you must eventually gain every chip in play to win the tournament. Therefore by taking the maximum amount of chips available, you have put yourself on the correct path to obtaining those chips.

Post Rebuy Strategy

Now that the storm has passed and everyone has settled into there comfortable seats we can play some poker. This is usually the stage in the tournament where the above average player can pick up valuable
chips to add to his chip stack. Remember we mentioned the satellite entrants and dead money? These are the types of opponents who will not properly tighten up and adjust after rebuy period. They find themselves playing far to many dominated hands, much of the time out of position. We want to carefully and aggressively attack those players.

Play Position and Squeeze Value out of your Opponents

It is no longer the correct decision to put your tournament life at risk with marginal holdings and draws without odds. Have some patience. The structure of online poker rebuy tournaments are usually very slow and allow you to play a big stack very comfortably. Play your position at the table and squeeze maximum value out of your monsters while keeping you net loses to a minimum. Players that have a tendency to not tighten up after the rebuy hour tend to make loose, out of the ordinary calls.

Be Aggressive in the Bubble

Before you know it just by playing ABC poker you will be approaching the money bubble and can step up the aggression putting yourself in prime position to make a deep run. Bubble time is one of the most profitable times in tournament poker to grab some much needed chips. There are times when it is virtually correct to raise every single hand on the bubble. Bully the little guys who are trying to just squeak into the payout positions before they put themselves in a position to double up after they have secured some cash .

The later stages of these types of tournaments play like a well structured freezeout. You can have 100 plus big blinds sailing along all the way to victory. Yet if you encounter a few hurdles on the way you can still play the short stack effectively due to the excellent slow increase of the blinds.

Conclusion on Rebuy Tournaments:

Online rebuy poker tournaments offer massive fields and extra large payouts. For a measly few dollar buyin a player has the potential to win thousands of dollars. If you have a few spare hours (some of these tournaments can run for 6 hours) and love the challenge of competing against thousands of people, I would definitely recommend playing one of these tournaments. They are fun filled, and action packed just what we poker players thrive as well as starve for.

The competition can be atrocious in the lower buyin’s yet the higher rebuy tournaments attract some the world’s best. Take control of your own fate and become the hunter, not the hunted.