While most poker tournament strategy these days revolves around the online game, it’s still worth discussing casino poker tournament strategy because, well, plenty of people still play in the casinos. Assuming you’re looking to play in your first live tournament, or you’re just relatively inexperienced, here is some general casino poker tournament strategy.
Don’t deviate much from Online Poker Strategy
If you’re an experienced online poker player, then you’ve probably got a little strategy behind your play already. This being said, you don’t have to make a lot of adjustments heading into casino tournaments. After all, the same concepts are still in play such as bet sizing, keeping a solid set of starting hand requirements and implied odds.
Focus on Chip Stacks
One mistake that a lot of new casino players make is neglecting to pay attention to stack sizes. However, the size of your stack, as well as opponents’ stacks, should factor heavily into your strategy. For example, let’s say that you have less than 10BB in the middle of a tournament; in this case, you’d need to be willing to shove with any decent hand in order to steal blinds and keep yourself alive in the tourney. Also, assuming an opponent has 10BB or less and you’ve got a big stack and a decent hand, it might be worth calling when they make potential desperation moves.
Learn a few Live Tells
While the whole live tells/bluffing aspect of poker is a little overrated, it’s still important that you learn a few live poker tells before jumping into a casino tournament. And while some tells may be specific to certain players, a general one is when a person looks at their cards, then looks immediately at their stack, they have a good hand and are planning to bet.