How Buy-In Tournaments Work
Unless you are playing in a freeroll you will have to pay a buy-in to enter a poker tournament. If you are unfamiliar with how buy-ins work, how to understand them and what the money goes towards then the following can help you to understand.
A buy-in in a poker tournament is your entry fee. For paying this fee you gain entrance into the tournament and receive your tournament chips. Each player receives the same amount of chips and the player who ends the game with all the chips is declared the winner.
If you have done any research about poker tournaments then you have probably noticed that the buy-in differs from tournament to tournament. There are tournaments with buy-ins as low as $5 or even less and the World Series of Poker hosts a tournament with a $50,000 buy-in! Of course, the bigger the buy-in the bigger the prize. However, it is important to choose a poker tournament that is affordable for you and that won’t take a huge chunk out of your poker bankroll.
So where does your buy-in fee go? Most of the money you pay to enter a poker tournament will go towards the tournament prize money. A rake will be taken off the top of the buy-in by the casino or card room that is hosting the tournament. You may see a poker buy-in expressed as $50 + 10. This means that you have to pay a total of $60. $50 goes towards the tournament prize and is used to pay the winner and $10 goes to the casino that is hosting the tournament. Before you buy-in it is a good idea to find out how much the tournament prize is expected to be so that you know is the buy-in cost is worth it.