Posts Tagged ‘poker freerolls’

Why Open Freerolls should be avoided

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

A common starting point for many poker players is open freerolls. As the name suggests, open freerolls don’t feature any requirements at all. Instead, anybody can register and play as long as they’re a member of the poker site.

It seems like open freerolls are perfect for beginners because you can compete for real money without having to risk anything. But these free tournaments certainly aren’t the best route towards steady poker profits and we’ll explain why.

Not Enough to Go Around

The biggest problem that open freerolls present is the prize money-to-player ratio. For instance, these freebies might offer a $50 prize pool, but 2,000-4,000 players will likely register for the event. After all, there are no restrictions, so why wouldn’t a crowd of players enter?

But here’s where the big problem comes into play since these large, crowded fields make cashing much harder. Using a $50 freeroll with 4,000 players as an example, the average player would only earn 1.25 cents per tournament (5,000 cents/4,000 players). And nobody is going to consider 1.25 cents as being proper payment for a lengthy freeroll.

Still Useful

While open freeroll tournaments may not be profitable over the long-term, they aren’t entirely useless. This is especially the case for beginning players who are merely looking to sharpen their game against other players without risking money.

However, the key is to avoid getting overly wrapped up in open freerolls and relying on them to build a bankroll. Sure these are fun to play and can earn you a little pocket change. However, the best way to make serious poker profits is by playing in real money games and studying poker strategy. With enough hard work, you can eventually move up in stakes and make some nice profits.

Why Poker Freerolls can be more Frustrating than Real Money Play

Monday, December 17th, 2012

A lot of online poker players initially get their start by playing freerolls. After all, if you’re leery about putting money on the line, open-entry freerolls (no entry requirements) are a great way to build a bankroll from scratch. But there’s also a big downside to starting out with open-entry freerolls. In fact, they can be very frustrating and we’ll explain why below.

Heavy Competition

The main problem with most freerolls is that the proportion between players and the prize money is badly skewed. For example, there might be 2,000 players competing for a $100 prize pool; this works out to $0.05 of expected value for the average player.

Taking the heavy amount of competition into account, it gets really frustrating trying to make money in freerolls. There are going to be tons of times when you make deep runs in freeroll tournaments, only to bust out close to the money. Considering how only around 1.5-2% of the field cashes, it’s really heart-breaking to just miss a cash.


Compounding the stress of an open-entry freeroll is the fact that you’ll be getting very little money out of your time. Going further, you might only earn a few cents per hour when everything is averaged out. This being said, many players are simply better off making a small deposit and grinding their way up from the lower stakes.

A Good Practice

While most freerolls aren’t exactly money-generators, players shouldn’t totally discount them – especially beginners. Anybody who’s new to online poker can get a lot of benefit out of playing these free tournaments. There’s no money to risk, and you get to compete against other opponents for a prize pool.

But the main thing to understand here is that it’s tough making any serious money from freerolls. So if profit is your entire poker goal, make a deposit, keep learning strategy, and grind your way up the stakes.