Planet Mark's Blog. Thoughts, News And Strategy For Poker Tournaments Of All Size

55 Different Types Of Online Poker Tournament

Logged on over the weekend and spotted yet another tournament type I had not seen before (the 'Pure Bounty At Party as it happens)... this lead to the trusty notebook coming out and a list of different types of poker tournament created. Here are my 55 different types of online poker tournament - let me know if I missed any!

1 - Freezeout Tournament: This is the basic type, 1 buyin, once your chips have gone you are out. Mostly so standard that calling them 'freezeouts' is not required, our average online poker tournament!

2 - Rebuy: Very popular, here you can buy more chips for the first hour any time you have your starting stack or less. Usually also include an 'add on' at the first hourly break where you can buy more chips still.

3- Satellite: A poker tournament in which you can win a seat in another poker tournament. These range from small buy-in events awarding seats in further satellites, through to tournaments in which you can win seats in prestigeous live events such as the world series of poker. I have a dedicated section covering Poker Satellites

4- Sit N Go (1 table): One table tournaments are a great way to enjoy poker. Standard games pay 3spots in a 50% / 30% / 20% format and include 9 or 10 players - though many shapes and sizes can be found.

5 - Shootout: These tournaments play like Sit N Goes, with the top 3 players going through to the next round, prizes are awarded along the way with 4 or 5 rounds possible in larger field events. Notto be confused with satellite qualifiers with similar names.

6 - Double Shootout: Again using the Sit N Go format, these tournaments are usually as satellites to bigger buy-in tournaments. The winners of the first round SNG meet in a 2nd round where prizes are distributed, between 1 and 4 seats are usually given, depending on the buy-ins.

7 - Knockout Bounty: Hugely popular, these tournaments split the buy-ins between a prize pool and a prize for knocking out each opponent. Splits range between 20% and 50% for of a buy-in for each knockout.  

8 - Pure Bounty: Here there is no prize pool, only a prize for knocking out each opponent, currently available at Party Poker and very entertaining indeed.

9 - Sniper: Well, ok, these are basically bounty tournaments given another name at Ultimate Bet, with some bigger buy-ins available too.

10 - Steps SNG: Steps are 1-table tournaments where you win seats in higher buy-in 1-table tournaments - all the way to the top 'step' where big prizes or seats in live tournaments are awarded. For years Party Poker was the home of steps, not both Pokerstars and Ongame have their own popular versions.

11 - Freeroll: A tournament offering a cash prize but with no entry cost, these often attract very large fields of very inexperienced opponents.

12 - Hellkat: Another variation on the 1-table theme. Hellkats are timed tournaments, with 15 and 30 minute durations, prizes are awarded based on who has the most chips at the end of the count-down.

13 - Triple Shootout: Exclusive to Pokerstars (as far as I am aware), same idea as the double shootouts already covered, usually involve 3* 6-max tables with one or two seats in larger tournaments awarded. Great way to try and satellite into a larger event for a small sum.

14 - Short Handed (6-max): While cash game players have been favoring 6-max for a couple of years, these are still in the minority for poker tournament fans - becoming more popular though!

15 - 4-max: Another exclusive for Pokerstars, 4 player tables leave nowhere to hide for tight players, adrenaline-filled and entertaining games.

16 -  Turbo: The speed of the blind levels makes a big difference to your strategy, turbo tournaments are also great for those short on time. We advise comparing sites for these - not all turbos are equally fast (or slow!)

17 -  Super Turbo: More of a 'shove-fest' for sure, but with definite strategies involved for those who can handle the swings, super turbo blind levels can be as short as 2 minutes each.

18 - Cash Out: Unique to Full Tilt, these games have an additional twist, you can leave at any time! Simply cash out your chips and go - make strategy decisions very much opponent-dependant.

19 - 2-table SNG: 12 or 18 player SNGs pay 3 or 4 and attract many more recreational players than other games - there are many variations of sizes for sit n goes, so we will stick to the most popular here.

20 - 5-table SNG: 45-mans as they are commonly known online, considered great for building that bankroll and starting at just $1 entry.

21 - 10 Table SNG: 90 or 100 players depending on which site you play at, here only the 'final table' will get paid. These start to blur the line between SNG and Multi-table tournament strategy, and are great for gaining experience at either form of poker.

22 - 20 Table SNG: 180 Player SNGs are one of Pokerstars better known tournaments, having these listed at the top of the main tournaments tab keeps the popular $4.40's, $12' (turbo) and $22's full night and day.

23 -  Heads Up: 1-on-1 poker is considered a great test of adapting to your opponents strategy (and then out-playing them), tournaments with multiple heads-up rounds are becoming increasingly popular online.

24 - Deep Stack: Handling a stack of many times the size of the blinds requires skilled hand reading and situational analysis - deep stacked games with 3000, 5000 or even more starting chips and slower blind increases can now be found at most online poker sites... if you are sick of the 'all-ins' early in tournaments, then deep-stacked games are for you.

25 - Big Antes: Big antes = big pots = more need to fight for your share before your stack dwindles. Big ante games are turbo charged and entertaining.

26 -  Hyper Turbo: Found at many sites, small starting stacks and fast blind increases combine to make these games a real test of nerves... waiting for a hand is not an option!

27 - Pot Limit Omaha: As PLO becomes more and more popular, so the number and variation of PLO tournaments grows. We'll stick to the most popular games only for this section...  

28 -  PLO8 Tournaments:  High-Low Omaha is dangerous for those who do not understand the effect that being quartered, counterfeited or scooped has on your strategy. Growing choice of poker tournaments in this format

29 - Stud: One of the traditional forms of poker, stud tournaments are most often played with a fixed-limit betting structure.

30 -  Stud8: The high-low version of stud, and another fixed-limit betting tournament.

31 - Mixed Games: 7-game, 8-game, HORSE and HA are all now found in tournament format, you'll need to find out which games are best to attack which opponent.

32 - Guaranteed Prize: Poker sites proudly publish their guarantees of anything from a few hundred to more than a million dollars. You'll know you are in for a potentially big payday before the tournaments begin, though more often than not the guarantees are left behind by the large numbers of entrants.

33 - Pot Limit: Pot-Limit betting has a big effect on the odds you can offer and recieve on each bet and call... make sure you understand the dynamic before entering a tournament with this skilled betting structure

34 -  Fixed Limit: In the later stages of fixed limit tournaments you really need to consider how many hands you can see through to the end against an aggressive opponent. Stud, Omaha Hi-Lo and Mixed Game tournaments include Fixed Limit betting variations... remember to double check that you did not enter a fixed limit game by mistake... I certainly have before now!

35 - Super-Satellite: Separated from normal Poker Satellites as the strategy changes when there are 1000's of people competing for 100's of seats. Examples include some of the many guaranteed seat WSOP satellites, as well as tournaments offering a lot of seats in online events such as the Sunday Million at Pokerstars.

36 -  6-max SNG: Short-handed 1-table tournaments pay 2 spots, since there are fewer players you will need to play more hands, and since your opponents will know this, post-flop skills are a must!

37 - Heads-up SNG: Many players now specialize in these 1-on-1 matches, sites often give you a 'rematch' option after the game closes.

38 - 2-Day Tournament Events: Full Tilt offer a big 2-day event as part of their FTOPS championship several times a year. Ultra-deep and extra slow gives time for the most skilled players to prevail.

39 - Pro Bounties: Knock out a known player and win a prize, UB and Full Tilt all offer these... imagine the satisfaction of having knocked Phil Hellmuth out on top of a cash prize!  

40 - Capped Field: Many players do not enjoy battling through fields of 1000's in tournaments, Stars now offer capped fields of 360, 500 or 1000 in many tournaments to solve this (in addition to the 180 player SNGs)... I actually recommend finding a smaller site as a good alternative though - same small-fieldbenefits with more recreational players = more profits.

41 - Turbo Rebuy: This combination is usually reserved for satellite tournaments, combining speedy blinds with rebuys for 30 minutes only leaves a lot of chips on the table for the final stages.

42 -  Heads-Up Winner Takes All: Usually including a cap on the number of players (128 common), one lucky (or rather skilled!) winner in these games will take the entire prize pool.

43 -  2x Turbo: Extended version of the 'turbo-rebuy' described above, more time to rebuy but with relentless and fast blind increases - 2x Turbos often award seats directly into live events.

44 -  Triple-Up: 3 player single table tournaments with one prize, found at Pacific (888) Poker.

45 - Knockout SNG (90 Player): Full Tilt's 90 player knockout SNGs get a separate entry, these are on the front page of the tournament lobby and run from $3 to $48 entries filling up super-fast, recommened as a great way to gain some tournament experience and build your bankroll.

46 - Daily Doubles: Another Full Tilt special, doubles give you the chance to win a huge jackpot by final tabling 2 on the same day. Entry fee's are $5+$1 and the standard of play is, well, 'recreational' to put it kindly!

47 - 300 Chip Hyper Turbo KOs: Still at Full Tilt, who have combined knockouts and hyper-turbos with 300 chip starting stacks in both Holdem and PLO format... no point waiting for a hand in these, you'll need to keep ahead of the blinds.

48 - 1 Rebuy + 1 Add-on: Called 'Cubed' at some sites, these allow you to rebuy only once during the first hour and then add on at the break.

49 - Private Tournaments: Many sites have a private tournaments listing, and many of these have extra money in to prize pool from their sponsors - there are people who find the passwords by searching the net to enjoy this extra money and the fun players that private events often attract.

50 - Jackpot SNGs: Exclusive to the iPoker Network (see our Titan Poker Review for more) these 1 or 2 table tournaments pay up to $50k for players winning 5 or 6 in a row - again it is the fun players that these games attract that makes them potentially very profitable.

51 - VIP Freerolls: Have separated the VIP freerolls as these have huge prizes compared to the regular freerolls on offer. Biggest of all is the monthly Pokerstars Turbo Takedown, this costs 5000 points to enter and has an incredible $1 million in prize money.

52 - Lucky Dollar / New Player Events: Party Poker offer new players a chance to play in their value-added 'lucky dollar' tournaments, where the site add money to the prize pool. We should include other site's offers here too - the beginners poker tournaments can add nicely to your sign-up incentives package.

53 - Overlay Tournaments: Any guaranteed prize pool which is bigger than the sum of entry fees gives players free cash to compete for, while overlays used to be more common when fields were smaller - there are still many of these events to be found at smaller to mid-sized poker sites.

54 - 1st Hand All In SNGs: Titan Poker run these, basically a fun lottery to win a seat in a satellite to one of their online events. For those with a bit of gamble in them!

55 - Matrix SNGs: Never sure whether to label these as 'innovative' or just  'novelty', you get 4 SNG screens at once and collect points for finish positions opponents eliminated, yeah - novelty!

Well, thats what I could come up with on a cold Sunday afternoon - got to be more out there though, so please let me know if you think of any... here's to the 3 more I'll think of as soon as I hit the 'publish' button!!  

GL at the tables, Mark

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