Best Online Texas Holdem Rooms
- Poker Site Ranking Bonus Score ReviewPlay
- 1. Pacific Poker £ 8 9.4 Review Play
- 2. Titan Poker $2000 9.3Review Play
- 3. Victor Chandler €10009.2 Review Play
- 4. PokerStars $600 9.2 Review Play
- 5. Bwin Poker $500 9.2 Review Play
- Poker Site Ranking Bonus Score ReviewPlay
- 6. Ladbrokes £259.2 Review Play
- 7. William Hill €12509.0 Review Play
- 8. Intertops $600 8.7 Review Play
- 9. PKR 3D Poker $800 8.6 Review Play
- 10. Cake Poker $500 8.5 Review Play
Getting started online
- Choosing a poker room
- Downloading software
- Buying credit
- Playing the game
- Collecting winnings
Online Texas Holdem
- How to start playing online
- Online poker tournaments
- Online tournament strategy
- Online bluffing
- Online tells
- Player notes
- playing multiple games
- Playing online professionally
Poker Room Reviews
- Poker stars
- Victor Chandler
- TITAN POKER
- 888 Pacific Poker
- PKR 3D POKER
- William hill poker
- Cake poker
- Party poker
- Bwin poker
- Betfair poker
TEXAS HOLDEM BASICS
- Texas holdem fundamentals
- Game instruction step-by-step
- Hand ranking
- Buy-ins and table stakes
- Betting, calling, checking, folding
- Texas holdem rules
- Where to play
- Responsible play
- Poker terms
HOSTING A HOME TOURNAMENT
Home poker games are a great way to socialize with friends and for players who normally play exclusively online to get some live play experience in a relaxed environment. Most home games are cash games played in a ring style with either one poker variant being played the whole time (usually Texas Holdem), or several variants over the course of the event. But it’s also quite easy to host your own home poker tournament, so if you’ve been strictly playing cash games with your friends, you should consider mixing it up and have a tournament the next time you all get together to play.
Be sure to read our page on how to host a home poker game, as it goes over more detailed information about the table, chips, cards, and so on, which all apply to tournament play as well.
Before the Tournament
1. Select the poker variant you want to play. Most people know Texas Holdem, so that one’s always a good choice. Also decide on the betting format (Limit, Pot-Limit or No-Limit).
2. Decide on how much to charge for the buy-in - how much is it going to cost your friends to enter the tournament? $10 to $20 is good for a casual game between friends (especially if there are beginner players). At that price, the winner still gets prize money to take home and people won’t feel badly about losing a lot of money (because they’re only out
3. Organize how you’re going to split the prize money between the top finishers. If you have one table, a good division is 50% to the first-place finisher, 30% to second, and 20% to third. If you have twenty people or more, you might want give prize money to more places - its totally up to you how you want to divvy up the money.
4. Before the tournament, create the blind schedule that you want to use (when different levels are reached, how much the blinds go up by and if antes are introduced later in the game or not). It’s a good idea to have the schedule available for people to see; you can just print out a page with the different levels and what the blinds are and post it on a wall in the room you’re playing in. There are websites that will help you to create a blind schedule and to print out a nice one-page poster to put on your wall.
5. Decide on how many people you want to invite and whom. Six is usually about the minimum you should invite and eight to ten is a preferred number if you want to have a single-table tournament (but any number between six and ten is fine for such a tournament). If you want to invite more than ten, it’s ideal to have enough people to fill a second table, or third, and so on.
6. Have on hand at least two (preferably new) decks of cards per table, poker chips (about 50 to 100 per player), a dealer button, a timer (so you can time when the next level is reached and the blinds go up), snacks (that won’t leave a residue on the cards), and drinks.
7. Make sure all of the players are familiar with the rules before you begin playing.
8. Make sure all of the players know how to play poker before they begin playing! Since poker’s become so popular, so many people are curious about and want to try it out. You don’t need to be exceptionally skilled to play in tournaments, so if you have friends who’ve never played poker before but are interested in learning, give them enough advance notice so they can go online and teach themselves the basics of poker. After playing in a few cash games and then some free-table Sit & Go tournaments, they’ll be good enough to hold their own for a little while and not get knocked out immediately. We recommend award-winning PokerStars.com for both beginner, intermediate and advanced players as they’re the biggest site in the world and have free and real-money tables starting a tournament every few seconds. Their security is the best in the industry, so you can feel confident recommending them to your friends, too.
During the Tournament
1. Tournaments are played in a knockout format, meaning everyone gets the same number of chips (usually $1,000 to $2,000 in value) at the beginning of the tournament, and as players bust out (lose all of their chips), they’re knocked out of the tournament. The last player left with all of the chips is the winner. You can have a re-buy period if you want, which is when you allow knocked-out players to buy more chips and continue playing in the tournament. If you’re going to have a re-buy period, you need to let people know when it ends and they can no longer buy more chips, and you also need to make sure you’ve got enough extra chips on hand to give to the players who want to buy more.
2. Once everyone has their seats and is ready to play, the timer starts and the tournament begins! The timer is to let you know when the next level is reached in the blind schedule and that the blinds are going up in value. The action starts when the player to the left of the dealer button posts the small blind. Ideally, if you have a friend who can be the dealer for the night for you, for most people, this is the most enjoyable way to play (especially if you have a few beginner players as they might never have dealt a Texas Holdem hand before and wouldn’t know about burn cards).
3. When the timer goes off, the new blinds are announced. If you want your tournament to run quickly, give the players about $2,000 in chips each and have the blinds go up more frequently, such as every twenty minutes. You can also introduce antes after a while to help bust out low-stacked players and have the game end sooner. Of if you want a longer-lasting game, give the players more chips initially (about $10,000) and have the blinds raise only every thirty to forty-five minutes. Shorter games are good for beginner players because you can play two or more tournaments in one night, which gives them more experience to have played in more games. Longer games are good for players with advanced knowledge or who want to improve as there is more opportunity to implement poker strategy.
4. When a player loses all of their chips, they’re out of the tournament.
5. The last player left with all of the chips is the winner.
6. Divide the buy-in money between the top-place finishers as outlined in your prize money distribution.
Other Things to Consider
If you have friends who don’t want to play in the tournament, ask them if they wouldn’t mind being a dealer. Having a person dedicated to being the dealer helps the event run smoothly and reduces the likelihood of players cheating.
One of the most important things you should do before hosting a poker tournament is to check with the local authorities whether or not it’s legal to host or play in a poker tournament.
If you’re serving alcohol or your friends are drinking alcohol in your home, be aware of what your local laws are in regard to you being a responsible host and making sure your guests don’t drink and drive. In some places, you can be held criminally responsible if your guests get into an accident, so make sure in advance that people who are drinking have a safe way to get home.
- Introduction to Tournaments
- Tournament Formats
- Poker Tournament Rules - General
- Tournament Strategy - general
- Online Poker Tournaments
- Online Poker Tournament Rules - General
- Online Tournament Strategy
- Live Poker Tournaments
- Live Tournament Strategy
- Hosting a Home Tournament
- Hosting a Charity Tournament
- History of Women in Poker
- Professional Female Players
- Female Advantage and Strategy
- Ladies’ Tournaments
- Hosting a Ladies’ Poker Night
Hosting a Home Game
- Hosting a game
- Dealer's Choice
- How to deal a hand
- Drink and food
- Strip poker
- Poker Books
- Texas Hold'em movies & TV
- Famous players
- Poker Hall of Fame
- Hand Nicknames
- Poker Terms
- Poker Leagues
- Collusion in Poker
- Poker Vacations