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Freeroll poker tournaments seem like a great deal. You get to win a chance at another tournament or maybe even money in exchange for nothing at all. It's a bit of a rookie mistake to get involved with these tournaments online.

Game Developer, Staff

March 14, 2014

3 Min Read

If you want to avoid wasting time and energy, check out these five reasons to stay away from freeroll tournaments

There Is Nothing to Lose

This is what is most enticing about freeroll tournaments – you have nothing to lose. If you get kicked out in the first hand, you're not out any money. Great, right?

The problem here is that the other players have nothing to lose as well. Thus you cannot act like you are in an actual poker game. People are going to go all in hand after hand because all they care about is getting lucky. There isn't any skill involved.

If you're wanting to practice your poker skills online, playing a freeroll tourney isn't going to be the way to go about that.

There Are Too Many Players

On popular poker sites, most freerolls have a lot of people in them. That is because there are a lot of free players on those sites that are all looking for a chance to get into cash games. In order to sift through the hundreds of people that enter these tournaments, you will have to spend hours on the computer. If you end up losing before the final table, you'll be out a ton of time for no reason.

This may not be a big deal if you have free time you're trying to fill, but most people like playing with a logical reward on the horizon. If you don't want to waste your time, you'll be better off in some other tournament.

You Learn Bad Habits

As we mentioned above, there isn't really any skill in freeroll poker. People just play it hoping that they are going to get lucky. If you get into that mindset repeatedly, you will have a hard time playing well when a real tournament comes along. The goal with any poker game should be to make your playing style better, not to get lazy with it. You need to avoid bad habits by avoiding freerolls.



The Signups Go Fast

In most cases, registering for a freeroll tournament is just lucky timing. You can't wait a minute or two after registration opens to sign up. You have to have your finger on the button in order to register right when it comes available. This may not be an issue at first, but it will be if you miss four or five tournaments in a row. At that point, you will start to question whether or not you want to play at all.

There Are Better Alternatives Out There

Rather than signing up for a freeroll tournament, see if you can find a game that requires fake chips for real money – or at least the chance at real money. Some poker websites will offer fake chi games that get you into cheap real-money tournaments. Those are the ones you want to play. In this case, people are having to give up something for a chance to win, even if it's fake chips. The fact that there is something on the line is enough to get people to play well.

Of course, the ideal solution is just to play a paid tournament to begin with. That way, you don't have to worry about sorting through all of the bad players. This is going to cost you money, but you don't have to pay a lot. It's not like you're trying to get into the World Series of Poker here. You're just trying to play with some decent people. There are many opportunities out there for you to see that happen.

Find a tournament that suits your budget, and then focus hard on getting through it. Leave the freerolls for new players who aren't familiar with the game. You deserve better than that. 

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