Unless you’re a poker player, the odds are high that you’ve never played in a gambling tournament. The odds are high because most gamblers never play in tournaments. So my question is, why don’t most gamblers play in tournaments?
Gambling tournaments can be fun, and there are at least four good reasons why every gambler should try tournaments that I can think of.
I’ve included complete details about the four main reasons why every gambler needs to start playing in tournaments in this post. However, the number one reason is so important that it alone is a good enough reason to find a gambling tournament today.
Fixed Cost Equals Controlled Cost
When you enter a gambling tournament, you’re gambling with a set cost. Most gamblers don’t think about the value of gambling with a fixed cost. With a fixed cost, your losses are limited, and you still have an opportunity to win.
For example, if you enter a poker tournament for $100, the most you can lose is $100. And if you play well and/or get lucky, you could win a lot more than $100.
If you enter a blackjack tournament for $20, you know the most you can lose is $20. The same is true for a slot machine tournament or even a bingo tournament. You can even find sports betting contests that you can enter for a small set fee.
A fixed entry cost is a controlled entry cost. And you lock in a minimum amount of gambling time for one entry fee.
But you also know that when you advance to the next round, you’re closer to winning some money.
Gambling tournaments are one of the best ways to control your cost. Other ways to control your gambling cost include using loss limits and time limits. But tournaments take care of both of these things in one simple package.
You need to make sure you understand how every gambling tournament works before you enter. You need to know what you need to do to win, how much you can win, and if the tournament is set up so you can buy in if you run out of money for a set period of time.
I rarely play in tournaments that have more than one buy-in, but some gamblers love to be able to buy back in. As long as you know the rules, you can play in whichever type of tournament you enjoy.
Inexpensive Way to Gain Experience
I touched on this in the first section, but a tournament is a great way to gamble without risking too much money. I’ve played in big poker tournaments where I was able to play for hours for a small entry fee. In addition, many online poker rooms offer tournaments starting at $10 or less.
I’ve also played in video poker tournaments for a small entry fee, where I was lucky enough to play for a couple of hours.
While I’ve played in more poker tournaments than other types of tournaments, you can use the same strategies to play in any gambling tournament. For example, here’s a strategy I’ve used many times.
I used to take $110 and enter 10 single-table poker tournaments at $11 each in a day. First place paid $50, second place paid $30, and third place paid $20. But, of course, I didn’t enter them at the same time, as I started a new tournament after each tournament ended.
Most days, I could finish in the money at least four or five times, so I usually made a little bit of money. But even if I only won $90 on the day, I still played poker all day, and it only cost me $20.
Not only was I able to play poker all day without risking much money, but I learned how to be a better poker player while I was doing it.
If you like to play poker, there are some online poker rooms that offer free tournaments. Of course, you can’t win much money, but you can win a few dollars and play for free.
Possibility of Big Wins
I earned a free entry into a small poker tournament one time and won $100. While I usually focus on cash games, I’ve won some pretty nice prizes in poker tournaments over the years. And I know many poker players who win $ 1,000’s or more entering big poker tournaments.
In fact, some players enter small-cost tournaments online and earn seats at big tournaments, like the World Series of Poker. The small tournaments are called satellite tournaments and usually only cost a few dollars.
If I remember correctly, Chris Moneymaker used a satellite tournament that cost less than $50 to win a seat at the World Series of poker and ended up winning millions.
While big poker tournaments are the most common gambling tournaments with big prizes, I’ve played in some casino tournaments with top prizes of $10,000 to $100,000.
In some gambling tournaments, your skills and strategy play a big part in your chance to win. For example, in a poker tournament, the best players usually finish higher than other players. But sometimes, you get lucky and win, even if you’re not a great player.
Some gambling tournaments are completely based on luck. For example, slots tournaments are all based on luck because there isn’t a slots strategy that can help you win. But blackjack and video poker tournaments require some skill and strategy if you want to win.
Of course, gambling tournaments aren’t the only way you can gamble with a chance to win big. You can buy lottery tickets or play on a slot machine with a big jackpot.
If you’re a good player, you can even grind out big wins at the cash poker tables. But a tournament is a good way to try something different while taking a chance at a huge cash prize.
Your First Lesson in Advantage Play
Some gambling tournaments have guaranteed prize pools. The casino or poker room sets up the tournament and fronts the prizes.
Of course, they hope they sell enough entries to the tournament to cover all of the prizes, but this doesn’t always happen. And when a tournament runs with a guaranteed prize pool that doesn’t cover the pries with entries, you have the chance at a small advantage play.
For example, a poker room runs a tournament with a guaranteed prize pool of $10,000. It costs $100 to enter, but only 87 people enter.
With only 87 people entered, you have a one in 87 chance to win if you enter. If you divide the prize pool by the number of entrants, you can see the average value of an entry is $114.94. But it only costs you $100 to enter, so you have a slight advantage.
Your advantage is even bigger if you’re better than the average entrant because then you have an even better chance of winning.
Any type of gambling tournament with a guaranteed prize pool can give you an edge. Look at every gambling tournament with a guaranteed prize pool right before it starts to see if there have been enough seats sold to cover the cost.
Most tournaments are set up, so they pay out a percentage of the total prize pool to each person who finishes in the money. These tournaments pay more to the top places when more people enter because the total prize pool grows.
Tournaments can work this way whether they have a guaranteed prize pool or not. Once again, make sure you know how the tournament is set up and runs, so you know how these things work.
Gambling tournaments are one of the most overlooked ways you can gamble. Of course, poker tournaments remain popular, but other types of gambling tournaments are also available. For example, slot machine tournaments, video poker tournaments, blackjack tournaments, and even sports gambling contests are run often.
The best thing about gambling tournaments is the fixed cost. With a fixed cost, your downside is locked in before you start. You can either afford to enter a gambling tournament, or you can’t afford to enter.
Once you enter, the only thing you have is upside. If you win the tournament, the rewards can be high. And if you’re able to finish in the money, you almost always win more than the cost of entry. Some gamblers even make long-term profits playing in tournaments.