Freeroll Strategy

Freeroll tournaments are unlike any other tournament where players actually make in investment to participate. Because of the risk-free nature of freerolls, you’ll have to use a whole new strategy to claim the top prize.

If you already play in regular tournaments, you’ll notice a lot of similarities in the actual freeroll strategy, compared to a normal tournament strategy. Most players don’t both using the same tactics as a paid tournament simply because they have nothing to lose. If you’ll look at it as a free way to gain profit instead, you just might walk away with your share of those profits.

A good freeroll strategy is to look at the tournament in stages. If you’re looking at the long haul, you’ll set your goal to win the 1st place prize. Unfortunately, you’ll find disappointment at every turn. Never walk into a tournament with a single goal of winning.

Your goals should be based on priorities. Don’t look at it as a freeroll, or you’ll be too careless to truly focus on these goals. Instead, imagine that the lowest spectrum of the bubble is your investment. If the top 100 players get paid, and 100th place is worth $10, this should be your mental investment; as if they owe you $10 to begin with, but you have to go out and get it.

Making the bubble will be one of your priority goals, but not yet…

Freeroll Strategy – Early Stages
Priority: Survive!

The first goal is to survive the ebbing tide of players who honestly don’t care. Every tournament has a group of players who would rather double up immediately or get out early. A freeroll tournament is going to be loaded up with these types of players. They will push all-in from the very first hand just to find out whether they’re wasting their time.

For the first hour or better, you need to be folding on a consistent basis to avoid getting swept out of the freeroll with a careless all-in call. By trying to get in the pot and then folding, you are steadily filtering your chips into the stacks of your opponents. Unless you’re in a forced blind position, or dealt Pocket Aces, just fold and make your way to the next stage.

Freeroll Strategy – Middle Stages
Priority: Get/Stay Above the Average Stack Size

If you followed the instruction above, you’re probably a little below the average stack size, unless you hit a monster hand that brought in a hefty win. You still want to play a tight game here, but take the premium starting hand opportunities when they come. You have to figure that some of those very careless players in the beginning are still around, out of sheer luck if nothing else. These players will continue playing very loose.

Generally loose players are easy to take down, but they rely on luck, and if you’re not cautious, they just might beat your good hand on a lucky draw. Make sure you have the cards to back it up before risking too much and you should be able to keep your stack on an incline.

Freeroll Strategy – Latter Stages
Priority: Make the Bubble!

As you get past the first half of the competition, you’re getting closer to the bubble. Your goal at this point is to finish in the lat paying position. If that’s the 100th place finisher, it’s you’re goal to finish in 100th place. That’s all you’re looking to do right now, because it guarantees you a profit.

Again, continue to play a tight game. Fortunately, the loose players are either gone, or have made it far enough to tighten up their game at least a little bit. This means you can loosen your’s – a little bit. Take late position opportunities to steal blinds when the opportunity arises, and use your opponents’ weaknesses against to steal chips now and again. This means you should be reading the competition and predicting how they react to certain situations. Doing so will allow you to exploit that weakness when the right situation comes along. Don’t get too loose, though. Play a tight game most of the time to ensure your chip stack doesn’t drop below the average.

Freeroll Strategy – In The Bubble
Priority: Final Table!

Once you’re in the bubble, you can be very happy knowing you’ve made a profit. No matter what happens from here, you are guaranteed to walk away with a fatter wallet than you came in with. Your new goal is to make the final table.

As the blind levels are increasing, so does the value of stealing blinds from late position. Use this to your advantage when possible, and be careful not to fall for others doing the same. If you’re in early or middle position, don’t bother tossing chips into a pot you don’t intend to follow through with. If you’re hand is good enough to call the likely bluff of the late position better, go for it. You could easily double your stack here since we know the late position bettor will raise with just about anything in hopes of scaring you off.

The further you get into a freeroll tournament, the more skilled your opponents become. At least half of these players are using their own strict poker strategy, and no doubt trying to read your betting patterns. Don’t allow this to happen. Mix up your game, playing loose and tight, passive and aggressive, without allowing specific situations to govern your style of play. Keep them guessing and you’ll get a lot further in the tournament.

Freeroll Strategy – Final Table
Priority: Win!

If you’re at the final table, you’re not just gonna walk away with a small prize, but a hefty reward for your efforts. You should be incredibly pleased with your performance thus far. Your final goal – the ultimate goal – is now within reach. Try to take the 1st place prize!

The good news is, while you want the top prize, you can do whatever you want to try to get it. If you fail, so what, you’ve chased big anyway. Relax your game and become aggressive. These are all going to be tight players ready and willing to fold to what they think is a better hand. Keep mixing up your game play. This will force others to fear you. Once you are feared, you can steal blinds and bluff with ease and consistent success. If you’re caught bluffing, use the exact same tactic the next time you have a monster hand and you’ll get called. That’s one of the fastest ways to knock others off the table – catching them off guard.

Enjoy the game, be aggressive, mix it up. Follow this freeroll strategy and before you know it, you’ll be taking down the top prize in your next free tournament.

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