Basic Poker Strategy: Freeroll Guide
The soundest road to success is the one that lets you maximise your return while minimizing your risk. Even if that sounds more like a piece of wisdom that’s fit for an investment prospectus, it’s something savvy poker players should be thoroughly interested in. Whether you play for fun or to win handsomely, getting the biggest bang for your buck ought to be the only way to play. When you enter a freeroll, you can eliminate all of the risk in its entirety. Did we mention the rewards are huge too?
Winning a freeroll is a realistic goal, even if you’re new to the game. Review our special freeroll strategy tips, claim as many entries as you can, and start winning with literally zero risk.
Don’t Fear The Large Player Pool
People love anything that’s free. If there are free drinks, food, or tickets up for grabs, you should definitely anticipate a crowd. Poker is no different. Hordes of people will sign up for most freeroll tournaments, but that doesn’t mean they’ll show up to play. Most of the players that do actually take their seats aren’t particularly skilled, which means they are easy to beat. Don’t get overwhelmed by the number of remaining players. Instead take it one hand at a time and watch your opponents drop like flies. Generally you should play tight at the onset and increase your aggressiveness as the tournament progresses.
Playing Tight To Win
Freeroll Strategy At A Glance
- Play tight while waiting for the player pool to thin out.
- Don’t be afraid to play very few hands, especially during the first hour of a large tourney.
- Your level of aggression will generally increase over time.
- Playing aggressively is the antidote to your short stack, especially at the final table.
- Expect to raise often when you reach the heads-up stage of the game.
Freerolls tend to be predictable. Right out of the gate you’ll see players bluff with horrible hands and randomly go all-in hoping to build their chip count. After playing a few freerolls you’ll probably become desensitised to the absurdity. Until then just remember to play tight early in the game. That means being hyper selective before the flop. Only play the finest hands, namely a pair of tens or better. A king and queen, king and jack, or queen and jack are also fair game before the flop.
The secret is to be patient and wait for the good hands. Don’t be surprised if you play very few hands during the first hour.
Don’t Loosen Up Too Soon
A poor player’s luck is bound to run out. Whether you’ll still be in the game when that happens is another question entirely. If you can survive the first hour by playing tight, you can think about getting a little more aggressive. Your best bet is to either raise or fold at the flop depending on the strength of your hand. It sounds simple yet it’s surprisingly effective. While you shouldn’t expect to reach every freeroll final table, you won’t find a better strategy. It’s simply a matter of finding order in the face of your opponents’ chaos.
At some point, usually half to two thirds of the way through, most freerolls start to feel like ordinary multi-table tournaments. While poker rooms market freerolls as if anything can happen and anyone can win, the odds simply aren’t on an unskilled player’s side.
It’s Time To Get Aggressive
If you’re in the money but find yourself short stacked, you have no choice but to play aggressively. You can’t hang on for dear life forever. Try capitalizing on even a glimmer of hope. If you land a face card, see where it will take you. Realise you are in survival mode and it’s time to raise. At the same time, you can call more often against short-stacked players, knowing that they too are in survival mode.
At the final table size does matter. If your opponents’ stacks tower over yours, you need to make up for lost time before it ticks away. When you’re on the brink, it’s easy for players to pressure you into folding so they can take your blinds. If your cards aren’t stellar then stay out of the pot when possible.
Escalate That Aggression
Don’t expect to sit on the sidelines at the final table. With escalating blinds, your chips can vanish quickly. If you hold a decent hand, don’t be afraid to lure your weaker opponents in and even go all-in. Force their hands and send them to the rail.
Straight up bluffing at the final table is less common than you might expect. Players who raise from an early position tend to have quality hands more often than not. If you plan on forcing them out by going all-in, make sure you have a pair of jacks or better. You can get a little more aggressive at your discretion and go all in with an Ace -King too. Your level of aggression should increase if a player raises from the middle position. That means going all in with a pair of nines or better and even Ace-Queen or Ace-King. If you find yourself in the late position holding a pair of sevens or better and nobody has raised, don’t hesitate to go all-in.
Two Is A Crowd
In a heads up situation, it’s advisable to raise on most quality hands. If your opponent also raises and you hold a weak hand, don’t be afraid to fold. Avoid going all-in early unless you hold a pair of queens or better. For the most part you can adopt traditional heads-up strategy but it’s always important to be aware of how your opponent played during the final table. Conservative players usually continue to play cautiously if it has worked thus far.
General Freeroll Tips
- Freerolls are ideal for improving play.
- Use freerolls to test-drive strategies and refine your game.
- Patience is a huge asset when playing a freeroll.
- Take advantage of multi-tabling and enjoy other games while waiting for your turn.
- Create accounts on as many poker rooms as possible and load your schedule with endless freerolls.