PokerJunkie > Poker Strategy > Poker Tournament Articles > A Quick Guide to (and a Few Tips for) Online Poker Freerolls

A Quick Guide to (and a Few Tips for) Online Poker Freerolls

23 August 2016, By: compncards
Have you ever wanted to start up an online poker bankroll but were unable or unwilling to make a deposit?
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No problem! Nearly all online poker sites offer freerolls to their players that you can enter and play for real cash.

What Are Freerolls?

Freeroll poker tournaments are simply online poker tournaments that cost nothing to enter and award cash prizes to the top finishers.

There are a couple of key differences to these events over standard events.

First, the prize pool is typically very small. Sometimes as small as $10 to $25. Next, most freerolls pay a smaller percentage of the field.

For example, a 5,000-player freeroll may only pay the top 50 players instead of the top 500 like you'd find in most events.

The good news is that when you do make the money in these events, you're credited with actual cash that you can use to play in cash games or tournaments.

Are Freerolls Worth Playing?

If you're wondering whether freerolls are worth your time to play, the best answer is "it depends." If you are looking to make a bankroll without a deposit, then they are definitely worth your time.

For those planning on making a deposit, most standard freerolls are probably not worth your trouble since even the top prizes will only be a few bucks. 

On occasion you will run across special promotional freerolls that pay a larger prize to the winners or pay out seats to major tournaments. These events are definitely worth your time as they award a more substantial prize.

Our best recommendation is to check out the prizes for the winners in the freeroll and determine whether your time will be better suited playing the event or playing in other games.

Loose Style Required

One recommendation that we will make on strategy for these events is to stay away from a tight style in these events - at least in the early stages.

The reason is that these fields pay such a small percentage of players that you must accumulate chips in order to have a shot of going deep.

Once you get into the later levels with a reasonable stack,  you can change things up but in the early levels you will want to employ a looser style.

You will find a lot of players that try and gamble it up early, so try and find spots to exploit these players.

However, don't fall into the trap of just shoving with any random hand and hoping to lotto your way up the chip counts.

Freerolls to Build or Supplement a Bankroll

There are a lot of online poker players and several big-name pros have used freerolls to start or supplement their online bankrolls.

Depending on the game and your situation, these games could be a perfect way to start your online poker journey.

We do urge that you keep an even temperament when playing freerolls.

Due to the nature of the game, there will be times you suffer horrible beats and there are going to be times you get deep and fall short of any cash.

The great thing is that there are often freeroll tournaments daily and some real-money poker sites offer them at multiple times during the day.

If you bust out, you can always enter another event and it won't cost you a dime. Good luck!

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