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How Many Times to Rebuy

24 February 2009, By:
Navigating rebuy tournaments can be tricky. Let's do some thinking on how often to rebuy.

People play rebuy tournaments in all sorts of different ways. Some move in on nearly every hand, rebuying with reckless abandon every time they go broke. Others play it as a regular tournament, leaving if they get knocked out.

Most people find an approach that is somewhere in between. How do you decide what is right and what is wrong?

Making No Rebuys

In a poker tournament with rebuys, if you're not planning to rebuy, you should probably wait for another tournament. It is tempting to play in some rebuy tournaments because the heavy number of rebuys gives you a great overlay if you really are only going to play with your original buy-in.

However, you will be at such a major disadvantage that even if you are highly skilled your chances of cashing are slim. You might be better off playing the lottery. At least it's faster.

Making Multiple Rebuys

If you have the money, this can be a great approach. If you make sure you always have the maximum amount of chips, your chances of amassing a big chip stack are great, because the more chips you have, the more you can win.

However, if you use the multi-rebuy approach as an excuse to play poorly, moving in or calling at the slightest provocation, you may find yourself in a situation where you have to make the final table just to break even.

Somewhere in Between

Most rebuy players will take an in-between approach, planning to make a fixed number of rebuys and no more. If you are such a player, you should still consider that you will probably need at least six buy-ins to be competitive.

Your first buy-in will get you into the tournament and an immediate rebuy will give you the maximum starting chip stack. One double rebuy will keep you in action should you get unlucky and go broke early, and a double add-on at the end of the rebuy period will let you keep pace with the other players.

You may not use all six buy-ins, but if you cannot afford at least this much, you are probably better off waiting for a no-rebuy tournament to play in.

Of course, according to some rebuy poker tournament rules you can only rebuy if your stack is at zero, and the number of rebuys per player can be limited to, say, one or two. These limitations make these tournaments cheaper, generally speaking, and easier to handle.

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