There was a time when poker fans could only enjoy the thrill of competing against other players by visiting their nearest casino or heading to a friend's private game. Thanks to the explosion of online poker sites, that's no longer the case – today, hundreds of tournaments get underway every minute all over the web.
Online tournaments offer a great way to improve your game, meet other poker players from around the world and, of course, increase your bankroll. But with so many sites offering tournament options, how do you find the best one? Let Gambling.com walk you through the best in the world of online poker tournaments.
When picking a poker tournament site, it can be helpful to start by setting a budget for your initial (and overall) stakes. Some poker sites offer a variety of small-stake cash games but few large tournaments, while others regularly host major events with the chance to earn a big payout.
If you're still relatively new to online poker, it's advisable to keep honing your skills by taking part in cash games before you graduate to the bigger tournaments.
William Hill Poker is ideal for players of this level, since it gives 24/7 support, quick cash-outs and an exclusive William Hill New Player Zone where you can start playing for free and scoop thousands of pounds in potential prizes.
Once you've sharpened up by winning a few cash games, you should be ready to take the next step up to small tournaments. Betfair Poker is good option for players at this stage of their development, as most of the site's tournament buy-ins range from £1.10 to £22. You can typically expect to find a fairly even mixture of professional, intermediate and novice players at Betfair's tournament tables.
For those who want to compete for larger payouts, a number of the top sites host potentially lucrative tournaments aimed at accomplished online poker players. One of these is PartyPoker, which offers a choice of more than 70 tournaments every week, including the $200,000 Guaranteed on Sunday.
Entry to this tournament, which carries the site's biggest guaranteed prize pool of the week, comes via a buy-in of $200 or by winning a seat in a qualifier tournament. PartyPoker also has one of the industry's best loyalty schemes on offer, with referral bonuses and points up for grabs.
Bet365 Poker has carved out a bit of a niche with its highly popular sit & go games, which typically offer big progressive jackpots.
For example, the six-player Fort Knox sit & go offers a guaranteed combined jackpot of €35,000 if you can win six consecutive games. The Rio sit & go has a similar set-up, with a minimum jackpot of €20,000 that increases every time a week passes if no player successfully claims it.
If you want to experience the full spectrum of tournament poker, Winner Poker is a good place to start. The site is known for the wide variety of tournaments available, including a number of different single-table tournaments (up to ten players), multi-table tournaments and satellites.
Pick from the popular Monday night Omaha tournament, the Friday €30,000 special with unlimited buy-ins for the first hour, and the thrilling €150,000 guaranteed total prizes tournament on Sunday with buy-ins of €69 + €6 and stakes from as little as €0.05.
If you've got the skills, you may fancy competing at a live event with some of the world's most successful players.Several poker sites run qualifiers that offer a chance to win entry to big tournaments on the European Poker Tour and World Poker Tour, so play well and you could come face to face with the giants of the game. 888 Poker recently hosted qualifier events for the Aussie Millions, the richest poker championship in the southern hemisphere.
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