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When and why you should move out of freerolls

October 8, 2020

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Replay Poker’s freerolls are a great, risk free way to learn the games. You can also gain experience with how to handle playing in tournaments with large numbers of players. But how do you know when the time has come to spread your wings and start spending chips to buy in to tournaments or ring games?

Why is it a good thing to step up?

If you want to improve your poker game and meet stronger opponents, you have to use your chips to buy in to a tournament or a ring game.

One of the downsides of freerolls is that some players don’t take them seriously. While it’s nice to win a few easy chips from these types, they disrupt the tables and take away the sense of playing a thoughtful game.

Another problem you might notice is that a lot of players just don’t show up. There are usually two or three players on Post and Fold (Sitting Out) in freerolls for the first two or three levels. That can make it tricky to navigate the early stages.

If you start to play higher and can hold your own, you may find it much more rewarding to know the chips you earned are the result of battling hard. Not just for “taking part.”

What metrics do you have to think about?

Before you take the plunge, you should take the time to think about how you want to expand your games and what your objectives are.

Have a look around the Replay site for promotions and leaderboards that offer a generous return for a small cost. And look like they’re fun to play!

Bankroll management and stake

First of all, if you want to be able to regularly play things other than freerolls, you need to make sure you don’t put all your accumulated profit at risk. Read our bankroll management guide and stay at reasonable stakes. This will ensure you get as many games (and as much experience) as possible at the more serious stuff.

SnGs, MTTs, or Ring

Depending on what your strengths or preferences are, you might want to concentrate on short handed tournaments, like a Sit n’ Go. Possibly even a Heads Up SnG.

Replay SnG tournaments with six or more players all have weekly leaderboards, such as our Astral games. This makes 6-max and 9-max games available all the time. As long as you play 20 tournaments in the week, you’ll have a chance to earn more free chips for a top 20 leaderboard finish.

If you like the multi-table tournament format, then just like the Astrals, there are regular, low stake MTTs to play, too. There are eight every day of each level, and you only need to play seven in a week.

Unfortunately, there are no free ring game tables to practice. The only way to prepare for ring game action is to put chips onto a table and play.

You could watch some ring games for a while. Maybe have a table open while you are in a freeroll. See if you can judge players’ hole cards before they get to showdown, or pick up on who is reckless and who plays more safely with their chips. These observations are important in ring games because you can be seated with an opponent for long periods — even thousands of hands if you play against them regularly.