So, you’re tired of the play money tables but don’t have any cash to deposit. Or perhaps you need to brush up your tournament skills but don’t want to spend money on an expensive tutelage. What’s a baller on a budget to do?
Easy – go hit up every freeroll poker tournament you can get your hands on. Poker sites are always hosting freerolls to generate interest, attract signups and reward loyal players. The best part of all is they are actually, truly, 100% seriously free to enter. All you need is an account at any (or all) of the following poker sites:
Any time you want to test your skill in a freeroll event, just open the poker software and sign in to your account. Most poker sites arrange the software into sections for cash games, tournaments and sit-n-go tourneys. You’ll want to visit the tournaments tab and then organize the games list by buyin. Normally, there’s a little sort option above the games list that you can use to sort games by buyin, number of players, etc.
The exact setup varies from site to site, but you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding the freerolls wherever you play. The hardest part of the whole deal will be playing well and actually winning money. Freerolls may not be full of sharks, but they do attract a good number of players who all want the money as much as you do.
How Freeroll Tournaments Work
Freerolls are a major step up from play money tournaments in one key detail: you can actually win real money. The basic idea is simple. You pay no entry fee and then compete against other people for real cash prizes. If you’re limited on funds or would simply like to polish your tournament skills for cheap, freeroll tournaments are the way to go.
There are enough poker sites with freeroll tournaments out there that I have a hard time seeing why anyone would even spend the time playing for fake chips when you can have a shot at winning a real prize. Although the top prizes in freeroll tournaments are rarely worth bragging about, it’s definitely a better feeling to end the night with something of value than to add another million chips to the play money balance.
Plus, some freerolls do actually award prizes that you can parlay into serious cash. It’s fairly common for poker sites to host promotions in which they hold freeroll satellite tournaments that award free seats to bigger, paid events.
Truly Free vs. Not Really Free
There’s a big difference between truly free poker tournaments and those that are “kinda sorta free, but not really.” Truly free tournaments come with zero requirements or strings attached. These are hosted either by the poker site itself or by some third party as a part of some other promotion (some poker sites allow large affiliates to host private freerolls).
Other freerolls come with minor requirements that may or may not put a damper on your plans. For example, do you see those freerolls in that BetVictor screenshot above? Well, if you were actually inside the software right now and clicked on any of those, you would see in the tournament details that you’re only eligible if you have played at least 1 real money hand in the past week.
Now, that’s not too demanding but it does change things a bit. If you’re completely dead broke and starting with a bankroll of exactly £0.00, it’s impossible to meet that requirement and you’ll need to look elsewhere. If you’re just on a budget, it’s no big deal to go play a hand to meet the requirement.
It always pays to check into these things so you don’t schedule a bunch of time off for a big freeroll only to realize 5 minutes before start-time that you don’t have enough hands played or frequent player points or whatever.
These “kinda sorta free, but not really free” tournaments aren’t terrible, by the way. They tend to have bigger and better prizes because they serve as rewards for active players. Sometimes poker sites host these types of freerolls with prize pools topping £10,000.