There are many different poker tournament strategies you can use to succeed. Some players prefer a safer ‘slow and steady’ approach whilst others like to try their luck, loosen up, and get an amazing lead. Whichever way you play there is one important thing to realize.

If you are out of the tournament you cannot win it.

For this reason, almost any tournament player will tell you how vitally important it is to stay alive. That is, survive the tournament and remain in it.

There are a few main ways you can end up going home early in a tournament. I’ll explain these so you can avoid them.

Survival Poker Tournament Strategies #1 – Avoid Going All In

Obviously a very quick way to go all out is to go all in and lose. This isn’t to say never go all in, because that is a requirement of No Limit Texas Holdem. However, you should be extra special careful about going all in or calling an all in.

Survival Poker Tournament Strategies #2 – Don’t Inadvertently Pot Commit

A more insidious variation of the previous point is when you pot commit without even realising it. When you bet too many of chips into the pot and the pot now represents most of your stack you are practically pot committed. Most odds will depict you have to call.

Survival Poker Tournament Strategies #3 – Don’t Focus On Doubling Up Early

A lot of player will tout the benefits of doubling up. ‘You get so far ahead.’ ‘You are practically unstoppable then!’ is what they will say. However, it’s important to realise that it’s a lot better to double up later in the tournament than it is to double up early.

Survival Poker Tournament Strategies #4 – Avoid Coin Flip Hands

On all accounts, you should be trying to avoid these types of hands. You are practically leaving it up to lady luck to decide you fate. This may work sometimes but it is a recipe for disastrous results over the long term. Steer well clear of coin flip hands whenever you can.

Imagine what it would be like to get to the big money in a tournament, or to win first prize? You are feeling happy and successful. You are thinking ‘I am the best, I won, yes!’

It’s important to realize that just surviving isn’t all it takes to win a tournament, even though it is one of the most crucial parts. Like I said before, it’s hard to win a tournament when you aren’t even in it.

The only way you are going to be able to easily and consistently get to the money and win poker tournaments is to harness your true skills as a great poker play. And the best way to do that is to gather new information on how to play well in tournaments.

By Alex Poker
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Alex is an avid Hold Em player. Shoot him an email at