They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, even in poker. Playing poker for free has long limited players to the kind of tournaments with little to win and the structure of overcooked spaghetti. However, providing your show the same sort of discipline provided in all aspects of no-limit Hold’em, the freerolls can be a great way to build your bankroll into a pile of money that can fuel a poker career. We take a look at how you can start to grow your bankroll without shelling out.

Cash Race Freeroll Tournaments

If you’re playing a cash race final, you’ll have qualified for the final by playing cash games. These are never going to be free, whether online or live. At the virtual felt, becoming competent at a low level of cash games should enable you to play in plenty of promotional tournaments. We’ll cover the ones without qualification later on, but if you have to put a certain amount of action into reaching these tournaments, then focus on how to consistently keeping your head above water by succeeding at lower level cash games.

In a live poker room, your entry into the final will be due to game hours criteria. This rewards players who dedicate a certain amount of their month to playing in one casino or cardroom and rewards loyalty. If you put in the hours, you’ll likely be rewarded with some great free money and cash prizes, especially in casinos with a heavy footfall, can be up in the thousands for a relatively low level of participation on your part. Read the small print for details, including whether every player in the cash race final will receive the same chip-stack or one that is linked to how many hours you put in. It’s worth keeping your options local as you want to be around for the live final and out-of-towners are going to be contributing to your pot.

Online Freerolls

It seems like every week, there are a number of online freeroll tournaments. If you take part in these and aren’t succeeding, consider upping your aggression, at least until the structure starts to level out. These tournaments always start off super-aggro, so playing only premium hands is a recipe for disaster. You should treat them like a freeroll in the early stages, as a tournament which has cost you nothing and that you may have to gamble to get a big stack in. At some point in these tournaments, you’ll have to gamble. Is it better to do so for trying to double your six big blinds when players are stacked up and priced in to call, or to win a huge stack early on with which to punish looser players later on?

Online Promotions

Many online poker games don’t require much participation other than you to click a button to opt into the promotion. Balancing these with your regular tournaments is an important part of taking part, as these promotional targets such as winning a hand with pocket jacks (never easy!) shouldn’t dominate good gameplay. But by keeping yourself in the position to take advantage of any offers that go alongside your game can lead to you racking up free tickets and buy-ins. Providing you’re playing your best poker, this will translate into money.

Freeroll Tactics

Whether it is live or online, freeroll tournaments naturally attract players who are less comfortable with attacking poker. You should moderate your own game up a level or two to take advantage of this fact, but don’t go crazy. One of the best things about playing freerolls is their very nature. Nobody has anything to lose, and poker is more for fun and learning the game. You may be playing half a table who don’t know ace-high from the wheel, and that’s OK. You might even be that player yourself. If so, then enjoy the experience and don’t be so hard on yourself if you make mistakes. freeroll tournaments, especially online where no-one can see your cringe as you fold to a river-bluff or call off against the nuts, are the perfect environment to learn.

Play Freerolls at partypoker

There are some fantastic freeroll tournaments for you to get your teeth into at partypoker. If you’re from the United Kingdom, sign up to the UK Facebook Community Forum and you’ll gain access to a superb weekly bounty freeroll; Canadians and players from the Oceania regions also have their own Facebook pages and freeroll tournaments.

Almost as good as freerolls are our value-packed cent rolls, which only cost $0.01 to buy into. These tiny buy-in tournaments feed into larger buy-in satellites, and give you the chance to win entries to some massive online and live events for only one cent, and who wouldn’t want to do that? Check out the partypoker tournament lobby to see when these events run.

Overall, playing in freerolls is a positive experience, especially for those new to the game who are building their confidence. Building your bankroll without it costing you anything takes a little longer but can really boost your poker career and give you a head start without financial overlay.

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