The Dos and Don’ts of Competing in Online Poker Tournaments

Online poker tournaments have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering players the opportunity to compete against others from the comfort of their own homes. However, navigating these tournaments successfully requires more than just luck.

That is why this article will explore the dos and don’ts of competing in online poker tournaments, covering etiquette, strategy and common mistakes to avoid.

Online Poker Tournament Etiquette

Before even getting into the etiquette of online poker tournaments, it’s important to first make sure that you only enter a tournament at one of the legal US online poker sites, like Bovada or Ignition Casino. Each state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to online poker, so proper research is needed before deciding on a platform.

Once you find the right platform, it’s time to follow proper etiquette to ensure a fair and enjoyable experience for all players. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Be respectful to other players: Treat your opponents with courtesy and avoid any offensive or derogatory language.
  • Follow the rules: Familiarize yourself with the tournament rules and adhere to them throughout the game.
  • Be prompt: Arrive on time for the tournament and be ready to play when it starts. Avoid unnecessary delays that can disrupt the flow of the game.
  • Pay attention: Stay focused on the game and avoid distractions. Promptly make your decisions to keep the game moving smoothly.
  • Use appropriate chat: If the tournament allows chat, use it responsibly. Engage in friendly conversation but avoid discussing specific hands or colluding with other players.


  • Don’t slow-roll: Avoid intentionally delaying your actions to frustrate opponents. Make your decisions in a timely manner.
  • Don’t abuse the chat: Refrain from using offensive language, making personal attacks, or engaging in disruptive behavior. Keep the chat friendly and respectful.
  • Don’t cheat: Never use any form of cheating software or collude with other players to gain an unfair advantage. Play the game honestly and ethically.
  • Don’t reveal your hand prematurely: Avoid showing your cards or discussing your hand while the game is still in progress. This can give an unfair advantage to other players.
  • Don’t engage in table talk: In online poker, discussing ongoing hands or strategy with other players at the table is generally discouraged. Focus on your own game and decisions.

By following these dos and don’ts, you can contribute to a positive and enjoyable online poker tournament experience for yourself and others.

Building a Solid Tournament Strategy

Building a solid online poker tournament strategy requires a combination of skill, knowledge and adaptability. Familiarize yourself with the blind levels, payout structure and tournament format. This will help you make informed decisions throughout the tournament. In the early stages of a tournament, focus on playing premium hands and avoid unnecessary risks. Preserve your chip stack and wait for favorable opportunities to accumulate chips.

As the blinds increase, the value of chips decreases. Be prepared to loosen up your starting hand requirements and play more aggressively to stay ahead of the rising blinds. Observe your opponents’ playing styles and adjust your strategy accordingly. Identify the tight players, aggressive players and those who are prone to making mistakes. Exploit their weaknesses and avoid confrontations with stronger opponents.

Online poker tournaments can be long and mentally challenging. Stay focused, avoid distractions, and maintain discipline in your decision-making process. Remember, building a solid online poker tournament strategy takes time and experience. Be patient, stay dedicated and continuously refine your skills to become a successful tournament player.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

When participating in online poker tournaments, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can negatively impact your gameplay. One common mistake is playing too many hands, especially in the early stages of the tournament. It’s crucial to be selective and patient, waiting for strong starting hands before getting involved in pots.

Avoid the temptation to overvalue weak hands, such as low pairs or suited connectors. While these hands can be playable in certain situations, it’s important to assess the overall strength of your hand and make rational decisions based on the current circumstances. Online poker tournaments have different stages, including early, middle and late stages where each stage requires a different strategy and failing to adjust accordingly can be detrimental.

Proper bankroll management is also crucial in online poker tournaments so avoid risking a significant portion of your bankroll on a single tournament and set limits on the buy-ins you are comfortable with. This will help you avoid going broke and allow you to participate in multiple tournaments over time.

It’s important to stay calm and composed during online poker tournaments. Letting emotions like frustration or tilt affect your decision-making can lead to poor choices and unnecessary losses. Take breaks if needed and maintain a focused and disciplined mindset. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can improve your chances of success in online poker tournaments. Remember to practice and continuously refine your skills to become a more proficient player.