USA_flagBest poker, sportsbook + casino for US players, big bonus, deposit options for US customers.

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Bet365 Poker

Our Top Room Pick. Best tournaments + support, lots of fish. Best Sportsbetting odds!

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Carbon Poker

USA_flagEasy deposit options, great choice for US players. $600 bonus, very fishy room with lots of tournaments.

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Top room with a Bonus of $600, still the largest poker room. Lots of fish, massive tournament calendar.

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Poker server blocked? How to play any online poker room, from anywhere - read this article!

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5 good reasons to switch to a new poker room - read more ...

Best online Satellites for Live Poker Events - find them here!

Poker rooms with the best high stakes action - read this to find them.

Best poker and sportsbook combination - read this review.

Newest Poker Promotions

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Solid tournament strategy for the early stages of a poker tournament

What strategy should you pursue for the initial phase in a poker tournament? Your strategy depends primarily on the structure of the tournament. If the tournament gives you a small initial chipstack only and the blinds go up quickly (example: 5000 starting chips, blinds start at 25/50 and increase every 15 minutes), then it makes little sense to play super tight and wait for the best hands.

But the most interesting tournaments are those with higher starting stacks (10,000 or more) and longer blind periods (30, 45 or 60 minutes). Especially in live tournaments you will often find this kind of conditions. But how to play these tournaments?

Well, on the one hand the principle "tight is right" does apply here. However, it is ok to see flops with hands like 4h5h as long as one only has to pay a small raise and more than two opponents see the flop. The potential of such hands to win big pots is enormous and especially in the initial phase, it is worthwhile to pay a small price for those hands.

These are the three most important factors in the early phase

Your position: this universal principle is very important, and especially so early in the tournament. If you have little information yet about your opponents, having position is all the more important to make good decisions after the flop!

Controlling pot size: It's ok to play along with marginal hands and draws in smaller pots, as long as you are able to ensure that the pot does not become too big. You should always only risk a small enough portion of your stack, unless you have a very strong hand already.

Watching your opponents: It is clear that you will sit with the same players for several hours at this table. It is therefore important to observe the tendencies of your opponents, in order to later take advantage from the insights that you have gained early on. Even more important than the question of the range of hands your opponents are willing to see the flop with, is the question of how aggressive they play, and how your opponents respond to aggressiveness. It is also important to be aware of your own table image, better even to create a certain image in order to benefit from it later. If you play extremely tight in the beginning, you will more be able to get away with a bluff later, and if your table image is that of a loose / aggressive player your opponents are more likely to pay you off with your strong hands later.

Information about your opponents are relatively "cheap" to come by in the early stages, but can be decisive factors at the later stage, when the blinds and antes are much higher.

Importance of own chip stack

In the early phase of a tournament with slow blind levels it is completely OK to increase your stack in small increments - it is even sufficient to just hold on to your starting stack, or to suffer small losses. The loss of 20% of the initial stack is no reason  to panic! Keep an eye on the average stack during the tournament - as long as that number is within reach and you do not fall under a stack the equivalent of 10 Big Blinds, you are doing ok.

Of course it is nice to double up early in the tournament, but you should never risk big portions of your stack with weak hands as long your stack is still "healthy".

Conclusion: Information about your opponents and knowing your own table image are more important than a big chip stack in the early stages!

Deposit options for US poker fans

If you are based in the US, finding a poker room that accepts US players is only one of your problems. It is also difficult to make money transfers. But there are a number of options for deposits and withdrawals for US gamblers and we have described them here ... read more

All Freeroll Poker Tournaments starting now

All the big poker rooms are offering freeroll tournaments. There is no need to deposit, but you can still win real money. To find a permanently updated schedule of all freerolls starting in the next few minutes, across all rooms - click this link!

Play Poker and Blackjack at the same room

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games, due to a low house edge and the fact that strategy can improve your results. But not all poker rooms have Blackjack too. Find our favorite rooms for Poker and Blackjack - read this!

European Poker Tour qualifiers

The European Poker Tour is becoming more and more popular. With moderate buy-ins, but very large prize pools, a lot of money can be made at these events. In consequence, several rooms are offering satellites to qualify for the offline EPT events. To find out which rooms offer the best chances for EPT qualification read this article.