ReBuy Tournament Strategy


There are all kinds of poker tournaments, but the two main types for multi-table tournaments are FreezeOuts and Re-buy tournaments. The first ones allow only a single purchase of chips, thus if you lose all your chips it means that it's all over for you. ReBuys on the other hand allow you to purchase extra chips at any time, usually during the first hour of a tournament. This completely changes the whole gameplay, including optimal strategy. These tournaments also require a larger bankroll, because of the optimal strategy, which is filled with variance, aggressive play and constantly putting yourself into coin flips during the first hour.

Play during the first hour

If you have decided to play a re-buy tournament, you'll have to do it properly. Now there are two types of players in these. Ones simply wait for big hands and try to increase their stack that way while the other ones are playing a really aggressive style and putting their opponents under pressure. Unless you are not properly rolled for the tournament, you should definitely choose the aggressive style. First hour is the time when you should be aiming to build your stack as much as possible. If you are able to do it, mid and late tournament stages will be way easier for you. It will also allow you to put constant pressure on your opponents and avoid busting out in case of a single hand lost. Regardless of how many times you bust your stack, it's worth making a re-buy!

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Play After the ReBuy Period

Once the re-buy period has ended and the chance to buy extra chips is no longer offered, you should adjust your strategy accordingly. Basically the tournament has now changed to a freeze out format and all those crazy moves that could be pulled before, are not appropriate anymore. However, if you were successful by building a big stack during the first hour, you shouldn't change all that much into your gameplay.
The key to doing well in tournaments is having a solid ABC poker knowledge along with aggressive play in spots where it's good. It might be hard to explain the good spots in a single article, but here are a couple of tips that will help you to start thinking properly.
  • Who are the players that have to act after you? Are there anyone who would be capable of 3betting you without a hand? These are the aspects to look at before you think about open raising with a mediocre hand.
  • Your table image have you been active at the table? Or on the other hand, have you been tight and always shown a strong hand at the showdown? This will help you to determine how other (good) players view you, thus the likelihood of them giving up versus your steals and bets.
  • Position it's crazy to open raise from UTG without much of a hand, but it's not crazy at all to do the same from CutOff or BTN. Your position should highly affect your decision making. >/li>
  • What is the stage of the tournament the closer tournament is to the amount of entrants awarded with a cash prize, the tighter everyone starts to play. You should always exploit this and play aggressively, when the tournament is in the so called ''bubble'' stage.

Bankroll Management for ReBuy Tournaments

As you just learned, re-buy tournaments are unique and consist a lot more of variance than other types of tournaments. This also changes how you should plan and manage money. While I usually advise having 200 buy-ins for Multi Table Tournaments in your bankroll, this doesn't work with re-buys.
You see, a particular tournament might feature a buy-in of $10, but if you buy extra chips 5 times, it's not a $10 tournament anymore. Instead it's a $50 and that's exactly how I like to count a buy-in of these tournaments. So if you want to play $10 ReBuy games, I would advise you to have a $10k bankroll. This is of course give that you play for a living, if you're just playing once in a while as a hobby, there's nothing stopping you from depositing as much as you need for that single night of play.