Strategy tips for playing freeroll tournaments.

Freerolls play a little bit different than regular buyin tournaments. There are many weak players that can be exploited, which is what we're going to try and teach you in this strategy tips series from FreePokerBankrolls.

This week : Abuse the calling stations

Freeroll players are notorious for calling too much. What does this mean exactly and how can you exploit this in your playing strategy ? In a normal tournament, people will respect your bets and raises a lot more than in a freeroll. Since the players have not paid a buyin fee and are not experienced, they will often 'get married to their hand'. They get QQ preflop and even though the flop comes AK2, they will just not believe a player can possible have them beat. Those queens just look to good to fold ! The way to abuse this is to make large bets when you know you have the best hand, since they are going to call you anyway. The value of top hands like aces or kings goes way up because you are so likely to get paid off with them. If your opponent has shown strength before the flop, and you connect with your AK type of hand, you should try to just get all the chips in the middle. You will be amazed how often you get called by hands like pocket 9's, even though there are 3 overcards on the flop. Using this strategy you should be able to double up several times early in a freeroll. Once you get to the later stages of the freeroll, you are likely facing slightly better opponents and it will be time to adjust your strategy again.

Example hand :

It's early in the GG Poker sunday freeroll and you are in middle position with 2000 in chips. The under the gun player limps for 50 and you look down at AsKs. You raise to 250, trying to get some value early in the hand; knowing that if you'll flop an ace or a king you are likely to get paid off. The button player calls, and so does the under the gun player. The flop comes great for your hand : KdTs2s and the first player checks. If this were a normal tournament you would probably check to induce a bluff from your opponents, but since it's a freeroll, you are likely to get a call from anyone holding a ten or any other random pocket pair. You decide to overbet the pot and put in 1000 chips. The button folds, the under the gun player thinks for a little while and jams the rest of his stack into the middle. Of course you call and he shows pocket Jd10h, what was he thinking ? The turn and river don't help him and you more than double up with the hand.

We hope you've enjoyed this strategy article. Stay tuned for next month's email where we will be discussing : Exploit the money bubble