How To Play and Win Poker Freerolls

Freerolls are a different animal. People don’t play freerolls “by the rules.” In fact, many freeroll players act like poker is a live-action slot machine where your 9-7 needs to get lucky and crack aces for you to win it all.

With so many questionable plays being made, luck is certainly more of a factor in freerolls, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to increase your chances of winning. Here’s how real poker players play freerolls.

Play Super Tight When Raising
In the early stages of freerolls, multiple all-ins are so common it’s mind-boggling. You want to avoid getting into marginal situations when the blinds are low, especially since your superior poker skills will give you an edge later on.

Raising does little to clear the field in a freeroll and you shouldn’t be surprised if your raise is called by three or four other players. Since your opponents are playing so loose, you have to tighten up. Only raise with hands you’re comfortable going all in with such as JJ+ and AK. You have to raise for value rather than to narrow the competition when your opponents will call with almost anything.

Limp A Lot
When four or five people are entering almost every pot, you’ll have great odds to play speculative holdings like suited connectors, suited aces, etc. Just limp with these hands and fold if the action gets too heavy.

Your implied odds are great with speculative hands since it’s likely your opponents will pay you off with as little as a weak top pair in their hand. Just make sure you don’t become a victim of your own trap. Speculative hands are meant to make hidden monsters. Don’t play a marginal hand just because you don’t think your opponent has anything. If your hand doesn’t make a monster, fold it and wait for something better.

Be Patient
The early stages of a freeroll can be frustrating. Your opponents will be impossible to read because they’ll be betting and raising with hands you wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. Fortunately, that only happens in the early stages.

In the later stages of a freeroll, most of the idiots have cleared themselves out and you’ll be playing against a more traditional kind of poker player. Once you notice the game calming down, it’s time to open up your raising range and stop playing so many speculative hands. It usually takes around two hours to get to this stage of a freeroll, but once you’re there you can buckle down and start playing some real poker.

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Freerolls require a different strategy than regular multi-table tournaments. You’ll have to be patient and wait out the insanity of the first hour or two of game play. During this phase, exploit your opponents’ loose raises and calls by limping with your speculative hands and raising only super-premium hands. Once you make it past the early stages of the tournament, you can go back to your usual style of poker.