Tournament Levels — How Do They Affect Gameplay?

Whenever you play USA online poker, you get to choose whether you want to play cash games or tournaments. If you opt for cash games, the playing rules are rather simple. All you have to do is use cash to buy chips and start playing poker.

However, choosing tournaments is a bit more difficult, as you need to know how tournaments are organized. There are several things that you need to pay attention to, and one of the most important aspects is levels.

Essentially, levels in poker are constrained by time, and those who organized the tournament decide how long the levels will last. Usually, levels last 40 minutes to one hour in live tournaments. However, some players prefer the so-called “turbo” tournaments, where levels last for 15 minutes.

What Are Levels?

So, what are these levels exactly? When playing poker as a cash game, players need to pay a small fee for taking part in the hand. That way, they wouldn’t be able to fold every bad hand. If they fold too much, they will lose money nevertheless. This fee is always the same.

Things are a bit more complicated with tournaments, as both players and spectators would run out of patience if the fee, which is called a “blind” is always the same. Therefore, after every level, the blinds double up. For example, if blinds start at 25/50, they will double up to 50/100 at the next level.

That way, players who are reaching the very end of the tournament will have to stake a lot of chips even if they fold. It speeds up the game and makes it more exciting.

When you hear something like “he was left to five BBs,” that means that a player had enough chips to play five more hands during that level of play.

Levels are a very important part of almost every poker tournament and need to be taken into account every time you play. They can affect your poker strategy and make you redefine your approach to every hand.

If you want to explore how levels work, it’s best that you start by playing poker on the web. That way, you will not have the pressure of a live poker environment, and you will still be able to experience how levels affect the game.

Therefore, make sure to check out some of the best poker site reviews and get ready for some great online poker.