Casino Poker

Tips for Winning Tournaments More Often

Two aces lean against stacks of poker chips.

In the increasingly competitive world of online poker, some of the ways to stand out and improve your chances of winning include having a strategy, mentally preparing yourself and practicing. Poker players rarely achieve greatness or success by chance. On the contrary, it often takes endless gameplay and researching some of the top tips and tricks for playing this classic casino game, some of which we explore in detail in this article.

Online Poker vs. Live Poker

Before diving straight into the list of tips to increase your success rate, it’s important to highlight some of the differences and similarities between online poker and live poker. The first similarity is that the basis of the game remains the same, whether you’re playing live or online. However, online poker tournaments and live poker tournaments differ in game speed, accessibility and player interaction, just to name a few aspects.

Game Speed

Online games are typically faster in pace because they are automated, whereas live games can be slower because of manual operations. In person, the thinking and decision-making process can also be longer; but online, players have limited time.


Online poker tournaments are more easily accessible and convenient because they are available on poker sites, which are accessible from the comfort of your own home and on just about any smart device. Live tournaments, on the other hand, require you to be physically present at the location.

Player Interaction

Some might say that live poker games are more telling because you can look at your opponents and their behavior, which can reveal their position in the game. When playing online, that’s not possible. In a virtual setup, you can only really assess strategy and response time.

10 Tips for Winning Tournaments More Often

Whether you’re playing live or online, following poker tournament tips can help you avoid pitfalls that could cost you your game! Given that there are different scenarios that may occur when playing, using these tips to get ahead could also give you the upper hand over your opponents, make your decision-making quicker and can also feel a bit like having poker greats and experts as your invisible mentors — which could boost your confidence. 

Poker is characterized by uncertainty and no sure bet, so players can experience losing streaks or winning streaks at any level. This is what is called variance in poker. It’s also why equipping yourself with tools and top tips could be to your benefit.

Below are 10 tips to increase your chances of winning tournaments more often.

1. Start Slow

A well-dressed gambler with a curled mustache and a goatee thinks about their next play in a game of poker.

This is one tip to highlight on your poker notes! Starting slowly means treating the tournament like a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t go in guns blazing; you can only really win in the later stages. So, there’s no need to up the ante from the get-go.

2. Practice Patience

Many novice players make the mistake of building a large stack and then fail by trying to win the tournament too early. Don’t be that player. The speed at which the blinds increase should guide your decision-making and how tightly you play.

3. Be Strategic in Your Bluffing

Bluffing can be the difference between getting ahead or throwing your whole game away. Mastering the art of bluffing (and doing so strategically) can ultimately change table dynamics. 

4. Protect Your Stack

Several stacks of poker chips are surrounded by scattered poker chips.

Don’t let your ego get the better of you and risk throwing the game. Your stack should be your main priority; build it, protect it and then apply pressure to opponents with a shorter stack later in the game.

5. Understand Your Position

Your decision-making should be guided by whether you’re in a weak or strong position relative to your opponents. It will determine how aggressively or loosely you play.

6. Control Your Emotions

It’s easy to let your emotions take over during a tournament because the stakes are high, but learn to control them. Keep your head in the game and don’t lose focus, regardless of whether you’re on a winning or losing streak.

7. Play Selectively and Aggressively

When you have a strong hand, be strategic and tactful in when and how you play aggressively to build your pot. This is especially true in the early stages.

8. Understand Table Dynamics

A person with long, shiny nails reveals their poker hand of four aces. There are stacks of poker chips on either side of the cards.

Whether you’re playing a Texas Hold’em poker game or a stud poker game, the stakes are always high at tournament level. You need to understand table dynamics and be very observant of your opponents, their strategy and possibly even their position. This will enable you to determine where you stand relative to them, so you can overpower weak players and be cautious with stronger opponents.

9. Beware of Making Unnecessary Loose Calls

Being more disciplined and patient in your decision-making around the poker table or even if you’re playing poker online games, is crucial. In a nutshell, avoid calling bets or raises with weak or marginal hands. Doing so can help you preserve your chips and put you in a more favorable position.

10. Continue Learning

The only way to keep getting better is through learning. Develop a poker schedule to study poker strategy by reading books, studying poker greats and their tactics or watching training videos. After all, you’re never too old — or experienced — to learn something new.

Measuring Success in Poker Tournaments

Success in poker tournaments is typically measured in lifetime earnings, meaning that the cumulative prize money that you’ve earned throughout your poker career is what matters. There are some shortfalls of this approach, such as the fact that it doesn’t take buy-ins into account, which is why some might argue that it’s skewed. However, there are other ways to measure success, such as using a player’s aggregate of final tables and titles won, but these also have their own shortfalls.

Put Your Newfound Poker Knowledge to the Test at Borgata Online

Now that you know a thing or two about what it takes to play poker online or in person with increased chances of success, why not put your knowledge to the test? At Borgata Online, you’re truly spoiled for choice when it comes to poker variations to choose from. That’s not all; you can also access many other popular online casino games — including slots, casino table games and live dealer casino games — when you register at Borgata Online.