Playing the early stages of a tournament

When you should play a hand depends on many factors. You have to consider your actual cards compared to the bet to you, who you are playing, what position you are in, what stack you have and at what stage of the tournament you are in.

Only then can you decide what to do with your hand.  The early and final stages of a tournament are the two most pivotal stages because in the mid stages of a tournament you can get away with going into cruise control and playing a bit like a robot somewhat.

There are several arguments about the right way to playing the starting stages of a tournament, and how you play depends on your own preference.

The further you get into a tournament the better standard of players you will be up against. In the early stages of a tournament, you often find many aggressive players looking to double up or go out, but later the same player could end up playing like a rock.

With this in mind, a lot of people intentional adjust their play. Some players become a lot looser pre flop to see if they can hit a monster and take advantage of a naturally loose-passive player, while some go the other way and tighten up their game trying to avoid a bad beet.


The two points that matter most at any stage of a tournament are your chip stack in relation to the blinds, and the cards that you have. In the early stages of the tournament, you will never be in danger of being blinded out so this is not something you need to take into account.


For many, the best way to play is normally but with the knowledge that there will be a higher chance you are up against a chaser so betting slightly harder in the earlier stages is advised.

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