One of the best ways to enjoy the fun and excitement of gambling with absolutely no risk to your own personal money is to participate in online casino tournaments. Unlike play-money games where you don’t risk real money but can’t win real money either, freeroll games and tournaments let you get in on the action for zero down but you have a shot at walking away with real cash and other prizes.
Nearly all online casinos and poker rooms run freerolls occasionally or even on a regular basis. They have their benefits for new and returning players alike. If you’ve never played in a freeroll, it’s about time you looked into finding one to take part in. It doesn’t matter what game(s) you like to play. There are freerolls built around all different kinds of games and designed for players of all skill levels. Whether you’re a hardcore slot enthusiast or just someone who likes to play a few hands of poker on Wednesday night, there are freerolls out there for you.
There are plenty of reasons to get involved with freeroll tournaments, but that doesn’t mean that you should just jump into any that you see. All freerolls are not created equal, and some just aren’t worth your time. Once you know how to tell which ones present you with the best opportunities, you’ll be able to weed out the worthless and take advantage of one of the biggest added value items that the gambling industry has to offer.
Before we get into the details, we should also mention that before you decide to dedicate your time to any type of freeroll tournament, it’s important to make sure that the casino or poker room holding the tournament fully accepts players from the area where you live. The last thing you want to do is spend hours, or even days, working your way up to a nice prize only to find out that you can’t collect it. Whether you live in the U.S., the U.K., Europe, or Australia, do your homework first and make sure that the casino where you’d like to play will be able to pay you if you win a prize.
The Advantages Of Freeroll Tournaments
Aside from just having fun — and hopefully winning some money for nothing — there are some advantages to playing in freeroll tournaments. Following are some of the side benefits that often make freerolls useful tools, especially for novice gamblers.
Play Against More Serious Competition
If you like to play games that involve some amount of skill, such as poker or blackjack, freeroll tournaments give you the opportunity to play against competitors who are more serious about the game than those you will find playing for play-money. They may still be a little bit loose with their betting, but since there is a real prize on the line, most players will be trying to do well and get there. You won’t be in the middle of a sea of people who don’t care about the results, willing to do just about anything no matter how little sense it makes.
Try New Games With No Risk
Freerolls are an excellent opportunity to try out new games without any risk to your bankroll while maintaining the possibility of winning real money. If you’re an avid blackjack player who’s always wanted to try poker, go for it. If you play the slots, you’ll be able to try out new video slots at no cost. You won’t get a better chance to learn the rules of an unfamiliar game than in a freeroll tournament. Your mistakes aren’t penalized and your good moves could win you a big prize. What more could you ask for?
Earn Entries To Larger Pay-To-Play Tournaments
Many casinos that sponsor large tournaments with real-money buy-ins will also offer what are called satellite freeroll tournaments. Satellite tournaments usually involve at least a few levels that you’ll have to get through, but they can be worth the time and effort if the paid tournament will have big prizes.
If the main tournament doesn’t have huge prizes, you may only need to win a single satellite in order to gain entry into the main tournament. If the main tournament has big prizes and a large buy-in, you may have to win one satellite to gain entry into another, which will lead to another, and so on, until you go through a certain number of levels to finally win an entry into the main tournament. You’ll have to judge for yourself how much time and effort you would need to put into it and whether or not the potential prizes at the end are worth it — if you get there.
Build A Modest Bankroll From Zero
It will take you some time, but freeroll tournaments can also give you the opportunity to build up a small bankroll to play with without having to risk it again each time you play. If your main goal is to play a certain level of poker or blackjack, for example, you can use freerolls to slowly build up the cash you need without any additional risk as you work to get there. If you’re creative, you may also be able to find ways to use that nest egg to take advantage of promotions that will get you even more free benefits from the casino where you play.
Avoid Worthless Freerolls
Whether it’s slots, poker, blackjack, or any other casino game, freeroll tournaments generally attract at least 1000 players — if not more — and can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks to complete. Unless you want to get into a tournament purely for the enjoyment of the game, you’ll need to figure out if a given freeroll is worth the time and effort it will require to play.
Let’s say you like to play slots and your favourite online casino is holding a video slots tournament. The tournament doesn’t offer tremendous prizes, but you’ll be able to play some of your favourite slots for free whether you end up high enough on the leaderboard to win a prize or not. By getting in on this action, you really have nothing to lose. You’ll be playing games that you would normally play anyway, but completely removing the risk of loss while maintaining the potential to win. Even if you don’t make it to the prizes, you’d be doing something you would have done anyway.
Now let’s say that poker is your game and your favourite online poker room is holding a freeroll tournament with a £1000 prize pool. With this tournament, you’d do well to look a bit deeper and see what you’re really getting yourself into. First, while £1000 sounds like a nice big number, you have to remember that it’s a prize pool. That money will be divided up between 100 or more people, with the largest prize going to a single winner, and the “winners” lowest on the scale most likely getting just a few cents.
You’re also likely to be facing anywhere from 2000 to 10,000 opponents. With that large of a field, you’ll be facing several consecutive hours of game time to win what will most likely be a prize worth less than £50 — if you win anything at all.
This scenario is quite different from our first. You may enjoy playing poker, but it’s very unlikely that you sit down regularly to play for four, five, or even more hours in a row with only a few five or ten-minute breaks. Even if you do play paid tournaments of this size with any regularity, with a small buy-in fee of just £1, a tournament with 5000 players would have a prize pool of at least £5000 — much more than the freeroll. Sitting to play this freeroll tournament could easily be classified as a colossal waste of time. You’re highly unlikely to win anything, and even if you do win, the potential prizes are not worth the hours you’d spend to achieve the goal.
So, as we said above, don’t waste your time by blindly jumping into any freeroll games you see. First, always make sure that the casino hosting the tournament will be able to pay you if you win. And second, take a few moments to think about what you’ll need to do in order to win, what kind of chances you have of actually winning anything, and if the combination makes it worth trying. The most important thing, however, is to make sure that you don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with and you have fun!