What Are Freerolls? How To Start Playing Tournament Poker

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· 23 Mar 2022

If you’re ready to start playing online poker but are still unsure how much money to wager or which games to join, why not start playing free tournaments where you can practice and still get the chance to earn some prizes?

These tournaments, called freerolls, have become a staple of both traditional and crypto casinos in a drive to attract new players.

What are freerolls, and how can you benefit? Read on for answers to these and many other questions.

What Freeroll Means

In the world of gambling, a freeroll can mean any of the following:

  • A poker tournament where there is no buy-in required
  • A bet in poker where your hand can’t lose but can only win or split the pot
  • Any other type of betting where there is a free game bonus. There are freeroll bonuses for various games, such as blackjack and video poker, as well as slot machines.

What Are Freeroll Poker Tournaments?

When you see ‘freeroll’ on a crypto casino website, chances are it refers to an online poker tournament you can join without an entry fee.

While pay-to-play tournaments make a profit by taking a piece of the total money fund as a rake, freerolls are offered by gambling sites to draw new players to the table. The benefit for the players is getting the chance to practice to eventually join money tournaments.

Freerolls at poker sites sometimes offer cash prizes, but you can also earn credits to enter tournaments where you can compete for money prizes or win gifts and merchandise.

How To Play a Freeroll Tournament

All you need to do is to register an account with a traditional or a crypto casino and go on its website to search for a poker freeroll and apply.

We mentioned that the whole idea of a freeroll tournament is that it is free and doesn’t require a buy-in, though some casinos will charge you money or points or require a deposit at some stage to let you join a freeroll.

Some freeroll tournaments are based on an all-in format. You won’t have a chance to choose how to play the game, as the player with the best hand automatically goes to the next round, and you may have to play a few of those before you proceed to the second round.

Types of Prizes in a Freeroll Tournament

Many people are still suspicious of the fact that you can win real money at online poker freeroll tournaments. So, although there is no entry fee for freerolls, there can be different types of prizes, including cash prizes.

The prizes can differ from website to website, but generally fall into one of these categories:

  • Money prizes: Yes, you can earn real cash by winning a freeroll tournament. So, what’s the catch? Well, there isn’t one. Some tournaments are meant as promotions for brands that sponsor the prize pool. Other times, a casino is trying to attract new players.
  • Tournament ticket prizes: Some online freeroll poker tournaments offer prizes that you can’t cash out but that can lead you to real money prizes. You can use tickets or credits, depending on the system your casino uses, as buy-in for a future money tournament.

What Are the Benefits of Freeroll Tournaments?

The list is long. After all, you are not paying a cent to play, so what’s there to lose? As the saying goes: You can’t lose what you didn’t have in the first place. But there are certainly positive opportunities for the players:

  • You’ll be gaining tournament experience: Just because it’s a free poker tournament doesn’t mean it’s lacking competition. You’ll have to bring your A-game if you hope to make it to the final table and win a prize.
  • Build your bankroll from scratch: Playing poker requires you to invest in your bankroll. For many players just starting out, gathering enough funds to hit the big time can be a protracted process. There’s nothing we can say against building discipline, but online poker freerolls can save you time and get you playing for real money fast.
  • Regular practice: Practice makes perfect, and if you want to succeed in the game of poker, you will need a lot of it! A big advantage of freeroll tournaments is that you can play every day and not have to worry about it negatively affecting your bankroll.

Freeroll Hand in Poker

Freerolls in poker are bets where the freerolling player can either win or, at worst, split the pot.

For example, let’s think of two players – and call them Ollie and Dan – playing head-to-head poker, where Ollie has a Jack-Ten of diamonds and Dan has a similar hand – Jack-Ten offsuit. Both players are in the game after the turn card, and two of the four community cards on the table are diamonds.

Therefore, Ollie has a flush draw, and if the river card turns out to be a diamond as well, he wins. If the river card is anything other than a diamond, the players split the pot. Ollie can go all-in in this situation as the stakes are on his side, and there’s no chance whatsoever he could lose!

Bottom Line

As much as it can be fun, poker is a game of risks as well, especially for those with no real-world gambling experience.

If you’re just breaking into the game and don’t want to wager your own money but would like to challenge yourself and play with serious players, find a freeroll poker tournament and put your skills to the test.

Freeroll tournaments offer you a chance to play poker without buy-ins and win real prizes along the way. If you’re interested in poker and want to learn how to play against real players, check out some of our favorite crypto casinos and online poker sites and start playing poker today.


What is a freeroll in poker?

A freeroll in poker is a tournament where there is no buy-in required. It can also mean a poker hand where a player can’t lose but can only split a pot or win.

How long does a freeroll last?

Depending on the format, these tournaments can last a couple of days or just ten minutes. In essence, freerolls can follow the same format as any other poker tournament, except that you don’t need to pay the entry fee. But there are also freerolls with an all-in format that can end in a couple of minutes.

How do you play freeroll?

Practice is what freerolls are good for, so you should approach them as you would any other tournament – play tight in the beginning and avoid getting into a competition over the pot with the stack leader. As the game progresses, you can up your tempo but keep your game on the tight side.