Poker Tournaments can be a good way to get to play poker for a long time without risking much money. They can also be a very good way to increase your bankroll if you are able to get to the final table. Many poker players choose to almost exclusively play tournaments while other almost never play tournaments. This is in part due to the fact that cash game and tournament poker is rather different from each other. There are things you do regularly in poker tournaments that you would not do in a tournament. If you on the other hand played as you would in a cash game you are unlikely to get very far in a tournament. Extremely simplified can be said that you have to play more aggressively in a poker tournament than you would in a ring game. This is especially true towards the end of the tournament. The best way to become a good tournament player is to play a lot of tournaments and to read some of the books and articles on the topic of winning tournament poker.
There are two basic types of poker. Single table tournaments and multitable tournaments.
Multitable tournaments are tournaments that are open to a larger number of players and that sometimes have many thousands of players. How many players that wins money depends on how many players that take part in the tournament. The more people that take part the more people will finish in the money. In some tournaments it is enough to end up in the top 1000 to win money. If you reach the final table in a multitable tournament you will usually win many times the buy in and if you end up winning a tournament you will often get a very nice addition to your bankroll. Multitable tournaments are hard to win and to do so will require both luck and skill.
There are several different types of multitable tournaments with slightly different features such as guaranteed pot tournaments where a minimum prize pot is guaranteed, bounty tournament where you get an extra bonus for knocking out certain players and heads up tournament where you play heads up and need to knock one player out before you move on to the next level and a new opponent. The loser is knocked out and the last player standing wins the tournament.
The most famous multitable tournament in the world is the WSOP main event
Single table tournaments
Single table tournaments do as the name suggest take place on only one table and the number of players are therefore limited to 9 players. (or 6 when playing short handed.) Usually the top 3 gets paid in a single table tournament but there are tournaments that only pay top 2 as well as so called double or nothing tournaments where half the contestants win. Good single table tournaments are able to place in the money in a very high number of the tournaments they play in and this type of tournaments can very good for building your bankroll if you have the patience to play a lot of them.