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We get quite a few questions from people using the site who are after a few extra tips.  We always do our best to write back, here is one we received recently from James.  I wrote back, but we thought this question was worth sharing as it gives a good insight into tournament playing styles.


Please Speak about beginning tournament playing style. How you should play before 1t color-up,



Hi James,

Thanks for contacting the site and I would like to thank you for your question. Here at we love to hear from people with suggestions for videos as this is what we want to help people with. So to refer to your question, as I was unsure if you wanted a personal response or a video response, these are a few important options to look at when playing in the early stages of a tournament.

Assess your table and adopt an appropriate style. If the majority of players are over aggressive, sit back and wait for the right time to get your chips in the pot.

The idea of seeing a lot of the flops in the early stages of play can seem very attractive, especially as the blinds are fairly cheap – however, the idea is to pick your games, regardless of how much is at stake. During play, particularly at the beginning when you are trying to build up your stack, you need to keep control of what proportion of your stack you have at stake – I tend to favour a ‘one-third’ theory, so I will never put more than a third of my stack at risk, depending upon how strong my hand is near the start.  So, even if I’m feeling pretty confident, with a $1500 stack, I’ll only put down a potential $500, therefore giving me the ability to accumulate chips with minimal risk in the early stages of the tournament.

Remember, a good hand is a good hand throughout the whole game, not just at specific points. Ok, so ‘going bust’ early in the game isn’t great – but a lot of the time some people forget to use the information that’s in front of them, and opt for an over-patient style. If the pot-odds are in your favour, or you have a dominant pre-flop hand, then, by all means, get your chips in. As always in this situation, there is a possibility that you may lose, however if you do lose a hand that you had an 80% chance of winning, remember that chances are you’ll win the next four times you play this hand.

Thanks again for your comment, if we can be of any more assistance then please don’t hesitate to get back to us.

Aiden from


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