Online freerolls are a great way to win real cash for no risk. But how should you approach them? If you've been struggling with your online tournament form recently, then freerolls could be your next port of call. Almost all poker rooms offer some kind of free to enter tournament, with real cash prizes.
A recent development in the world of online freerolls has seen the emergence of zero balance tournaments. These events allow players to participate for real cash without ever making a deposit. PokerStars & Everest Poker offer such events.
So, how should you approach freerolls? The number of players for these events are likely to be inflated in comparison to buy-in tournaments, due to this you can expect a wide range of skill levels from your opponents. Many players will be participating for the first time, attracted by the thought of free money. These players are likely to be the weakest due to their inexperience. There will also be real money players who are playing simply for fun, expect wild playing styles from these guys! There are frequent freerollers too, earning small but regular income from their hard work. The regulars will, in most cases, be showing the greater degree of skill.
There is little point in limping into too many pots early on in freerolls. This is where most of your opponents will lose their chips. Instead, wait for premium starting hands such as: AQ, AK, QQ, KK and AA then raise to reduce the number of callers. Ideally you'll only get one or two calls with a big raise, should you attract three or more then show great caution post flop, especially if your pocket Kings are facing an A high flop!
As you progress to the latter stages, expect the quality of opposition to be much higher than at the beginning. If you have created yourself a large stack, use it to 'bully' stacks who will be struggling in the coming rounds, as you close in on the money these players will become very passive for fear of missing out on the cash. This type of fear is apparent in buy-in tournaments on and off line, as well as freerolls.
On the whole a 'tight, aggressive' playing style is considered the most productive in freerolls. Try not to play too many marginal hands early on and be selectively aggressive as the tournament progresses. You could find yourself with a healthy bankroll from your efforts.