If you’re new to poker or have only played certain types of tournaments, you might not know all the types of poker tournaments available. This article will define and describe the most popular types of poker tournaments.
Buy-ins
Most poker tournaments feature a buy-in. A buy-in is the cost of a place at one of the table. In most cases, a portion of the buy-in, most typical is 10%, goes back to the house. All of the buy-in amount constitute the prize pool. The prize pool is distributed among the winning players in graduated amounts. The first place prize receives the most and subsequent winners received lesser amounts.
Freeroll
A variation of the buy-in type tournament is the freeroll. A freeroll is a free entry to a tournament. This is helpful for players who are building their bankroll and don’t have the money to cover higher buy-in tournaments as well as for those who don’t gamble often but like the game of poker itself. In most cases, when a player busts out of a freeroll, they are out of the tournament. In one type of tournament called a freebuy, if the player busts out, they can in turn buy themselves back in for a fee.
Freebuy
The latest innovation in poker tournaments is the freebuy poker tournament. A freebuy is a free chance to play in a tournament. If the player busts out, he or she will have to buy themselves back in. It is a second chance type tournament just in case a player busts out.
Knock Out or KO
Often tournaments will have an abbreviation KO. This is short for the term knock out. It is also called bounty tournament. Players gets a small amount of the pot when they knock a player out. Knocking a player causes them to lose all their chips in a tournament and they have to either finish or buy-in again in the case of an unlimited entry tournament. Knock out tournaments are also known as shootouts or bounty.
Satellite
A satellite tournament is a tournament centered around a larger tournament. Players get to win a seat to a more expensive buy-in tournament. Chris Moneymaker is a great example. He entered an online satellite tournament for the WSOP for $39. He went on to win $2.5 million. His win inspired many others to join the world of poker online. He was the first person to become a world champion after qualifying at an online poker site. The poker site was PokerStars, a leading online poker room.

Rebuy
A rebuy tournament allows the player to buy themselves back in to a tournament in case they lose all their chips. It is similar to a a freebuy, but there is an entry fee for a rebuy tournament. In some tournaments players are allowed to buy more chips before the registration period ends. Often the stack of chips alotted in a rebuy are less than inĀ  a guaranteed tournament.

Guaranteed
A guaranteed poker tournament is one where the host guarantees a certain amount in the prize pool. For example, a casino guarantees a million dollar prize pool. Even if it doesn’t reach the amount of players to guarantee the prize pool, it will still payout as if it did. When it doesn’t meet the minimum amount of players it is called an overlay and the casino has to put up their own money for the prize pool.
Freezeouts
Most tournaments played today are freezeouts. A freezeout is a tournament where players are eliminated until there is only one winner. There are times when players can opt to stop the tournament and settle for the spot they’re in at the time. Casinos will offer this chance when a tournament has gone on longer than expected. For example, a recent million dollar tournament was still being played after 15 hours. During this time, the casino gave the players a chance to settle on their placements and receive corresponding payouts. A freezeout tournament is similar to a MTT.
MTT
A multitable tournament is a tournament that gets smaller as the field of players narrows. It might start with 10 tables of 9 players. As the players get eliminated that tables decrease until there is a one final table.
STT
An STT is a single table tournament one type of STTs is heads up. STT tournaments because of limited amount of players usually finish much earlier than MTTs. The buy-ins can vary and players can still win a considerable amount depending on whether the game is low, mid or high stakes.


These are basic types of tournaments one can expect to find at most casinos either online or land based. For players with little time, the STT are an option. For players with fair amount of time to play the MTT often offer the best payout since there are many more players. The freebuy tournament is a new variation of the poker tournament.