You are in a poker tournament, three of your opponents have already shoved all their chips into the middle and you are sitting with pocket aces wanting to go for the big pot. This might be the right call – depending on the stage of the tournament.

The early-stage

In the early stages of the tournament, it is important to stay cool and not go with the flow. Some players tend to want to double their stacks early on, so they can dominate the table. Instead of doing that it might be a good idea to tighten up and get to know the other players. Most poker clients have made it possible to take in-game notes during the game. You can find the best poker clients and reviews on

Back in the game, there will be loose players and there will be tide players, who only play premium hands (AA, KK, AK suited). By identifying the opposition, you will most likely make better calls using simple math. If a player is very aggressive and plays a lot of hands, you might want to go up against him in your attempt to increase your stack size.

Middle stage:

This is where the real poker begins. A lot of the “fishes” have now busted out, so this is where the poker begins. The ante and the blinds will rise, making it more sensible to try and steal pots. At this stage, there is also more value to be found when limping in on a bet. This means that if you got a low pair you might want to see a reasonably cheap flop and go for three of a kind. Bear this in mind when you are pocketing a premium hand yourself, and don’t let others limp in on the pot. Make those chips yours or make them pay to see a flop.

The money bubble

This is not a stage, but still an important part of tournament poker. You and your compatriots have probably been playing for a couple of hours by now and now you want to get paid for the work. This means that a lot of the players will start to tighten up their game and play far fewer hands in order not to bust out of the tournament without making the money.

If you are in it to win it, you should not tighten up completely but only play good and premium hands. Low-stacked players will fold most hands, and some won’t play at all. Try and steal a few blinds and get some easy money for the late stage of the tournament.


Congratulations you cleared the cut, and you are now in the money. The players that just squeezed into the money will most likely go all-in with just a high card. Try and go up against them especially if you got more chips than them as there will be little risk in a showdown.

If you play your cards wisely you might even find yourself at the final table competing for the big money and earning the prize of being a tournament winner. If you still aren’t winning at poker you might want to look at the volatility at different casino games to choose the one most suitable for you. Good luck and may the cards be with you.