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Understanding Online Poker Tournaments; Freerolls
Updated: September 2017

Those new to the world of online poker have probably heard the term freeroll used by many of the casinos. Although it is becoming more popular in the world of online gambling, the term actually has its beginning in the 1950’s in Las Vegas. As the casinos were trying to lure in new customers they would often offer them a free roll of nickels or dimes to play the slot machines. Over the years the idea of a free roll merged into the term freeroll and is still used today.

Online poker players are often offered freeroll plays to provide an incentive for them to try an online gaming house. They are provided the chance to play for free to better judge the quality of the site as well as their skills as a poker player.

Many poker sites also have freeroll tournaments that enable players to compete against others, also to judge their own ability as a poker player without incurring the usually cost of a tournament entry fee. Many veteran poker players appreciate what they perceive as a reward for being a frequent player in a particular casino while those new to online poker use the offered freerolls as they test their skills before adding a lot of real cash.
The main difference between freeroll tournaments and real money tournaments is the payoff. When playing in a freeroll tournament winners will receive their winnings in the form of points or merchandise and possibly additional entries into other types of tournaments. Although in some online poker casinos the player may be required to deposit real money into their account in order to receive their freerolls and entry into the tournament.

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Although the term freeroll is often used in many instances there will be some sort of payment required. In a true free tournament, proceeds to pay for prizes is generally donated by the house along with sponsorship fees and possibly entry fees into the room in which the tournament is taking place. Many of the freeroll tournaments will accept VIP or some other type of reward system points in order to play in the tournaments and although there is no real money being charged, real money may have had to be used in order to earn those rewards.
When a poker room offers a freeroll tournament that is by invitation only those invited are typically high-rollers at pay-to-play tables. In these tournaments, due to the type of players being invited they are not ordinarily charged any type of entry fee and the winners are often paid in cash and prizes.

 

Playing Poker for Real Money in The United States

Playing online poker using real money is pure gamling, so make sure you play poker with the money you can afford to lose. Sometimes the day will not go in your favor, so make sure the money you lose or win is only for gamling.

Below is a list of items to consider when starting to play poker online or offline.
  • Read Poker Books and Magazines
  • Play Online Poker with Play Money
  • Read our "Poker 101" section
  • Welcome USA poker players to your online U.S. poker portal devoted to everything poker. OpenPokerUSA.com is your guide to the top poker sites for U.S. players, and the most in depth analysis on internet poker room news.

    We have the information you need from sitting at a table to collecting your winnings, to the newest poker rooms around the world.
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