Most poker rooms have many types of multi-table tournaments on their schedule. You’ll see progressive knockouts, classic knockouts, freezeouts, rebuys, re-entries, and others.

Then there are different classes of free tournaments: freerolls and freebuys.

We’ll explain the meaning of freebuy in poker, how this format differs from freerolls, whether it's realistic to win money in them, and how to try to build a bankroll without investing.

A freebuy event on 888poker

A freebuy in poker is a type of freeroll tournament and both are usually played online. Let’s explain the difference between the two.

What is a freeroll in poker?

Classic freerolls follow the freezeout system, meaning that if you lose all your chips, you’re out with no way to re-enter. If you hit the prize zone, you get a payout.

So, if a freeroll doesn’t cost you anything, what is a freebuy?

A freebuy is a variation of a freeroll, with a big difference. You enter the freebuy tournament at no cost, but after losing your stack, you can buy back in – at a small cost.

  • Many freebuys are for large MTT tickets, not cash prizes.
  • Add-ons (purchase of additional chips) are also often available.
  • Rebuys and add-ons can inflate the prize pool

The cost of all rebuys and add-ons will be low in freebuy events, but they help form a significant prize fund.

Some poker sites, like Stars, list their freebuy tournaments as Freeroll+R (Freeroll+Rebuy).

PokerStars Freeroll+R, another name for freebuys

For beginner poker players, freebuys are a great choice. You can win more in them than in most freerolls, since players add money into the prize pool. This is also a good training for tournament skills. Everyone plays more diligently and makes random actions less often – meaning shoves with 72 are not seen as often here, so it becomes more interesting (and realistic) to play.

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There is a detailed article about tournament poker on the GipsyTeam website. It describes all the different formats, as well as the basic things you should know for a winning tournament. We talk about the main types of multi-table tournaments:

  • Freezeouts: Classic tournaments where you always only have one try. Once you lose all your chips, you are out.
  • Rebuys: Here, after losing all the chips, there is an opportunity to buy more. In this case, you keep your original seat at the table.
  • Re-entry: This is what re-entry tournaments are called. In this case, you will (usually) be seated at a new table, again with your starting stack.
  • Knockouts: In these events, the prize fund is divided into two parts (in most cases, unequal parts): Top ranks are paid as normal and you collect bounties for eliminated opponents.
  • Progressive knockouts (PKO): For each opponent you knock out, you increase the reward for your own knockout. Thus, the further you managed to go, the higher your bounty is and knocking you out becomes more attractive to opponents.
  • Mystery Bounty: A relatively new format on 888poker and several other rooms. Knockouts start to pay at the final stage of the tournament and each bounty is a random prize. One of the lucky ones is guaranteed to hit the largest mystery bounty.
A Mystery Bounty tournament over on GG
  • Satellites: These tournaments don’t payout real money, instead, you’ll win an entry into a larger event.
  • Freerolls and freebuys: You already know about these tournaments. You should not expect that you will be able to make money regularly in them – after all, the competition for getting into the prize zone is quite high here. But gaining experience will be very useful, and adding to your bankroll won’t hurt anyone.

Expect to face all-ins in almost every hand and very little postflop play. It won’t always be like this! Once the tournament reaches the later levels, it will play much more normally. Because the buy-in was $0, players won’t value their chips much until the prize money is within reach.

Partypoker just raised the prize pools on some of their hourly freeroll tournaments. Instead of being $200 at the most, they are now up to $400! Round the Clock is the name for partypoker’s freerolls, which you can easily filter in the tournament lobby by selecting Free/Point stakes.

Every hour, on the hour, Round the Clock events start up. There is no re-entry or rebuying, but you’ll have plenty of chances to compete every single day.

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On our website, there are many articles for learning and becoming a more profitable player. Find out about useful poker tactics, like how to 3-bet and 4-bet opponents.

Be sure to pay attention to some of the GipsyTeam Shop items too. Some of the software can dramatically change your approach to poker – and your win rate. There are tools for all kinds of players and support software for specific poker sites, like 888caption, with works on 888poker.

If you aren’t already using a HUD (Heads-Up Display), then you need to consider it. It’s likely that your toughest competition is using one of these displays for more information. Don’t put yourself at a disadvantage! Many HUDs are approved by the poker rooms, so you won’t be breaking the rules by using one.