There is a clear strategy in Texas Holdem tournaments in that you need to quickly raise when you get a good starting hand, particularly when you have seen other people playing more aggressively. You cannot afford to give free cards to other players. The early stages in a tournament are the best time you can hope to have a strong hand, particularly when several players are still in the game.
In the beginning, you can try to emulate more the style of a limit cash game. In this way, you will be more comfortable with your raises, but you need to remain tight and patient. Save your bluffs for later on, when the pot odds are in your favor.
For example, in the beginning, you are seated in the big blind, and you have Ace-King. The flop is Ace-King-5, and you have a good chance of getting a good turn or river. Making a raise of about four times the big blind is a good decision. If your opponents call, you should make a continuation bet about three quarters of the pot size.
If you have raised a strong hand toward the beginning of the game, but you have not gotten any calls, you can try a small raise on the next round. If you have fifteen or so times the big blind, you should bet about fifteen times the big blind. That will make it harder for your opponents to call since it is clear that you have a strong hand.
There should be less hand activity in the middle stages of the tournament. People are starting to worry more about the money than the present time. Many are no longer playing to win, they are playing with a certain degree of certainty that they are going to win or at least minimize their losses.
This is a period where you can take control. You are no longer going to wait for a premium hand to try and make a move, you are going to bet aggressively in order to win the blinds and antes before your opponents get a good hand.
Now that about 25% of the field has been eliminated, the game is going to be a bit more hand-oriented. You should be playing less hands, but by taking care not to eliminate anyone in your line of fire. Keep betting strong when you have a good hand. Since the other players around will be playing more hands, you can count on them calling you with weak hands that can be beaten.
Avoid poor starting hands – like King-Queen and King-Jack – as much as you can. Other players are going to be playing with a wide range of hands in this phase. If you try to limp into the pot with these hands, be prepared for some aggressive action from opponents.
Once you reach the middle rounds, which are the most critical in terms of your chip stack, you should play aggressively, but smartly. Medium pocket pairs can win the blinds uncontested, but do not get married to them. Watch out for good opportunities to steal the blinds and you should be fine.
Once you reach the money, which is the final stage in a satellite tournament, you want to play with a very specific strategy. If you have a big stack, be aggressive, but do not chase draws. Raise your hands preflop to push out others. If you are short-stacked, use a more standard push-all-in strategy. Be prepared to let the blinds and antes go by the wayside once you get heads up.
Once you win a prize in a Dewabet poker tournament, always take the time to thank your sponsor and thank them for coming to your tournaments. This goes a long way towards them understanding your desire to improve your game and aid in your success. You will begin to rapidly improve your income, as well as your skills.