Jumping into your first poker game is fairly straightforward. You only need to choose your favourite title, receive your two cards face down, make the best five-card poker hand and win if you have the best hand. It is that simple. If you manage to win, you’ll have to start working towards your poker strategy and even advance to taking part in some tournaments.
Once you start to get serious and win a few tournaments, you will need to look for complex tournament formats. If you search online, the top ten results that you will find will feature different types of bounty tournaments.
Bounty Poker Tournaments: What Are They?
A bounty tournament is a subset of a poker competition that features a reward mechanic. In a bounty tournament, you collect a reward when you eliminate a specific competitor. But in some bounty tournaments, you just need to eliminate any participant in the game.
In most cases, when you eliminate an opponent, you get credits that you can only exchange for the reward. Many poker tournament providers pay the bounties in the form of real money.
What Are the Different Variants of Bounty Poker Tournaments?
Before you can play at some of the biggest online poker rooms in the world, it is important to know the different variants available as well as real bounty tournaments that you can take part in.
Currently, there are three main subcategories of bounty tournaments that you can try out and discover a perfect match for you. These variants are:
In super knockout tournaments, 50% of the player buy-in goes to the prize pool. The remaining half ends up on the player scalp. For example, in a £1000 super knockout bounty tournament, you are playing a £500 buy-in, and you will get £500 for every knockout stage you attain.
The knockouts are similar to those of the variant above; however, the bounty is much lower as it is only 20%. This was the only bounty poker tournament variant available until someone somewhere decided to increase the bounty value to make it more interesting. And that resulted in other variants that offer rewards worth 50% and above.
Progressive Super Knockout
The progressive super knockout tournaments have rewards that increase from one level to another. In this tournament, the bounty starts at £50 and ends at £100. However, the twist is that if you manage to eliminate a player, you only manage to get half of the bounty. The other half is included in your bounty.
If you bust another player in the first hand of the poker tournament, you will receive £25 and your bounty increases to £75. And if other players bust you, they receive £37.50, and the remaining percentage goes to their respective bounties. Nowadays, this’s the most popular format and one that offers much-needed fun. As the late stages move closer and closer, they become insanely valuable.
Fixed Bounty Tournament
Fixed bounty tournament is a rare variant that you will find out there. In this tournament, certain players only have bounties, which are usually promoted in the lobby of the tournament.
The special list of players include participants who are promoted by the site, popularly known as team experts or pros. Usually, these kinds of players have bounties on their heads in every tournament that they take part in.
Bounty Tournament Examples
Popular with top poker pros from across the world, these bounty poker tournaments are usually the benchmark of the best players. The main events of these tournaments reach more than £80 million in real money prizes.
While getting invited into these poker tournaments is not easy, you can be able to take part in them, especially if you’ve got enough bankroll as well as the right strategies and a mindset to emerge the winner. The most popular bounty poker tournaments that you can enter are:
World Series of Poker
Abbreviated as WSOP, the World Series of Poker is a yearly tournament circuit that takes place in Nevada, Las Vegas, USA. The event has been taking place since 2004, and Ceasars Entertainment has been sponsoring it. WOSP features more than 100 poker events, and their tournaments include different variations of the game.
The most popular variations of the poker game that the World Series of Poker offers are different types of Texas Hold’em. If you want to take part in one of the most prestigious poker tournaments, the World Series of Poker should be a perfect match for you. The winners of the event are usually crowned the world champions. The players who win in each event in the circuit get a money prize that is determined by the number of contestants. Also, it depends on the number of buy-ins received.
World Poker Tour
WPT is the short form of the World Poker Tour. It is an entertainment product that features the most televised international bounty poker tournaments. With buy-ins ranging between £3,500 and £25,000, the World Poker Tour winners are provided with memberships to the WPT Champions Club. Since 2014, the buy-in has been £15,000, but initially, it was £25,000. The tournament is limited to the winners of the previous World Poker Tour events, and the main real money prize is less than £500,000.
Spring Championship of Online Poker
Managed by PokerStars and shortened as SCOOP, the Spring Championship of online poker offers different stakes, which include high stakes, medium stakes and low stakes. Spring Championship of Online Poker offers more than £135 million guaranteed prizes in its tournament series.
SCOOP is also the largest MTT tournament for PokerStars. To get tickets to this event, you need to visit the PokerStars platform and take part in the Spin and Go tournaments. These tournaments provide SCOOP main event tickets as rewards.
World Championship of Online Poker
Popularly known as WCOOP, the World Championship of Online Poker is operated by PokerStars. While it is the only equivalent of the WSOP, its prize pool reaches more than £100. WCOOP features different variations of poker, with No-Limit Hold’em being the most popular.
European Poker Tour
Closely similar to the WPT, the European Poker Tour started in 2014, and it’s one of the biggest reasons why Texas Hold’em variants are popular these days. The main difference compared to what European Poker Tour popularised is its eight-player final table, which is different to the six-player final table of the WPT. PokerStars is the brand behind European Poker Tour.
How do Bounty Tournaments work?
A bounty is a feature in a poker tournament that awards a player for knocking out another participant. Depending on the poker tournament, a player can be rewarded for knocking out selected contestants or any player at random. The rewards are always real money prizes and not virtual currency. While bounties are rare in smaller events, they do take place occasionally in popular or professional tournaments.
In all bounty tournaments that award players for eliminating others, the buy-in systems of these events require each participant to pay an extra amount for the bounty token or chip. Each player carries the bounty chip or token across the tournament. And if a player is knocked out, the bounty token or chip is given to the participant who eliminates them. In most cases, the bounty tokens are cashed in for the amount that every player paid for the chip.
The winners of the tournament can always cash in their tokens. Some online bounty tournaments feature complicated systems that increase the bounties of players with each knockout they make. Several tournaments also assign bounties to just a few players. The assignment is hardly random and is normally pre-arranged with the participants that have bounties on them. Mostly, the tournament providers make random assignments since they do not want to affect the games.
Some bounty tournaments feature celebrities that the hosts invite. And if this is the case, this type of tournament is usually the celebrity bounty variant. Some of them also have a celebrity who is part of the players. The main function of the celebrity is to promote the tournament. Having a bounty celebrity can massively impact the play of a tournament. Many pro players, as well as newbies, will both be enticed to join the tournament and participate in it.
How to Play in Bounty Tournaments?
Up to this point, you already know that there are different types of bounty poker tournaments that you can participate in. But how do you join and start playing? If you are wondering how you can start playing, then no need to worry since this section has got everything that you need to know. For most poker sites offering bounty tournaments you will find different tournaments listed under the bounty tab. You can access this site using any device, ranging from smartphones and tablets to desktops and laptops.
While many poker tournament sites will require you to be invited in order to take part in any of their tournaments, some have a feature that will provide you with some free chips or tokens that you can use in the tournaments available. When you choose any of the tournaments on offer, you will be able to know everything that you need, ranging from the games being played and the structure to the buy-ins and other requirements such as registration.
If you are required to create an account, then navigate to the Register button and complete the registration process. In most tournaments, you will be assigned a unique table and seat randomly. As a participant, you will have a predetermined amount of time to act after being allowed to join the online poker room. If you delay, a reminder will display on your screen, and you’ll have an option to trigger the time bank to get extra time to think and act.
Most reputable bounty poker tournament providers have an info tab that provides you with the latest information about the tournament in question. You will find up-to-date information like the average token stack and your latest position. The tournament lobby also features more detailed information.
Keep in mind that many tournaments will require you to pay a given amount of money in order to join them. Since you are in a world where you have many options to choose from, you will always find paid and free bounty tournaments. The best part is that even the free tournaments can provide you with real money prizes if you eliminate other players.
Bounty Tournament Strategy
Similar to any other type of game, you need to understand the rules of the tournament in question before you can start playing. After knowing how bounties function, you can start working on your poker strategy. During the development process, you should think in terms of bounty value in different games. Do not just think about bounties as money, but as a section of the overall pot.
When you think along this line, you will be able to calculate your winning odds efficiently. The only problem is that there are many bounty tournaments as well as poker games to play. Despite that, you can be able to calculate the pot odds in a tournament and be able to walk away with an attractive bounty. In addition to calculating the odds, other bounty tournament strategy tips that you can keep in mind are; always target shorter stacks, use ICM calculations, aim for the final table, be able to change your strategy based on the stack, convert bounties to chips and not bluffing.
By utilising the best strategy, you can collect a solid profit from bounty tournaments. Whether you are a poker pro or a new player, you should try out bounty tournaments. They are, especially perfect for beginners since they have the easiest-to-beat format.