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The Beginners Guide Series: Battle Royale Strategy

Article written by: Whynot123

                                           

What is the BATTLE ROYALE

Today we will discuss some beginner strategies for the “Battle Royale” tournaments, one of the many online poker tournament variants offered through the GGPoker client. Battle Royale tournaments, which are limited to 30 players, work a bit different than a regular tournament. A Battle Royale is split into 3 parts which are designed to quickly play through the early grind of a multi-table tournament and get the players into the money. These tournaments last approximately 30 minutes. So if you enjoy playing tournaments but your available time for poker games does not allow you to play the big MTTs, then the Battle Royale is probably right for you.

These Texas Holdem online poker tournaments consist of 3 rounds: Rush, 3-max Shootout and the Final Table. We will look at each round individually and offer tips to help you make it to the coveted final table. 

Round 1 – Rush Poker

The first round of this poker tournament is in the Rush poker format, identical to the Rush poker cash games. Rush-style poker games are a simple format where you decide to play the hand you have or fold. If you fold, you are automatically moved to a different table and dealt a new hand. Play continues in the rush format for 15 minutes. At the end of the time, the top 15 players, based on chip count, move to the second round of the Battle Royale.

During the first round, because of the format, players tend to play online poker in ‘survival mode’ as they try to survive to the next round. In my experience it is better to play lots of hands and build a good stack instead of waiting for the time to run out. With the constant drain of chips from the blinds and antes, if we are not playing an increased number of hands, our stack will shrink and we may not make it to the next round. Don’t play in every hand, but playing with a wider starting range will help us build a good stack for the second round. Towards the end of the round, when players are trying to survive, being aggressive tends to push other players to fold, allowing us to steal a greater percentage of the blinds every round.

Another important reason to be aggressive and play in more hands than usual in these poker games is if 2 or more players are tied in chip count at the end of the round, the tie is broken first by number of knockouts then by number of hands played. 

Tips for Round 1:

Big VPIP. Aggression pre-flop and post-flop. Apply pressure near the end of the round.

Round 2 – Shootout 3-max

Once you survive the first round, give yourself a hearty congratulations, but do not rest. There is still one more round before the final table and the payout. The second round of a Battle Royale tends to be the most difficult for players as the stacks are usually short and any risk utilizes a large percentage of your chips. 

Aggression, once again, seems to be the key to this round. Sure we are only facing 2 opponents, but only 1 of us gets to play at the final table. Knowing that we have to beat them, not just outlast them, means we will have to play hands. 

Most hands in this round are settled preflop, so the key is to push a lot of hands so we can steal as many of the blinds and antes as possible.

One huge bonus for winning your table quickly is you get to select your seat at the final table. The faster you take down your opponents, the sooner you pick your seat. 

An additional reason for playing aggressively is after 5 mins of play the game switches mode to All-In. All-In play, which forces every player to go All-In every hand, continues until the round is over and only one player remains at the table, so be fast and be aggressive!

Tips for Round 2:

Aggressive preflop action. Heavy aggression to take advantage of players that could overfold before All-In mode starts.

Final round

Well, you made it. The Final Table and you are in the money! The round is going to start and the average stack is going to be around 15 blinds, so yes, once again aggression is going to be your key to victory! The final table plays as a bounty format tournament, so every player you eliminate earns you money. The bounties at this table are progressive so by the end of the tournament, your bounty could be worth 2 times the 1st prize money. Finishing the tournament in 1st place allows you to keep your bounty.

As play begins at the final table, if you find that you are one of the short stacks, it’s not a bad strategy to start shoving a lot of hands. You’re already in the money so going all-in to quickly increase your stack doesn’t cost you anything. 

If you start at the Final Table with a strong stack or as the chip leader you should try to be a bit more conservative. Wait until you have stronger hands and use your strength to push around the smaller stacks and bust them to collect their bounties.

Tips for Round 3:

With a short stack go All-In to try and increase your stack. With a big stack, wait for premium hands and bully your opponents. This kind of aggression in Battle Royale tournaments, whether from short or long stacks, can confuse you opponents causing them to make mistakes. This kind of advantage, particularly with such a quick format tournament, can be the difference between winning and being in the lobby waiting for something else.   

SUMMARY

Hopefully these beginners tips for the online poker Battle Royale tournaments helps you understand how the game works and starts you toward creating your own strategy on how to win.

Best of luck in this fantastic game that contains three fantastically fun modes of online poker; Rush, Shootout and Bounty, and lasts approximately 30 minutes!

As always, when you play poker games online, especially when you play real money games, please play responsibly!