How to Play the Re-Buy at Texas Hold'em Poker
You must be bankrolled correctly to compete in re-buy tournaments. Be prepared to re-buy several times if necessary. In multi re-buy online tournaments you are allowed to re-buy for the first hour. Your sole purpose is to accumulate as many chips as possible during this time.
These kinds of poker tournaments are extremely volatile so be prepared to spend as much as 10 times the initial buy-in or more if necessary.
How Should I Play?
There are 2 approaches to playing this kind of poker tournament. First, any small pocket pair or suited connector I am going attempt to see a flop for cheap. Obviously I want to hit my pocket pairs for a set. Also, I want to hit my open ended straight draws on connectors. The fact of the matter is you will not be doing a whole lot of limping into pots during the re-buy period. This is when most of the gambling is taking place and there will be several players all-in hoping to hit it big before the flop.
Second, hands like AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AKs and AK I prefer to push in the middle pre-flop. Why? Unlike in a typical poker tournament you are likely to get called by players with any pocket pair or even connectors so it’s likely you have the best hand.
Lastly, be AGGRESSIVE. Play your hand strong after the flop when you hit it or have a big draw. Slow playing is not an option you want to explore in re-buy stage unless you have the nutz.
After the Re-buy
After the re-buy period you are usually offered an add-on which is about one and-a-half the original chip allocation. For instance, if you buy-in for $1500 chips then the add-on will be for $2000. This may or may not be worth it at this point. If you have accumulated $30000 chips during the re-buy period an additional $3000 does not add that much value. However, if you have only accumulated $15000 or I would recommend taking the add-on. Ultimately, it’s up to you to assess whether the add-on provides any value to your stack at this point.
The most important thing now is to settle down and play “real” poker. You will no longer see the reckless pre-flop all-in unless it’s a short stack. You may now employ poker strategy into your play and continue playing a “normal” poker tournament.
The “Promised Land”
Making it to the Final Table will be incredibly challenging in these events. Even when you have accumulated chips early there are a lot of players in re-buy tournaments due to the large payouts to the final three entrants. You must be willing to gamble to accumulate chips in these events.
You will find that players are willing to take the big draw against your big stack in order to hit the flush draw even after the re-buy in order to build a super massive chip stack. That’s just the nature of this kind of tournament. So be aware of it but also take advantage of this as well. You cannot play a passive game and make a re-buy final table. Keep this in mind and you will do just fine.