The easiest strategy to win tournaments Online or Live
There are thousands of threads online and they discuss way too much about winning strategies in tournaments. Here I am just trying to explain simply in as little and easy to grasp words and explanations as possible sticking to the topic. Also, the hands to play and hands not to play at a certain point of tournament is also discussed.
Phase One: the beginning
Tournaments generally start with low big blinds and hence people tend to play a lot of hands. Well I wouldn't suggest mucking them all but players should only play Aces, Kings, Queens, AK and Jacks out of position and feel free to muck the rest. If you are UTG or on the button, you can play hands like Suited Ace above 8 other pockets and suited connectors above 8. Any other hand will mostly lose you chips more often than not. Remember, the correct raise pre-flop is never more than 6 BB and reraise never more than pot size. Stick to this and the crazy first phase of the tournament will be very easy for you. Leave the ace high shove and KQ, AJ, KJ, AT shove for the newbies, they are marginal hands and should never be played out of position. If you want to be a professional, play like one.
Middle Phase: Approaching Bubble
If you have taken the above approach, you will reach bubble play more often than others because you don't risk your money on coinflips, you put in your chips only when you know you are very strong.
Once you have reached the bubble phase, it's time to loosen up. Less people contend for the pots and people are submissive as they are trying to enter the money so it is very easy to pick up blinds and antes. Never miss the opportunity to pick them up. The blinds and antes alone can take you to final table. Remember, you are not playing to enter the money, you are playing to win the tourney. Only when you play to win, +EV works the best. Always be focused on your goal, first place. Hands to play are pockets, Suited Aces, High Card aces, Suited connectors above 6 and non suited face cards. These cards can be played in position this point onwards till the end. Remember, you can raise a pot with these hands, that too only when in position; but don't call raised pots with anything less than Jacks.
Third phase: final table
The same bubble play applies on the final felt. People are trying to move up the spots by playing safe. Use it to your advantage as blinds and antes now are huge. Keep it Loose aggressive and always try to be in the hand in position as much as possible. When you are out of position, you just don't have the edge. Anywhere after middle position is a good spot to raise. A two BB raise is enough this spot onwards. If checked to you, don't hesitate in raising 2bb again. You won't face problem in reaching top three most of times you have reached final table.
Final Phase: Heads up
This is the ultimate battle ground and the beauty of poker lies here. Most people think it's more of a luck thing here after but it's not. It is sheer talent hereafter.
Keep you aggressive helmet on and show all the moves that you can think of. Reraise when not connected and shove when you have a decent hand. Remember, your objective should be to make the other person fold when you don't have a hand and shove when you have a hand. Don't call unless you have a decent holding. It's either fold, reraise or shove in the heads up.
Keep in mind a few points:
1. KQoff, AJ, AT, Low to medium suited aces, are not good hands to play till you have less than 15 big blinds left. These are marginal hands and you will mostly lose pots or hands or just bleed chips if you play them. Just muck them until you find them in an unraised pot and that too On UTG or the button. Save your chips for the better hands.
2. To raise you don't need a hand but to call a raise you need a very strong hand.
3. Don't waste your time around, watch how others are playing. Your observation will make you money, do it.
4. The easiest hands to play are hands played in position. Position is the most important aspect of choosing playing hands. Keep in mind, your best friend in poker is position.
5. Good players play lesser hands and always choose to play hands in position.
6. You are not durr or ivey, don't imitate them. Just because you have watched a few hands on YouTube doesn't mean you can play like them. You haven't lived their lives, you haven't lost as much money as they have and you don't have as much experience as they have. Play realistic poker, not a fancy one.
7. A good player knows when to fold, always fold and try again when you know you are beat.
8. Stop calling. Calling is a weak gameplay. Either raise or fold against two or less opponents until you have the nuts. Remember, fold equity is your second best friend after position.
9. Hate your tablemates. Hate them all to the core and you will do anything not to lose.
10. Don't play to end in the money, play to win the tourney. Trust me, it helps in the long run and you end up winning more.
And once again, if you want to become a professional, start playing like one. Good luck at the tables.
Write to me for any further suggestions and questions. I too, just like you, am willing to learn.