Why people talk badly about freerolls

frnandoh

frnandoh

Legend
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Total posts
1,696
Awards
2
BR
I like freerolls, but I have watched some videos where people said that freerolls are bad to learn poker concepts. Why do they say that? Do you agree?
Freerolls.png
 
L

LetterRip

Rock Star
Joined
Nov 22, 2010
Total posts
185
Awards
2
The reason is that players behaviour is significantly different in (most) freerolls than in games where they have money invested and are thus more risk seeking in freerolls, and more risk adverse in real poker tournaments and games.

bluffing works far less often in a freeroll, players ranges are drastically wider for all actions - including jamming the flop, calling jams, 3betting, etc.

Some freerolls - where playing well is important (ie you want to impress other players with your play; everyone is studying the game and working on their skills; etc.) then the freeroll will play more like a real tournament.
 
MrPokerVerse

MrPokerVerse

Legend
Loyaler
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Total posts
2,765
Awards
2
Early stages are tough to avoid landmines. Later stages though, there some pretty good players working it deep to make the money.

Can be a little cavalier with some players but if there is nice price pool, it is worth the time.
 
Edgerik

Edgerik

Legend
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Total posts
1,194
Awards
1
My first steps in poker were with freerolls, and I still play them, I do not consider that you can not learn poker with them, on the contrary, they provide good teaching to deal with inexperienced players that you can also find in paid tournaments.
 
R

redmast

Legend
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Total posts
1,803
Awards
2
They are right about freerolls. Freerolls are not suitable for learning poker. Freerolls have a very low level of play. Whoever plays without wasting money does not value the place in the game.
 
sharipov8090

sharipov8090

Legend
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Total posts
1,460
Freerolls are different.The degree of play of a particular category of players depends on this.If we play freerolls in the company of people who came to the game to relax, then the game will not be a training but a kind of torment-but even in it you can learn the truth.If you play freerolls in a group of people who study poker completely, then the game will change accordingly.I think it is necessary to benefit from any game and increase your potential!
 
Iryna Stryzheuskaya

Iryna Stryzheuskaya

Legend
Loyaler
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Total posts
2,598
Awards
10
I also like freerolls and if we compare players in freerolls and cheap tournaments for money, I see that the difference is small. And often these are the same people who in freerolls just want to increase their bankroll a little without risk.
 
slicheri93

slicheri93

Legend
Joined
Aug 9, 2014
Total posts
1,108
Awards
6
Its because in freerolls 80% legit dont take it seriously,
a few in cc freerolls but thats about it
people donky play any to play so wide you just guess and guess what they can have.

That's why freerolls arent that good to learn poker and try to understand how people play.

better to learn it in some cash games or lower buy-in tournaments
but freerolls are good to learn the basics though.
 
perrywh

perrywh

Legend
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Total posts
1,637
Awards
6
US
They say that because they can’t win them!!!!! You need skill to win freerolls !
 
W

WellAA

Rock Star
Joined
May 12, 2012
Total posts
276
Awards
2
Nope, I think that you can learn and enjoy making a profit out of it.
 
L

Lucky River

Rock Star
Joined
May 8, 2021
Total posts
154
I like freerolls, I play and I will play !!!
 
GeckoAA

GeckoAA

Visionary
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Total posts
863
Awards
7
I like freerolls and play them everyday. Just like other types of poker games, freerolls are in their own category an a person must learn a style that works for them in freerolls.

The only freerolls that do not compare to typical Freerolls are CC, those are played more like a paid tournament.

When playing freerolls, the only thing you are going to learn more about is how to play freerolls. Even if it is not an overall poker learning experience, it still is an experience of what happens in most freerolls.
 
franken222

franken222

Visionary
Joined
Jan 6, 2020
Total posts
544
Awards
4
I like freerolls, but I have watched some videos where people said that freerolls are bad to learn poker concepts. Why do they say that? Do you agree?
Freerolls.png


I also like freerolls, and I have used my small winnings to be able to accumulate small buy-ins, and in some cases (party poker, for instance), I have done very well, and won over $600, with those small buy-ins.

The main problem I have with freerolls, is that they are mainly "all-in" fests. If you get involved with that, you won't learn very much. If you want to learn from freerolls, exercise patience, let the 'all-inners' play themselves out of the tournament, and you'll have some good players left to learn from.
 
magister1

magister1

Rock Star
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Total posts
222
Freerolls are fun! I think they can be good learning experiences too, teaching you how to open up in a tournament versus being tight.

And IMO, the later stages near the money play just as seriously as most micro or low stakes tourneys... the people left care enough where it is real poker.
 
M

myquickwit

Rock Star
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Total posts
471
Freerolls are looked at as bad for learning because people play differently when they are playing with their own money. Freerolls are better than play money because there is still a prize pool and something to play for. But once you start playing in a real money tournament it is just different. The easiest way to test this is to play in a play money sit n go. Then play in a real money micro stakes sit n go.
 
Aguimonteiro

Aguimonteiro

Enthusiast
Joined
May 31, 2021
Total posts
79
Because especially in the beginning it will be a lot of bingo! But it's about adapting the game, avoiding bluffs, because in these games they don't drop anything...
After the bubble it's easier to play!
 
jesuisjesus

jesuisjesus

Visionary
Joined
Dec 14, 2019
Total posts
705
Awards
4
A freeroll is a tournament without depositing funds, therefore the play of opponents in these tournaments can be very different from regular tournaments. People can do absolute trash because they didn't pay for the tournament. In regular tournaments, this also happens, but much less often.
 
ADRI7HO

ADRI7HO

On the road...
Loyaler
Joined
May 6, 2020
Total posts
4,138
Awards
2
Most freerolls are not suitable for learning because they have a lot of flapping from their opponents and don’t take the game seriously.
In contrast, CC Platinum freerolls are absolutely good to learn and develop, because the number of entrants is optimal and the players take the game seriously (not to mention that the game goes for great amounts of money from which to build a bankroll).
 
Lena M

Lena M

Legend
Joined
May 27, 2018
Total posts
1,938
Awards
1
UA
Hello.
Probably because these people are not able to build a bankroll by playing in freerolls. Such people are used to playing the lottery but not poker.
 
lcid86

lcid86

Legend
Loyaler
Joined
Feb 28, 2009
Total posts
3,011
Awards
4
US
Depends on the freeroll. Open freerolls with small payout structure turn into lottery craziness. Look for freerolls with limited participants and 15% payout structure. More closely simulates a real money tourney.
 
Alex70793

Alex70793

Visionary
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Total posts
830
Awards
1
I think there is only one reason, it's too many participants of the tournament and too little prize money.
It is unlikely that any garbage hands will play in a million-dollar freeroll as well as in a fifty-dollar freeroll.
 
Z

Zirkzee

Rock Star
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Total posts
293
I partially agree because freerolls are played a little differently than real money tournaments. But if you know the differences and adapt your game accordingly, it's not a problem. Your basic concept of tight aggressive remains the same, but you adapt your game a bit. I say it is better to gain experience through freerolls than to gain no experience at all. You need a rough and simple strategy for freerolls. You should wait for good starting hands. If you have a good hand you can bet big, bigger than in a normal game. Most of the time, your opponents will find many reasons to call. Seldom bluff. You can't bluff calling stations. With a strong draw (open-ended straight draw or flush draw) you can semi-bluff. It will often happen that opponents go all in pre-flop even if they still have enough chips. You have to lower your demands on a good hand. AQ + or JJ + are usually sufficient for a call.
 
ObbleeXY

ObbleeXY

Visionary
Joined
Jul 28, 2020
Total posts
671
Awards
1
So, presumably the source of this advice is the fact that tourneys with players who little or no financial investment, play quite differently when compared to cash or cash-entry tourneys.

But that isn't to say there is no value in learning poker there. Poker is not "one single thing" to learn, but a complex array of information, skills, experience, probability, maths, notes, etc. etc.

So -- at the end of the day, where do you plan to play? If you play freerolls, it is a good idea that you spend some time there.

The difficulty is translating that strategy to non-Freeroll games.

As many will have already noted, freerolls differ in a few main areas:
1. BINGO: The field is littered with bingo players.
2. STARTING RANGES: Even non-bingo players tend to have a much wider range of starting hands.
3. CALLING RANGES: Calling ranges are also much wider in freerolls
4. BLUFFING: Point 3 leads to the virtual impossibility (at least in early game) to bluff freeroll opponents off the pot.
5. POSITION: Since you are going to witness far more multiway pots in freerolls, you really need to pick your hands and your position. Shoving AA/KK/AKs from early position is going to get cracked a significant portion of the time if 4+ people call you. So generally, you're going to need to shy away from early position shoves, and you'll need to leave options to fold post-flop, if you manage to flop poorly.

BE A SHARK: In freerolls, at least in early/mid game, you want to feed like a shark. You are nowhere to be found until "CHOMP!" you re-raise/shove your KK/AA/AKs and stack your opponent(s). You then retreat to the depths leaving people nervous that you could strike at any time, (but only do so with very sharp teeth).

As you go up the stakes, the Bingo players thin out considerably. They still exist. And there are of course, people who are going through a cycle of tilt, who can become a bit wild (especially after losing a big hand).

Starting ranges get narrower. But you should be playing tight, exploitative play in both situations...But generally, if you're new to poker, what you think is tight is not tight enough.

Calling ranges also narrow as you go up the stakes, but there is still variability. The thing here is that you need to generate intel on your opponents. You need to understand which plyer at the table is the fish with the wider range. You need to take this into account when you play...just as you do in the freeroll..

The good news is, the bluff can be let out of your bag of tricks as you move up. The best people to bluff against are those with the narrowest calling ranges. The tighter they are, the more you can exploit.

Although early play is not as desperate as you move up the stakes as freerolls, position really is the key to winning. If you review the hand history of a successful player, you will note that most of the chips are coming from BTN, CO and HJ positions. This is because they've avoided butting up against the NITS betting from early position, whilst exploiting late position by putting significant pressure on downstream players.

So -- you CAN learn that way...as long as you recognise the differences between those games and others with folks who are literally more invested.

Also note that not all freerolls are created equal.
For example, Cards Chat League does not seem to suffer from the "any two cards" philosophy which you see early-game in freerolls. This is a very competitive league where prestige and recognition are important...and your results in one season influences the draft in later seasons. This kind of freeroll gives a great view into how some really good poker players operate.

But in all situations, I like the be a shark philosophy... but you need to be prepared to adapt. If you play like a NIT and everyone knows you are, you'll quickly find that people just fold when you're opening a pot and all you get are blinds. When this happens, you can adjust and steal a few extra pots (until they realise you've loosened up). Find the sweet spot where you leave them uncertain enough to get caught out calling (or leading into) your monsters.

Happy chomping!

Cheers,
ObbleeXY
 
P

ph_il

...
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
Total posts
9,845
Awards
1
i completely disagree with anyone that says freerolls aren't a good place to learn the basic fundamentsls of poker. it's one of the best places to learn because it costs you nothing and you get to play against a wide range of opponents.

i think the main issue is players don't understand that poker is all about their decisions and not the decision of their opponents. they see players going all in, calling big raises, etc, ettc, and they thinks 'i would never do that because [sources] tell me it's wrong and these bad players are doing it. this isn't poker, this is bingo because they play how differently than how i want to play/want them to play'. and that's not what poker is about. it's a game of making decisions and adjusting properly in order to beat the other players. obviously a little more complicated than that, but at it's core, that's how i view poker. and if you can't make those adjustments things are going to go well for you.

lets say you play against an opponent that calls every bet no matter what they have. you bet, they call. you raise, they call. you 3bet, they call. and lets say they've picked up quite few and now they have a huge stack that covers everyone at the table. a call station with a massive stack. what do you do? how do you adjust?

lets take the freeroll out of the equation. what if it's a $10 buy-in mtt and there is a $500 mtt reg that just wants to have fun and splash around in this game. they're the same call station as above, but now it's a buy-in game and not a freeroll. again, what do you do? how do you adjust?

what do you do against players that go all-in every hand? what do you do against players that always chase their draws? etc, etc. if you can't adjust to beat these players at the lowest limits, not matter how crazy they might play, then you aren't going to be able to make the proper adjustments at the buy-in games.

now, with that said, i will admit that buy-in games might be a bit easier to navigate because players to play a bit better than freeroll players, but it's all about making adjustments and better decisions than your opponent. none of that goes away, you just might not have to make big adjustments in buy-in mtts as you would freerolls.
 
Freeroll Passwords
Top