The beauty of tournaments is that you can win huge prizes, by only wagering a little.
Each tournament has a buy-in as well as a fee. The buy-in is put into the prize pool, while the fee is kept by the tournament organizers. The prize pool is the product of the buy-in and the number of participants in a tournament.
Super Weekday tournaments, for example have a $150 buy-in and a $12 fee. The size of the prize pool depends on the number of people playing in the tournament and will be paid out in its entirety to the winners.
If, for example, 1,000 people join one of Super Weekday tournaments, the prize pool will be $150,000. This money will then be paid out according to tournament payout structure. In example the top 120 people will be paid, with the winner receiving $31,500. Finishing amongst the ranks that are being paid is called "finishing in the money".
Once the tournament starts, and all players have been seated, each player gets the same amount of starting chips. Then each player is dealt a card, and the one with the highest card starts the game off as the dealer. This is called "high-carding for the dealer button". Once the tournament starts, the aim is to amass as many chips as possible. Players, who have lost all their chips, are out of the tournament. As time progresses, fewer and fewer players are left in the tournament until only one person remains; the tournament winner.
There are two formats of tournaments:
- Single Table Tournaments - These tournaments are limited to one table of 10 players.
- Multi Table Tournaments - In these tournaments many players participate. Several tables start off simultaneously. As players get kicked out of the tournament and there are fewer players, tables are combined so that there are fewer and fewer tables until there is only one table left. These tournaments are often called "collapsible tournaments" as multiple tables are collapsed into one.
PartyPoker offers two types of tournaments:
- Scheduled tournaments - these tournaments have a fixed starting time and are pre-announced. If you want to participate in those tournaments you will have to register before the close of registration (this varies form tournament to tournament, but is always announced in the lobby.
- Sit & Go Tournaments - these tournaments are available 24/7. They start as soon as enough players have sat down at a table.