Rebuy Tournaments


Normally in a poker tournament, when your chips are out so are you. However, some tournaments allow players to buy more chips one or several times during a defined time period at the start of the tournament, much like in a regular cash game.

Buy-in, re-buy, and add-on

For apparent reasons, this kind of tournament is called a re-buy tournament. The time period during which you may re-buy is called the re-buy period.

Mostly, the right to re-buy is coupled with some kind of condition regarding your chip count. Either your stack must be below a certain value, for example, the number of chips you started out with, or you must be out of chips completely. The cost of a re-buy is often identical to the original tournament buy-in, and the number of chips received when re-buying is often identical to the number of starting chips, but these things may vary.

At the end of the re-buy period, players may be given the right to buy an add-on, that is, yet a number of chips at a certain, pre-defined cost. The add-on usually is not connected to any chip count requirements, but is open to all remaining players.

After the re-buy period has ended and players have purchased add-ons, if available, no more chips can be bought and the tournament continues exactly like a regular freezeout tournament.

Time and money considerations

There are two important differences you need to be aware of when entering a re-buy tournament. Firstly and obviously, it requires a greater investment, on average. Sure, with some luck you can double up early and play the whole tournament on just one buy-in. But you shouldn’t count on it. Refusing to re-buy will decrease your chances compared to those of players who re-buy more liberally.

Secondly, a re-buy tournament lasts longer than a freezeout tournament with the same number of entrants. First of all there is the obvious extension caused by the re-buy period at the start of the tournament. On top of that, however, after a lot of re-buys have been made, the freezeout part of the tournament will often start at much deeper average chip stacks than a regular freezeout tournament, which makes it last longer.

Consider this when planning your poker session, or you may find yourself pretty exhausted next day at work!