Bounty tournaments have a different payout structure than regular tournaments and require a slightly different strategy because of this. In bounty tournaments a portion of your buy-in goes to the prize pool and a portion becomes your bounty. When you bust a player you win their bounty amount and if a player busts you they get yours. The bounty structure varies from room to room.
For example at PKR half of your buy-in becomes your bounty. Then every time you knock someone out you win 80% of their bounty and 20% is added to your bounty. At PokerStars, on the other hand, the bounty is a much smaller portion of the buy-in, but you will win the entire bounty when you eliminate a player. There are a few bounty tournament tips that can be helpful in developing a winning strategy.
Top 5 Bounty Tournament Tips
Tip 1 – Isolate Short Stacks with Big Hands
When a player is close to elimination and you are lucky enough to find a monster hand, be sure to use an isolation raise against the short stack. You don’t want to see a multi-way pot in bounty tournaments because there is so much extra EV from winning the player’s bounty.
Tip 2 – See more Flops with Short Stacks
If you are dealt a mediocre hand when a player is close to being eliminated you should attempt to see cheap flops more often than normal. You should include the bounty amount when calculating your pot odds and call slightly more frequently than you normally would. Just do not turn into a loose passive fish because you play too many hands.
Tip 3 – Double Up Through Big Stacks
When you are the short stack in bounty tournaments you are much more likely to be called when you push all-in. You should use this fact to your advantage and only push with monster hands. You can push with a higher stack to pot ratio than you might normally would, but remember that your fold equity when shoving has decreased. People will call lighter than they normally would because they are attempting to win your bounty. Being patient is one of the most important virtues while waiting to double up. Once you hit 5-8 orbits left worth of chips (known as M) you should start looking for a hand to push with. Something like Ax or two face cards are normally good enough.
Tip 4 – Be smart about trying for bounties
The number one mistake a lot of players make in bounty tournaments is placing too much emphasis on trying to win bounties and forgetting about the tournament prize pool. You should only try for bounties when it is smart to do so. Do not risk too many of your chips when trying for a bounty and put yourself out of the tournament. The final table payout is always going to be a lot more than individual bounties, so play it smart and don’t get too wild. If you follow these 5 bounty tournament tips you should be able to steadily build your poker bankroll by playing in bounty tournaments.
Tip 5 – Best room to play bounty tournaments
I have two poker room recommendations if you like playing bounty tournaments. The first is the world’s largest poker room – PokerStars. They have 30-50,000 players on at any time and this means there are constantly bounty tournaments running with large prize pools. They have the best software, the best table selection, and they are the most secure poker room; but they do not allow US players. If you are from the United States like myself, you must find a different poker room. Until we are allowed back on PokerStars, I would recommend Aced Poker because they are on the Merge Network and have the most players for a US poker room. They have some nice daily tournaments and their weekend schedule is starting too look really good. It’s nowhere near PokerStars yet, but it is the best US players have at this time.
This article was submitted by my friend NdeJonge. I may have done some quick edits, but the main content is his.