If you haven’t played in small stakes online poker tournaments before, they are a lot of fun. There are times when you’ll want to throw your tablet through the window, but the majority of the time you’ll be having fun.

You can also make money, because they have a way of bringing in tons of players. On popular sites, you can see several thousand players joining tournaments with prizes between $1 and $10. The hope, of course, is that they can win a huge tournament in terms of dollars with a minuscule investment.

As a result, these online poker tournaments are jammed with people who just play recreationally. In other words, the vast majority of the players will not play well. You can smudge your way through one of these tournaments and make some money. However the process will not be easy – and not quick.

Don’t assume that you can just throw tokens into an account and turn a few of these tournaments into six figures. Instead, you can go out there and make some money, but you will learn some lessons along the way. Take a look at three tips to help you prepare for these smaller online poker tournaments.

Get ready for extended sessions

The majority of these huge field tournaments with low token buy-ins take a few hours to finish, so be prepared for a long time in the chair. It is important to be patient, as the grind could take a while. There are some examples of tournaments that take as long as 12 hours to get all the way to the finish, if you’re lucky enough to be on top at the very end.

This is not a big deal if poker is your job and you can sleep in the next day, but people who have to go to work the next morning may need to allocate time before entering a particular tournament. Not every low token buy-in tournament will go 12 hours, of course, so take a look at the various times to find ones that fit your schedule.

Be patient and hold tight during the big swings

You’re going to notice a lot of variance in low token buy-in online poker tournaments, because there are so many opponents. Some players will call your raises with some outlandish hands, which makes the outcomes less predictable. This is a terrific situation in the long run, but at different points you may find your run awful. 

Don’t get fancy – value bet your hands

It’s not worth trying to pull off some complicated bluff. Your opponents won’t be sophisticated enough to realize what you have; they just want to follow their own cards to showdown. Just play basic poker and maximize the value from any made hands. You can get away with betting more. This is because many of the people you’re playing will call, thinking their hands are golden. Why not take advantage? These strategies will help you win the small stakes online poker tournaments.

Try it out at National League of Poker