Do you like keeping up with the latest online poker tips? Then you’ll appreciate this article on bubble poker strategy. In case you haven’t heard the bubble poker term before, you may just find that bubble term poker is one of the best psychological tactics you should use to keep yourself from getting in a rut. Before you can master this tactic, you will have to understand what the bubble is and how you can turn it to your advantage.
So what is bubble play poker? What does it mean to bubble a tournament? Why should you spend time developing bubbling poker tournament skills? Which bubble poker tips will allow you to get the upper hand? These are some of the questions that will be answered in the following sections.
Understanding the bubble poker term used in online poker
Before elaborating on the best bubble poker tips, it may be worth pointing out exactly what it means to bubble a tournament. Simply put, but bubble is the period in a tournament when all the remaining players will get access to a payout… except for the very next player to lose the hand, who will be the last player in the tournament to come out empty-handed. This player is said to be “on the bubble” or simply “bubbled”.
When a poker tournament reaches the critical last stage that is known as the “bubble period”, the action tends to escalade really quickly. At this point, most players will go to an extreme: they’ll either suddenly turn aggressive in their attempt to knock out other players out, or they’ll turn extremely passive and just focus on protecting their chips to stay in the game as long as possible ( to simply earn the best possible tournament reward).
The most suitable bubble poker strategy depends on your position
It’s not unusual to suddenly start players going all-in very casually – or otherwise folding every single hand, during this time. That will typically depend on each player’s own position and strategy. So what stance will suit you best when push comes to shove and the bubble is on? That will depend, of course on your position at the time – including how big is your stack, and how good is your luck and how clearly you can see the playing style of the other people sitting around the table.
Generally speaking, you will likely decide the right attitude to play on the bubble by looking at the size of your stack:
When you have a big stack, you have the best position to play on the bubble. This means you can act aggressively and focus on pushing out players who seem to be on survival mode. It also means you will find it easier to consistently steal the blinds by throwing your weight around and raising preflop. When you’re in this position, you can actually benefit by keeping the bubble going and you can play conservatively in hands where you feel like doing so – just make sure to watch out for medium stacks that could throw off the balance of power, should you lose them.
When you have a medium stack, you will be wiser to focus on biding your time by playing passively, while looking for an opening that allows you to turn the tables around. Whenever you see a significant opportunity to add to your stack, you have to push ahead with all your might in order to have a chance of improving your position and eventually dominate the table.
If you have a short stack when it’s bubble time, which means you can only afford about 10 big blinds – which means you position isn’t quite critical… but it’s very fragile, meaning you have to thread carefully. When playing from this position, you’re literally racing against time. You need to focus intensely in looking for any openings that might allow you to raise your stack, whether it’s factual or whether it involves bluffing.
Things to keep in mind when looking to bubble a tournament
Bubble poker strategy in online poker is not really that different from your regular strategy. The main difference is that since the bubble is indeed the endgame after a long session, it’s also the time when all players tend to really grit their teeth. It’s typically the most exciting time during a tournament, but it can also be the most slippery – especially if you are not mindful of the size of your stack and your position on the table.