The dream of many online poker players is to win a big pile of money. Things even become interesting when you don’t have to pay any money to join a cash game or tournament. And a question that regularly comes my way is about the poker sites that offer the best freerolls.
The problem with freerolls is that many poker sites offer freerolls that aren’t worth your time. And there are so many poker sites out there that it becomes very difficult and stressful for one to scan through all their freeroll offerings.
I’ve been playing poker, both live and online, professionally for over a decade. During this time, I’ve discovered several quality freerolls poker sites. There are some poker sites that offer awful freerolls intending to get people to download their software.
There are also sites where players have to play for a very long time before they qualify for the freeroll. And not a lot of people have the time to play for long periods. As you can see, there are many freeroll tournaments with little or no value out there.
Fortunately for you, I’ve played at and researched several reputable freeroll sites over the years. So in this article, you’ll find poker sites that offer freerolls with good value and without any requirements.
What Are Poker Freerolls?
Poker freerolls are tournaments that cost you nothing to enter. There are no buy-in and entry fees that players typically pay when they want to compete in conventional poker tournaments. Also, buy-ins are pooled together, serve as the prize while the entry fees serve as commission in normal tourneys.
In a freeroll tournament, the poker site ponies up the entire prize pool. Players pay nothing. They just have to register and play. If they end up among the top players, they go home with something.
Freerolls uses the same format that many expensive tourneys use. A freeroll tournament comprises of several levels, has ante bets as well as increasing blinds. And a predetermined number of players are rewarded at the end of the tourney. Read more here on the typical payout structure for a poker tournament.
Beginners are generally encouraged to play freerolls as they strive to master the game. And the reasons for this are clear. For one, freerolls cost nothing to participate so they aren’t risking anything. And should they end up among the top players, they go home with a prize. I must mention that the prize pools of freerolls aren’t massive or life-changing.
You’ll see different freeroll events when you open a poker site. Most of the events are available to all players while you’ll need a password to participate in some events. There are also exclusive freerolls that are open to only VIP players who have accumulated a certain amount of points.
Pros and Cons of Freeroll Poker Tournaments
Before I dive into the best poker sites for freerolls, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of these poker games. By now, you should be able to mention a few pros of freerolls. Freerolls are played by several poker players (hundreds or even thousands of them, actually) every week making it one of the most popular formats of poker tournaments.
Some players test their new strategies in freerolls as they aren’t risking any money. Others just want to take advantage of the fact that they don’t have to pay a buy-in to play a poker tourney. It’s also common to see professional players participating in tourneys. And the reason for this is for them to familiarize themselves with the software of a poker site they are using for the first time.
- Free to play, no buy-in or entry fees.
- Mostly dominated by beginners and low-skilled players.
- Great for learning different versions/variants of poker.
- Great for trying new poker strategies.
- The prize pool is usually small but hey, you aren’t paying anything to play.
- Freerolls are usually unpredictable due to the high number of amateur and beginner players.
- Some freerolls are password-protected events or exclusive to VIP players.
- Variants of poker available are usually limited.
How Poker Freerolls Work
Before you go to a poker site and register for your first ever freeroll, it’s important you completely understand how freerolls work. Knowledge is the most important thing when it comes to poker. By knowing what you are getting into, you’ll be spared from any last-minute surprises.
- The Prize – This one is pretty obvious. The prize is the reward/winnings to be shared among a certain number of players at the end of the tourney. Most poker sites offer real money as prizes but tickets to other events, swag like caps, shirts, and special poker bonuses also serve as the prizes at times.
While it’s common to share the prize pool among a number of players, there are times when everything goes to only one player – the winner of the tournament. Be sure to find out how the prize pool of a tourney will be shared before entering.
- The Stack – You get a stack of chips at the beginning of the tournament. This is poker and you definitely need chips to bet. You should properly manage your chips as you get eliminated when you exhaust them.
- The Gameplay and Structure – A freeroll has the same gameplay as any other regular poker tournament. This is why freerolls are recommended for beginners to sharpen their skills or test new strategies. The structure is also the same as regular poker tourneys – blinds increase, there is an ante, and so on.
- Additional Info – A poker freeroll may have its own set of rules in terms of the time of play, bounties given to players when they make a predefined action, split of the prize, and so on.
Can You Really Win Money?
I just felt like I have to address this in a separate heading, There are people skeptical about poker freerolls. Well, don’t be a doubting Thomas. Poker freerolls are very real and you get to win real money or other prizes. However, I’m not talking about life-changing money here. The highest prize pool you can get from no deposit freeroll sites isn’t usually more than $200. You may be able to enter freerolls with higher prize pools if you may certain conditions, say you make a deposit. And the prize pool here is usually not more than $1000.
Now, $1000 is a very decent amount of money. But I wouldn’t tag it as life-changing. So, forget about freerolls if you are looking for that one shot to change your life forever.
The purpose of freerolls is for poker sites to attract new members. Poker players take advantage of the fact that it costs nothing to redefine their game.
Your prize typically appears in your account as soon as the tourney ends and you can withdraw using any of the site’s withdrawal methods.
Are Freeroll Tournaments Really Free?
Yet, another commonly asked question about freerolls. Freerolls are free. And this means you don’t have to pay an entry fee to participate and you still get to win some sort of prizes if you end up among the top players. There are no hidden fees/charges or any nasty surprises.
If there is any fee attached to a poker tournament, then it is no longer a freeroll.
You already know that the prize pool is typically between two to three figures. It’s common to see beginners participating in real money freerolls. More experienced players usually play in qualifier satellite events where they compete to win tickets to enter other tournaments.
Types of Freerolls
It may surprise you that many popular and successful poker players started their poker career with freerolls. Like I said earlier, poker sites use freerolls to attract new players and introduce as many players as possible to the beautiful game of poker. In fact, most online players have participated in freerolls at some point.
There are several types of poker freerolls. Some are available only to new players and are meant to help you familiarize yourself with the poker site before playing with real money. There’s a more common type of freeroll that’s only available after you’ve made your first deposit on the poker site. The prize pool of this type of freeroll is typically larger.
It’s common to see poker sites using freerolls as the first step in the satellite process. Satellites are a popular way for poker players to win their way into big buy-in tournaments without having to pay the full entry fee.
Below are the several types of poker freerolls.
The word ‘exclusive’ should tell you all you need to know about this type of freerolls. They are only available to a small set of players. These players must meet certain requirements that are specified by the poker sites running the tournament.
Poker sites usually make exclusive freerolls as ‘password-protected’ events. This way, only players in possession of the right password can enter the tournaments. Passwords are sent to players after meeting the requirements.
This is one of the most popular types of freerolls. Weekly freerolls are scheduled to take place every week at a fixed day and time. Prizes include real money, tournament tickets, and so on..
New Players Freerolls
This type of freeroll is aimed at beginners. Only players that have just registered on a poker website can register and play in these freerolls.
As explained above, you win tickets to other tournaments here. You get to play in a tournament with otherwise big buy-ins for free.
Poker Freeroll Passwords and Schedule
There are so many poker freerolls out there that keeping track of them can be a real nightmare. You have to know that you can’t participate in every poker freeroll out there. Go through some of the sites above and choose a couple of poker sites. For the daily freerolls, you just have to know the time the freerolls begin. You can mark the days of week freerolls on your calendar.
Best Poker Freeroll Sites With No Deposits
There are so many poker sites that offer quality freerolls out there making it a bit tricky for me to come up with the top 10, haha. However, I’ve played at the poker sites I’ll be talking about and I’m certain of the quality of their freerolls.
Now, some poker sites require you to make a deposit before entering a freeroll tournament. The freeroll tournament remains free of course but you won’t be able to participate without funding your account. As a result, I’ll be including sites that offer no-deposit freerolls in this list.
888poker doesn’t need any introduction from me. Unless you are new to poker or the online version of it, you’d have heard of 888poker. This poker operator offers many poker freerolls with my top 5 being $20 SNAP Free Tournament, $1000 Depositors Freeroll, $500 First Depositor Freeroll, Level Up Freeroll, and Level 20+ Freeroll.
The $20 SNAP free tournament is open to all players and the prize pool is $20 as the name suggests. This freeroll is usually available multiple times a day. The $1000 depositor freeroll requires you to complete a deposit on the site in the past week. The freeroll is still completely free to play but you can only enter if you’ve completed a deposit on the website in the past week. It’s available twice every Saturday.
The $500 freeroll’s schedule varies but is usually available once each day. Only people who have completed their first deposits on the site are eligible for this freeroll. Both the level up freeroll and the level 20+ freeroll are available to only VIP members.
I have an in-depth review of 888poker. You can read it on this link.
As you can see, 888poker has freerolls for new players, existing players, and VIP players. And their software and app are of the highest quality. Their app is available on several platforms and is easy to use and operate.
You can register at 888poker here.
This is another poker operator that offers great freerolls. GGPoker has some freerolls that come with no restrictions. There is the $50 freeroll that is open to all members and takes place daily. The Mini Satellite freeroll is also open to everybody but the reward is a ticket for a future event. Accumulating these tickets will give you access to other events like the Step to WSOP freeroll which has a prize pool of $21.60.
I love the $200 freeroll which is usually available every day about one hour before it starts. There’s also a VIP freeroll that takes place multiple times a week.
As you can see, GGPoker has a regular schedule of freerolls and you can keep practicing and sharpening your poker skills. The poker operator also had several mouth-watering bonuses for players. And both their apps and software are top-notch.
The main catch here is the $200 freeroll which is available every day. And $200 is a decent amount of money considering the tournament has no buy-in or entry fee. This particular freeroll requires no deposit and is available for entry an hour before the event starts.
There’s also the $2.20 Mini Satellite Ticket freeroll which is open to the public. The prize pool for this went are tickets for future events. There are also freerolls for regular and VIP players too.
Americas Cardroom and Black Chip Poker
Americas Cardroom and Black Chip Poker are two different poker sites but they have very similar freerolls. This is why I decided to discuss the two poker sites under one subheading.
Both Americas Cardroom and Black Chip Poker offer a $10 real money free approximately every hour. This means they offer over 20 $10-freeroll tournaments per day. As you can see, the frequency of the freerolls is the reason why the prize pool isn’t very large.
These two poker sites also host on-demand freerolls which start as soon as 270 players register. Think of this freeroll as a multi-table Sit & Go tournament. Now, the thing is that on-demand freerolls don’t have a specific start time. The tourney starts as soon as 270 players have registered.
A new on-demand freeroll is posted immediately after the registration of the previous one has closed. You can play as many on-demand freerolls as you want without depositing any money.
You also accumulate points as you win money in on-demand freerolls. These points will be used to rank players on the weekly freeroll leaderboard. The top ten players get a $55 tournament ticket while the winner receives a $215 tournament ticket.
Unibet is another excellent site for no-deposit freerolls. The poker operator schedules their freerolls to occur every two hours which means 12 freerolls take place daily. The first freeroll of the day usually starts at 2:05 am EST. The prize pool of the freerolls is not the same. Some have €25 as the prize pool, while others have €30 and €100.
There’s a perk here that I like a lot. And that’s the fact that Unibet rewards you $0.02 for every opponent you eliminate. This amount may seem small but the thing is that you can use them to buy into semi-freerolls tournaments where the buy-in is small (€0.01 or €0.10)
Bovada gives you the chance to play and enjoy poker completely free. There’s even the opportunity to get a free poker bankroll when you win their freerolls. Bovada is us-friendly meaning players from the USA will have no problem with the website.
Typically, three no deposit freerolls take place every day. You register and then enter a freeroll. As simple as ABC.
All three freerolls have a $20 prize pool.
Intertops Poker offers five freerolls events every day from Monday to Friday. The events take place at 7:00 am, 11:30 am, 3:00 pm, 7:30 pm, and 1:30 am ET. The 3:00 pm and 1:30 pm events are usually referred to as ‘daily workhorse’ and they have prize pools of $15. The 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. events feature PLO gameplay, have prize pools of $10, and are known as “Racetrack.”
The top three players of each event are the ones that get the prize. However, any player that finishes fourth gets a $1 ticket to a $100 event which runs twice daily at 10:15 a.m and 10:15 p.m. Another freeroll tourney with a prize pool of $50 also takes every Saturday. As you can see, there’s no shortage of freerolls on Intertops Poker.
You can gain access to the monthly $1,000 Depositors Freeroll if you decide to make a deposit.
You can find a $100 freeroll tourney at Grand Poker every Saturday. The fact that a few dozen players win the prize is one of the reasons why I like Grand Poker. Another reason why I like this particular freeroll is that you won’t usually find a lot of people participating in this tourney. You’ll hardly see more than 500 people participating in this event. This means you have a better chance of winning something. 500 may seem a lot to you but the number could have been a lot higher considering it costs nothing to play. Even some online poker tourneys that have buy-in and entry fees usually have more than 500 participants.
Grand Poker also has a daily freeroll but the prize pool here is only $10. If you are able to build a small bankroll on the site, you can then participate in regular tourneys that have no house fees. These tourneys are spread from $1.50 + $0 to $5 + $0 every day of the week. While this may be distasteful to high rollers, they are perfect for players on smaller bankrolls.
Tips to win a poker freeroll
Play very tight in the early stages
Freeroll players are usually more willing to gamble in the early stages to secure a monster stack. After all, they aren’t paying a dime to participate in the tournament. So in the early stages of a free, know that tight is right.
Make sure you play strong hands when the blinds are low and play weak hands later in the tournament to steal more blinds.
Avoid Early All-Ins
It’s common to see several players calling all-in during the early stages of a freeroll. This alone is enough to make you go on tilt. You must remain calm and patient during the early stages and only call all-in when you have the nut or very strong holdings. You can decide to go all-in if you have a read on the other player.
Don’t Contract FPS
FPS here means fancy play syndrome and this occurs when a player attempts to make smart moves against players that aren’t wise enough to spot when they’re beaten. ANd this is something you should avoid in freerolls. Why? This is because freeroll players generally call bets since they aren’t risking their money. You trying to bet 100 chips as a bluff with the intention of winning 30 chips isn’t a very smart move. Your opponents will most likely call your bets.
You have to be very conservative if you want to be successful in poker freerolls.
Treat Your Chips Like Gold
The value of your chips in any poker tournament is in gold, more so in freerolls. Don’t overplay your hand and don’t over-commit chips either. You are out of the tournament the moment you exhaust your chips. So, you should always avoid betting more chips than is necessary.
Changing Gears: The Middle Stages of a Freeroll
Your approach has to change as you reach the middle stages of a freeroll. It’s common to see people lose their cool and abandon their strategies at this stage as the money is already in sight. You have to be a bit more aggressive without losing your head. Try to conserve the chips you have while trying to get more to add to your stack. Bet confidently when you have fairly strong holdings like top pair.
Beating the Bubble
The time for bluffing has come. The money is so close at this stage and players are afraid of throwing away all the effort they’ve put into the game. Pressure players with short stacks, especially if they won’t play a hand. This most likely means that they have weak hands.
Try to bluff at every opportunity you get. And you’ll find yourself in the money at the end of the day.
As many freeroll tournaments have turbo structure (how fast blinds increase), it makes sense you read a perfect guide on how to properly play turbo tournaments.