Note that the majority of online poker tournaments are held in the classic version, so to speak. That is, without the opportunity to obtain an additional stack. The player pays for the buy-in set in the tournament once and receives a certain number of chips, which they should use for making bets during the game. And if they lose their stack, they are out of the game and leave the table.

But there are also such events where the player has a chance to repeat the original stack. This is very common in online poker. Usually, tables like this would have a mark next to the specified buy-in value “+R” – that is, “+Re-Buy”.

What is rebuy in poker


Let’s start with the definition. A re-buy means buying another initial stack, just like when you enter a game. This can be done at a specific time during the tournament, provided that a re-buy is available in this event.

Basic rules for re-buying chips

You should know those re-buy tournaments have their own rules and tiny nuances when it comes to buying chips. In some cases, you can add not one but two stacks.

The player can make a re-buy – to purchase another stack – if the chips they’ve got left no longer equal to the original stack amount. Let’s look at the following situation: let’s say the stack given out at the beginning of the event is one thousand chips. During the course of the contest, this size was reduced to 999 chips or even to one – the participant can buy up to the original stack.

And if the player has no chips left at all, that is, their initial stack is zero, they can buy both one stack and make a double re-buy, getting two stacks at once. It is the player’s decision whether to get one or two, but the participant has the opportunity for a double re-buy if they have no chips left.

In the tournament, there are moments designated for the re-buy: it can be done only in time periods allotted specifically for that and in the inter-hand intervals. The re-buy period will begin at the same time as the start of the event and will last for a limited time, set by the event organisers of the competition. This can be half an hour or an hour or an hour and a half after the tournament has started. It should also be noted that these periods can also be measured by a set number of blinds, not just minutes. During these stages, players get a short interval during which they can decide whether to buy more chips for themselves.

Replenishing the stack, of course, is not free. The cost of the re-buy is often equal to the cost of the buy-in plus the commission fee. You might know that its cost consists of two components – most of the money goes to the tournament bank, and a small part, usually around ten per cent, is a commission fee that goes to the organisers of the event. So, if the buy-in price was, let’s say, one thousand dollars, each re-buy will then cost the player the same amount.

The number of re-buys can be either limited or unlimited – it depends on the rules and the specifics of the event. In some tournaments, the number of stacks is limited, participants can be given a limit of one, two, or maybe even five additional stacks, while in other competitions, players can re-buy as many times as they find it necessary.

After the time set for re-buys runs out, the player can buy add-ons. Add-on lets you purchase some chips, roughly the same amount as the starting stack for the same sum of money – there is only one difference in that this type of re-buy allows you to purchase significantly more chips, in some cases, if the rules of the event allow it.

In cases where the re-buy is made by several players, and more than once, the tournament bank, of course, increases by a significant amount. Experienced players noticed that additional stack purchases are most popular in minor events, while in large tournaments, players are more thoughtful and have a more balanced play, avoiding large losses of their stack that already was very expensive. Some of the players with a lot of experience deliberately participate in cheap tournaments to win a bigger pot.

because the inexperienced participants make frequent re-buys or add-ons.

So, to conclude: re-buy – is an opportunity to top up to your original stack. This opportunity exists only in special tournaments. The value of re-buy is usually the same as the value of the buy-in, and the amount of chips in the extra stack is the same as in the original one.

You can purchase re-buys at certain points in the tournament for a limited period of time. A player can get one re-buy if they have at least one fewer chips than they had in the initial stack. But a double re-buy (which is a purchase of two starting stacks) is available to a participant only if they have no chips left. At the end of the period given for Re-Buy, it becomes possible to make an add-on. Once again, let us remind you that re-buy tournaments are a special kind of event, and it is not all poker tournaments that give second chances to their players. But the real pros of online poker replenish their bankroll with other people’s chips won from their opponents at the table.

Features of tournaments that allow to re-buy chips


Naturally, making a re-buy in a poker tournament is an additional opportunity because even when the players lose all the chips, they get a second and third chance to return to the competition and win it. But you need to take into account certain nuances of such tournaments which allow re-buying game chips:

  1. Firstly, as noted above, each tournament has its own rules and time for making a re-buy. This period can be measured in stages of blinds (for example, the first three rounds) or in time (only during the first 60 minutes of the championship). At the end of the re-buy period, in most cases, a pause is made to buy an add-on – this is a chance to acquire twice the stack size, say, for the same $20.
  2. Secondly, it is worth noting that the re-buy is not always beneficial for the player. For a better understanding, let’s take a look at this example. Say you get 2,000 tournament chips at the start of the game and a 4/6 buy-in requirement, you can use that stack effectively and safely.

But in the case of a re-buy of chips with blinds of 200/300, the 2000 chips are actually worth nothing! Moreover, your opponents will already have much bigger stack sizes, which will be extremely difficult to compete with.

This is why experienced poker players recommend resorting to re-buying in poker only when the value of your stack will be at least 15BB (big blinds) after the additional purchase of chips. Otherwise, it will be a useless investment.

Generally, during the re-buy period, tournament participants very often play very loosely because they are well aware that in case of a loss, they can re-buy chips. Therefore, use this time well, playing cards with them and try to increase the size of your own stack as much as possible.

Since after the re-buy pause comes the turn of the add-ons, and then there is nothing – there will be no chance to re-acquire tournament chips. Thus, you should play extremely carefully, and the re-buy period will help you with this, but only if you were able to build up a decent stack.

By the way, each tournament provides the average number of the opponents’ chips. We recommend that you look at this indicator from time to time and make attempts to keep your stack size within its limits.

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