Learn How to Beat Hyper Turbo Poker Tournaments and Make Proper Strategy Adjustments

Learn How to Beat Hyper Turbo Poker Tournaments and Make Proper Strategy Adjustments

Poker tournaments have changed a lot over the years, and the introduction of online poker has certainly had a massive impact on the way tournaments are played.

Online poker operators have introduced countless different tournament formats and gameplay modes, with hyper-turbo tournaments being one of the most popular ones for many years.

Hyper turbo tournaments came up in the early days of online poker as a way for players to experience tournament poker without spending the long hours normally needed to finish out a tournament.

With blinds escalating every few minutes, hyper turbo poker MTTs are quite a bit different than what you might be used to, which is why you will need to adjust your strategy to do well in these games.

In this article, we are going to teach you how to adjust your play in hyper turbo events and what tricks to use to get the best results.

What Are Hyper Turbo Poker Tournaments?

What Are Hyper Turbo Poker Tournaments?

The definition of a hyper turbo poker tournament can differ a bit from one poker operator to another, but in every case, we are talking about a tournament with extremely fast blind escalation. It can be both freezeout or rebuy.

In a typical hyper turbo tournament online, you will see the blinds go up every two or three minutes, and some blind levels that you may be used to seeing in regular speed tournaments could be skipped.

That means your starting stack will turn into just a few blinds in a matter of 20 minutes or less, forcing you to make big moves earlier and often forcing you to gamble your stack as well.

However, while gambling is certainly a part of hyper turbo tournament strategy, there are also times in these games when you can win quite a few chips without having to go to the showdown.

In fact, since many players will call way too tight in the later stages of hyper-turbo tournaments, you will often be able to keep building your stack simply by relentlessly stealing the blinds.

Yet, playing hyper turbo tournaments is much trickier than applying any single play over and over again, and you will need to learn to navigate these events in a unique way.

So, let’s walk through a typical hyper turbo tournament and talk briefly about the different stages of play you will be forced to play through in each event.

Early Stages of a Hyper Turbo Tournament

Hyper turbo tournaments force players to gamble more frequently than they would in regular speed tournaments, but that doesn’t mean you need to start risking it all the first chance you get.

In fact, the early stage of a hyper-turbo tournament is very similar to an early stage of any event, as your starting stack will usually be worth 100 big blinds or more. The problem is that the early stage will not last very long, as the blind levels will go by fast, and you will end up with a few chips relative to the big blind in a matter of minutes.

You will get to play a few hands on each level, and you may see a total of 30 hands before your starting stack becomes relatively small compared to the blinds.

For that reason, you will probably want to take more gambles than you normally would, but that doesn’t mean you need to stack off with pocket deuces in the first hand.

In fact, you should play the first few levels fairly tight and only enter pots when you have great cards, as other players are likely to make mistakes and stack off way too lightly.

It is not rare to see players push all-in for 100 big blinds in the early hands of hyper turbos with random cards, simply hoping to build up a stack and survive longer. You should not approach a hyper-turbo tournament in this way at all. Remain patient in the early levels, as winning the blinds now will not really do anything for your stack.

Wait for opportunities to take the chips from recreational players who are playing way too loose and double up when you get a real chance, but not sooner than that.

Middle Stages of a Hyper Turbo Tournament

Just 20 minutes or so into play, you will enter the middle stages of play in a hyper turbo event, as you will potentially already be playing level 10.

At this point, a starting stack might be worth just ten big blinds or less, which means that if you haven’t doubled up thus far, you will be a short stack.

Middle Stages of a Hyper Turbo Tournament

Regardless of your stack size, the blinds at this point will start becoming significant, as the average stack will dip to about 20 big blinds or less, which means picking up dead chips will become a necessity.

The game really changes quite a bit in the middle stages of a hyper turbo tournament, as all-in moves become the norm, and you are seeing a showdown between two or more players in many hands.

This deep into the tournament, you will no longer be waiting for good hands to get all your chips in, but rather good situations.

Going all-in against the blinds from late position with a wide range of hands is a must, as is calling late position shoves with a variety of suited Aces, Broadway hands, and middling pairs.

If you happen to have a stack that’s bigger than 15 big blinds, you will also get some opportunities to re-steal when bigger stacks try to steal the blinds from late position, as they will not be thrilled to call off 18 bb with a hand they were just hoping to pick up the blinds with.

Aggression becomes the name of the game in the middle stages, and building up a big stack for the final stage becomes one of your priorities.

Bubble Phase of a Hyper Turbo Tournament

The bubble phase comes much faster in hyper turbos, and when it does, it is important to take full advantage of it. If you have a reasonable stack to work with, you will want to exert all the pressure you can on the small stacks just fighting to survive.

While min-cashing may not be the ultimate objective of the game, many players will fold a bit too much to make sure they make the money, so make sure to capitalize on that whenever possible.

If you find yourself riding a very small stack, you should seriously consider waiting for that min-cash yourself, as you will usually only need to fold a couple of hands before the bubble bursts.

Getting a min-cash a bit more often than an average player will add up over the long run and will significantly impact your overall win rate.

The moment the bubble bursts, it’s time to think about building your stack again and finding a way to get to the final table with plenty of chips.

Final Stages of a Hyper Turbo Tournament

As the final table of a hyper turbo tournament approaches, the average stack will become very small compared to the blinds, making every steal you can get away with critical.

Final Stages of a Hyper Turbo Tournament

There is going to be 2.5bb in every pot before the cards are even dealt, and most players will be very reluctant to bust out, realizing that they could easily make some pay jumps by simply folding.

It is for this reason that you should start applying more pressure than ever in the late stages of a hyper turbo and pushing your opponents to the edge.

Indeed, being very aggressive will often mean you end up running into a monster, but even when you do, you will still have some equity to double up and have a monster stack compared to everyone else.

On the other hand, getting just two or three folds will mean you double up without ever having to flip the cards over, which is the only way you really get to chip up in these events.

Remember that the variance is going to be high in these spots, but by being more aggressive than everyone else, you are going to dominate hyper turbos, especially against recreational players.

Hyper Turbo Tournament Strategy Tips

If you are new to the hyper turbo tournament format, you will definitely need to adjust your overall tournament strategy before you can start winning in these events. However, playing hypers is probably easier than playing regular speed tournaments, as short-stack play is generally simpler than deep-stack games.

So, we are going to give you a few basic hyper turbo tournament strategy tips that you can follow the next time you play a poker tournament with an extremely fast structure.

Tip #1 – Be the Aggressor

Perhaps the most important tip we can give you for hyper turbo tournaments is to be the one making the bets and pushing all-in as often as possible.

Every time you go all-in, there is a chance that others fold and you pick up some dead chips, which in hyper turbo tournaments can be extremely valuable.

On the other hand, anytime you call off an all-in, you will have to win at showdown, which means there is at least a 15% chance you bust even if you have AA, and much more than that with any other hand.

So, try to be the one applying the pressure whenever possible, but still call it all off when you believe you are a decent favorite against your opponent’s range or when there is enough dead money out there to make the gamble worth it.

Tip #2 – Learn the Push/Fold Charts

Push/Fold Charts

Short stack poker play is relatively simple, and when you get down to 10bb or less, it’s quite easy to know which hands are profitable to play and which are not.

In order to completely master this, you should learn some basic push/fold strategy, which tells you which hands to move all-in with from every position with various stack sizes. Push/fold charts are fairly easy to memorize, so we highly recommend you do that before you jump into the tournament action.

Keep in mind that using push/fold charts during play is against the rules of most poker sites, so make sure you study beforehand and close those charts when it’s time to actually play.

Tip #3 – ICM Is Your Friend

As you enter those final stages of a hyper turbo tournament, ICM is going to kick in, and there will be a lot of extra pressure on the shorter stacks.

If you are one of those stacks, make sure to keep ICM in mind and don’t bust out in situations that are not profitable for you. On the other hand, if you find yourself sitting on a big stack, make sure to apply all the pressure you can on the short stacks who will be looking to make pay jumps and avoid elimination.

ICM plays a critical role in the late stages of a hyper turbo event as most players’ tournament life is on the line nearly ever hand.

Practice with ICM training tools and master ICM before playing hyper turbos, as this is a skill that will come in very handy when you make deep runs.

What to Expect in Hyper Turbo Tournaments

We have given you some basic pointers and good poker tips to use in hyper turbo tournaments, but before you go off and start playing, it is also important to talk about expectations.

The super-fast structure of hyper turbo tournaments means that you will get to play fewer hands of poker in every event you play, which will significantly diminish your opportunities to outplay others.

While you may be able to apply pressure and win a lot of free chips in the late stages against gun-shy players, your overall edge will be lower than what you could have in regular speed tournaments, which means your ROI will also be lower.

That said, hyper turbo tournaments are very fast to finish, which means you can play more games to compensate for the lower ROI and get the same or higher hourly return in the long run.

The thing to be careful of in hyper turbo tournaments is variance, as the luck of the draw and card distribution can play a determining factor in hyper turbos over extended periods of time.

Make sure you have a big enough bankroll to play your chosen hyper turbo tournaments, keep playing well, and you will eventually be able to beat these often soft fields for a significant return on your investment.

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