Poker: How do tournaments differ from Cash Tables?
To play in a tournament you would need to sign up and pay a buy-in fee and house fee prior to playing. The house fee is usually 10% (or lower) of the buy-in.
For your fixed fee you will receive chips. All participants start with the same number of chips. The blinds / antes and table limits increase periodically at pre-determined intervals. This is to ensure that the tournament reaches an end.
Prizes are awarded according to how high up the field you finish. This is usually in the range of the top 10 – 20% of the prizes. You can check the payout structure of a tournament once you are seated and playing. To do this click on the lobby and locate the tournament you are in; then click on Prize Pool.
Players are not able to purchase additional chips during a freezeout tournament. Rebuy tournaments allow players to buy more chips if they lose their chips and often allow a top-up at the end of the rebuy period.
Cash Games are simply games where the chips on the table represent their cash value. The blinds stay at exactly the same level, and you can re-buy at any point if you drop below a certain number of chips.