Certain kinds of poker tournaments often advertise that they will be running a rebuy event, with addons up to a certain point – say, the first hour. But what does this mean to the aspiring poker player. And, more importantly, how can it be used to your advantage?
Well, rebuys and addons are two very similar things, and certainly they both cost the same amount of money when you decide to grab one of them. But it's worth understanding the difference between the two, if only so that you don't seem like a complete idiot on the day by asking for the wrong thing.
A poker rebuy is the ability to buy your way back into the game after you have been completely eliminated, and lost your entire stack. The rebuy fee is traditionally the same as the fee that it cost to buy into the tournament in the first place, and you get to start again with the same stack size you had at the beginning of the game, even though the overall tournament is well under way.
An addon is more or less exactly what it sounds like – would you like some extra chips? Well you can have some. Like the rebuy, the addon is usually the same price as the buy in, and yields the same size stack. It's a great way to build up your chip count in a hurry if you need to.
Both rebuys and addons are usually only available during the first part of a poker tournament. Players like them for very obvious reasons – they get bigger stacks and they can play for longer. Plus, the more buyins and addons that get sold, the bigger the prize pool is going to be since the money goes directly into the tournament.
The House likes rebuys and addons because they tend to charge a small processing fee when selling you the addon or rebuy – you'll typically see tournaments advertised as, for example, $100+$10. That means it's $100 to buy in, and an extra $10 for the handling fee. The $100 goes directly to the prize pool, and the $10 goes to the House. Casinos do this because they don't earn money on poker the way they do off games like video slots.
Why use rebuys and addons?
The purpose of using a rebuy is pretty simple and straight forward. If you are taking a while to warm up in the tournament, and you get destroyed before your time, having the opportunity to use a rebuy can be a lifesaver. It means that you can get back into the game and still has a chance of making it into the paying orders at the end of the tournament.
Having said that, a word of warning. It's all very well having a rebuy available, but being knocked out of a tournament is never a pleasant experience, and it can put emotionally on edge, particularly if you're going to be sat at the same table with the person who destroyed you last time. This will affect your play, and quite likely cause you to get bombed out again in short order, because you will be playing aggressively regardless of what cards you're holding, and people will simply call you.
Never play poker if you're upset - it just isn't worth it. If you're going to use the rebuy, rather take a short stroll outside and clear your head, then come in fresh.
The reason for using addons is quite simply to make your stack grow faster than your skill allows it to. Well, perhaps that's a little cynical, but the fact is that in tournament poker, you will survive for longer if you have a tall stack, and since tournament poker is all about survival, it makes sense to have as big a stack as possible.
Having a big stack, even if it's artificially created, allows you to employ the tactic of Stack Bullying – basically, using massive raises that are equivalent to other players' entire stacks. Since the choice for them is losing everything while to you it's just a few chips, they tend to fold more, effectively handing you the blinds plus whatever happens to be in the pot.
In short, if addons are available – grab a couple.