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11 Ways to Get to a Final Table

Article By: RuffPoker.com

The final table is the promised land of any poker tournament. Not only is there a great sense of accomplishment for making it this far, but the prize money goes up exponentially when you’re at the final table. But how do you get to this poker Valhalla? Here are some tips to help you make the final table in your next tournament.

Read the Harrington on Hold’em Series

If you haven’t read this series yet, I have to ask: “What are you waiting for?” The tips in this books aren’t merely helpful─ they’re revolutionary.

Choose the Right Buy-in

The payouts may be better at the higher buy-ins, but so are the players. Make sure you’re not playing above your skill level.

Build Your Bankroll Early

Play around a little bit when the blinds are low. Set mine with small pocket pairs and call with suited connectors in late position. If you can hit a couple of good flops and double up a few times early in the game, you’ll be able to take profitable chances later on.

Avoid Coin Flips

Avoid coin flips that can destroy your stack. If you’re a good player, don’t leave your tournament life up to chance. Wait for a better spot to make your move. The exception to this rule is if you have your opponent heavily out-stacked. If you have 10,000 chips and they have 1,000, go ahead and take the chance.


Play Sit ‘N Goes and small multi-table tournaments (20 players) to get a feel for tournament play. Once you can beat these games consistently, move to the bigger tournaments.


Every move you make has either a positive or a negative expected value (EV). Just because you win a hand doesn’t mean you made the right move and just because you busted out doesn’t mean you made the wrong move. Analyze your play to make sure you’re always making EV+ plays.

Be Patient

Poker tournaments can go on for hours. You have to be able to play good poker hand after hand without getting bored and doing something stupid.

Any time you’re in a pot with someone who has you out chipped, you risk being busted out of the tournament. Don’t get into a pot with big stacks unless you have a great hand.

Take Notes

Take notes on your opponents. Know who will all-in on a draw and who won’t make a move without the goods..

Never Get Blinded Out

There’s a point in every tournament where you can’t wait for the best hands anymore. When the blinds are high, you’ll have to shove with sub-par hands. Never let the blinds take you out of a tournament.

Steal Blinds

The blinds get big later in the tournament. Stealing blinds is a great way to build your stack─ especially if the blinds are tight players.

Be Willing To Lose

You’re going to lose the vast majority of tournaments that you play. Don’t be afraid of it. Trust your gut when it comes to key decision moments in the game. If you bust out, so be it. You can’t make it to the final table by folding away your chips.

It takes a special player to get to the final table of a multi-table tournament. The low success ratio can really beat down your confidence, but by following these eleven tips, you can drastically increase your chances of making the final table.

So there you go 11 Ways to Get to a Final Table.