How to Play the Bubble

The "bubble" is a term used during poker tournaments to designate those points during play when it becomes obvious that the next player who bows out will not walk away with any winnings--but the remaining players definitely will. When this moment arises during a game, it is important to adjust playing strategy accordingly.

Planning Your Play

When deciding what move to make on the bubble, it is important to keep two things in mind: the value of your chips and your immediate aims in the game. In other words, do you just want to walk away with the portion of cash that is coming your way? Or are you eyeing a complete win at the tournament? If you are an amateur player, the best advice is to just focus on the money you'll make on the bubble, and not get ahead of yourself just yet.

Be Conservative

If you are simply hoping to play to the bubble during a tournament (which essentially just means staying in the game until the bubble, without being forced out), you'll want to be cautious with your plays. As you get closer to the bubble, make sure to play conservatively and don't make any risky best, lest you get yourself knocked out before you can walk away with some cash.

Typically, the bubble will present itself when there are about ten percent of the original players remaining in the game. Thus, if you are tracking the stats of a large tournament, try to keep this percentage in mind so you know where you stand in relation to the bubble.