As many of you will have played at a download Microgaming Casino you will no doubt have noticed there are slot tournaments available at most of them. They can also be offered at some Playtech sites, and usually there will be ‘freerolls’ (no cost entry) along with pay-tournaments where entry has a fixed fee and the prize pool is derived from the entries and rebuys/continues. To the novice, ‘rebuys’ and ‘continues’ may be a bit confusing. You should be aware that usually one or the other will be necessary to gain a prize-paying placing, especially in tournaments with significant prizes. These are often won by players though with large budgets who can spend on rebuys or continues.
So when you are playing either the Microgaming freerolls or the buy-in tournaments how do you strategize the use of rebuys and continues? Firstly, be aware of how many are available. Some tournaments with large prizes have up to 999 and if you haven’t the budget then unless you are exceptionally lucky first time and gain a large coin total it would be prudent to leave the contest. To this end, it often wise to enter the tournament and play as late as possible, when you have the maximum information regarding your rivals’ totals and positions available, and the score you will need to get a prize-playing place:
Usually rebuys/continues will cost, even if the initial tournament is a freeroll tournament. In the example above you can continue 5 times and rebuy 10 times; this is where it’s important to make the correct decision. Firstly, a rebuy means you start all over again but you will not see a coins total or score until you’ve exceeded your previous score. So, on your first go you have scored 8,000. The leader group in the prize positions is from 15,000 upwards. You use a rebuy and you’ll stay on zero or 8,000 until (if you do) exceed 8,000, your original score. If this time your rebuy nets you 11,000 then that will be your score, and any further rebuys will have to exceed that. Don’t worry, you never lose you highest score when you rebuy, you can only better it or stay the same.
Now you have a score of 11,000 then after using a rebuy, or you may have had 11,000 after your first go anyway. Whichever, you are within 4000 of the leader group. This is where continues are appropriate. This means you retain you score of 11,000 but simply pay for more credits and playtime as described in the tournament rules and any subsequent coins won are added to that score. So, after purchasing your continue your score rises from 11,000 to 18,000. Now you are in the prizes, but now is decision time too – are you only marginally behind the place above you, or are those just behind you very close? You may deem it very likely that another continue costing $5 will gain you a couple of places increasing your potential prize by $25 – assuming you aren’t overtaken in the meantime! This is why playing at the end, and keeping an eye on the positions near to the closing time may benefit you.
Here is an example of the prize tiers in a $250 freeroll, and the rebuy/continue cost – As you can see spending $5 on a continue may benefit you in some prize places, but not others!
You can use a continue to increase the gap to those just behind you, or if someone has just sneaked past then re-take your previous position. You may also consider it so certain you’ll maintain your prize-paying position that it may be a sensible gamble to pay for and use all your remaining continues to have a shot at catching those at the top or very near so your prize may increase by more than the cost of the continues. So, like all gambling, it’s primarily luck but in this case strategy too. Keeping an eye on the tournaments even if you don’t play in them will give you an idea of what ball-park score is necessary to get a prize, so later you can judge your score and whether it’s worth rebuying or continuing on that.
So, to summarize: Rebuy is a purchase of a no-lose second chance to start over, whereby you retain your old score if you fail to exceed it. You will restart with exactly the same number of coins and amount of time. Continue is an extension of your retained highest score (whether you used rebuy(s) or not) whereby any coins you win are added to it, and unlike rebuys you are guaranteed to increase the score. Remember to do your homework about tournament prize-paying scores and the players that usually appear there, then you have a sound basis for your rebuy/continue strategy and whether it’s worth doing either or both. Good Luck!