Rebuy tournaments are those in which you are allowed to add additional chips to your stack by “buying” into the game again. You will see them in the lobbies of poker rooms denoted by “R/A”, and in some games you can only rebuy when you have exhausted your stack, whilst in others you may have the option of unlimited rebuys. Most games will allow players to rebuy for a set time period (normally the first hour), and thereafter there is a final opportunity for an “add-on”. Once all the opportunities to rebuy have expired, the game changes to the “freeze-out” method, where once you are out, you are out.
The advantage of playing in rebuy tournaments is that the final pot keeps on increasing in size even after registrations have closed, and you could find that you are playing for a lot more prize money than you first imagined. Consider a game that has a hundred entrants. Fifty may chose to enhance their chip stacks immediately, while twenty five players do not start too well and need to rebuy. The other twenty five, who have started well, feel that they do not need to buy any further chips just yet. Already, you have a scenario whereby one hundred players are contesting a pot that it would have taken one hundred and seventy five to build. Even though the chip stacks may be evenly distributed in size (because players who lost at an early stage have purchased more chips), you can see that there is an element of value for the players who have not needed to rebuy.
Deciding on whether you should enter a rebuy tournament, and then persevere, will largely depend whether you consider the ultimate value of the prize to be worth the amount of extra stakes you may need to contribute during the game. Whether you should rebuy at all relies on a variety of factors. Were you playing well and lost your chip stack because of a bad beat? Do you feel that your opponents are better poker players than you? If you rebuy into a game at this particular point, will you have enough chips to be competitive? Probably the most important consideration of all is, what is your mental state?!
Many rebuy tournaments offer large guarantee prize levels to make them appear attractive, but knowing when to walk away is a big part of the game. If you feel that to continuation in a rebuy tournament may still be profitable, and that the profit equates to value – then you should carry on – but to buy back into a game to make it more valuable for the other players is no more than charity!