Bounty tournaments bring a thrilling twist to the poker table, offering a unique and exciting experience. However, players must exercise caution and avoid treating these events like any other standard tournament. The dynamics of bounty tournaments differ significantly due to the allocation of prize money into regular and bounty pools. In this article, we'll explore five valuable tips to maximize success and enjoyment in bounty events. From understanding pot odds adjustments to adapting strategies based on stack size, this comprehensive advice will help players navigate the bounty-filled battlefield and claim their share of bounties and glory.

Tip 1: Bounties Change the Pot Odds of All-In Hands

In a bounty tournament, when you buy-in, half of the money goes to the regular prize pool and half of the money goes to the bounty prize pool. That bounty half only comes into play when someone shoves.

So, imagine that whenever someone is all-in, that’s virtually adding chips to the pot and increasing the pot odds. It makes it more attractive for anyone who covers them to call.

This should change both how wide you call and when and where you shove all in.

Tip 2 - Don't Tighten Up When You’re Short

When you are shorter stacked, people are going to come after you to get your bounty, and that makes most people play a much tighter strategy overall.

People are going to be coming after us with weaker hands, trying to get lucky. The best way to play against weaker ranges is widening our value range.

So, if in a certain situation the weakest hand you normally go all-in with is AJ, consider adding AT and maybe even A9 to your range. If the worst pair you’d shove with, in a given situation, is Sevens, consider adding Sixes and so on.

Tip 3 - Playing a Bounty Event as a Big Stack

When we’re the big stack in a bounty event and cover everyone at the table, we should be playing a more aggressive strategy. We should always try to put our opponents all-in, both pre and post flop.

People usually adjust by playing tighter against covering stacks, and that’s not the right adjustment.

So, we’ll manage to accumulate way more chips by people folding too much. We’ll also be in a position to hunt the bounties more often, without risking being covered by the other players.

Tip 4 - Playing a Bounty Event as the Short Stack

When we are the short stack, we’re going to get a lot more action in general. So, we should be choosing hands with good playability. And we shouldn’t be afraid to get our stacks in the middle with slightly weaker hands than we’re used to.

I bet all of you have gotten called by crazy, random hands when you were short in a bounty event. So, don’t be afraid of getting it all in lighter than normal.

Also, the upside of doubling up, covering more players and going for their bounties is huge!

Tip 5 - Pay Jumps are Less Important

Since only half the buy-in goes to the regular prize pool and half of it goes to the bounties, often the first pay-outs of bounty tournaments are very low, compared to the buy-in.

That means you shouldn’t be focusing only on making the money and getting through pay jumps, but also knocking people out. That’s a huge part of making money in these tournaments.

Remember that when you win a bounty tournament you also get your own bounty, so make sure you have a good one!


In conclusion, bounty tournaments offer an exhilarating blend of poker strategy and the thrill of collecting bounties. To excel in these events, players must recognize the unique implications of bounty rewards on pot odds, hand selection, and overall gameplay. Embracing a well-thought-out strategy is key, whether you're playing as a big stack, short stack, or anything in between.

Don't shy away from widening your value range when short-stacked and don't be overly tight when you're the big stack. Keep in mind that pay jumps are less significant in bounty tournaments, and focusing on eliminating opponents to claim bounties can be a lucrative approach. By applying these five essential tips, poker enthusiasts can enhance their performance in bounty events and relish the excitement of the hunt for bounties, making every tournament a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Alexandre “Cavalito” Mantovani is the latest Brazilian to join the 888poker team of ambassadors. Originally hailing from Recife, Pernambuco, from the age of four he lived in Curitiba, Paraná. Mantovani, better known as “Cavalito”, is one of Brazil's most renowned and admired poker players. He has coached over 100 players, with several making it into the top ranks of online players globally. His online poker career is significant, racking up over $5.5 million with decent in-the-money finishes.