At Rebuy tournaments you can buy more chips if you run out or run low. In other words, Rebuys allow the eliminated player another chance, which goes against the sudden death aspect of most traditional online poker tournaments - in that if you lose all of your chips, you are eliminated. The Rebuy feature allows eliminated players to buy back into the online poker tournament.
The amount of chips you can Rebuy is usually identical to the buy-in amount, although it can be lower, and most often you receive chips at the same exchange rate as the opening buy-in or even at an improved rate (for instance, 2000 chips for $40).
The Rebuy period is usually restricted to a set number of Rebuys and takes place in the initial rounds of the tournament, typically the first hour or until the end of the first level. During the time period that Rebuys are permitted, the action tends to be far looser as players strive for that extra edge, yet have the ability to get back in the game if things don’t work out.
More conservative players may feel disadvantaged by Rebuys due to the possibility of others receiving a second chance if not multiple chances. They may feel somewhat jilted, but it all balances out in the end since this option is available to all players and those who choose to take it pay for the privilege each time. In addition, if a player wins a big pot as a result of being overly expressive they are not going to be as loose. Why would they want to lose it all and revert back to the amount of the starting chips?
Once the Rebuy period ends, this frantic pace tends to settle down and frequently an Add-on period begins. This is your final opportunity to buy additional chips prior to the tournament's Freezeout. Most often, players are able to acquire the Add-on, yet at times it is limited only to players whose chip count does not reach a fixed amount.
Add-ons offer online poker players the chance to top up their chip stacks in the midst of the online poker tournament. This normally happens at the end of the first level or first hour. Anyone can Add-on, regardless of their chip stack at the time. The player who decides to proceed with the Add-on will increase his stack size by the amount of starting chips each player received.
It is up to the individual whether or not he wishes to Add-on. You may feel that this is the soft way out and it would be better for your game if you didn’t Add-on. On the other hand, it may help your chances of success in the online poker tournament to have some extra chips at your disposal.
It is generally recommended to make a Rebuy whenever you have the chance. Therefore, when you play at a Rebuy tournament, take into consideration that you will most likely spend more than the opening buy-in.
Like many things in poker, it is a matter of personal preference, and it is up to you to choose what you feel most comfortable with and of course the online poker games that are most appropriate for you.