There are plenty of theories out there on how you should play early on in multi table tournaments, also referred to as MTTs. You should not allow yourself to get knocked out early in a tournament, there is really no reason for it.
Many online players play very reckless in the early stages of most MTTs, especially freerolls. Early in the tournament, while the blinds are still low you will want to take a few stabs at the pot, even bluff a little, but do not get to much money involved. too many online players like to move all-in and if you are playing with a marginal hand then you don’t want to be caught with to much invested in the hand. Your best and only option here should be to fold. We all know, and have been there a time or two, that temptation will indeed creep in. Fight the urge and save your all-in move on a better hand.
Allow the looser players to battle it out amongst themselves, this will greatly reduce the field of play. Early on in these tournaments you can afford to wait until you have an advantage before committing a huge amount of chips.
You will without a doubt see players doubling up early in the tournament and others, due to reckless play, get knocked out early. Try and survive these early rounds by not playing recklessly. Pick your spots and play them. the most effective strategy is to gradually build up your chip stack through small pots until the cards give you the opportunity to win the big one. There is no rush when it comes to these tournaments.
Once you reach the later stages of the tournament the stakes will definately go up and you will have to take more risk, at times you’ll have to play abit more reckless and hope for the best, but only do that when you really have to.