Though tournaments may differ, there are still things that make all of them very much alike and the set of most common rules stays the same.
This means the game is played with a special Dealer button like in poker games. This button indicates who will be the first one to receive the cards.
The order of the first bet, just like the deal is changed each time. This is done to make the edge even as all the players see the amount the previous player has bet.
Every tournament game is started with players having the same amount of chips. In some games you can move from one round to the next keeping the money you won.
Some games allow players to re-enter the tournament after they lost the round by playing the entrance fee one more time.
Each round, each bet and each decision is limited by time.
Players are allowed to make secret bets per round to make it invisible from other players.
Tournaments have special rounds which are called Elimination. During this rounds at least one player with the lowest bankroll is eliminated.
Each round has a number of players that can advance to the next one.