From time to time, it’s good to remind ourselves of the basics. And there’s nothing as basic on the felt as the concept of poker cash games.
Now even if you’ve been playing poker for donkeys years, it’s probably a good idea to familiarise yourself with the format. You can easily get stuck in the habit of playing fancy new poker types or rinse the tournament circuit. But there’s something refreshingly simple about poker cash games.
And if you’re new to the game, this is clearly a great time to brush up on all things cash game.
What are cash games?
Poker cash games are simply tables that are always open and that you can join or leave whenever you want. Your chips and bets represent real money. So if you win a €40 pot, you get €40 worth of chips. Then it’s up to you if you want to stay in the game or cash out.
That’s different to tournaments, where you buy in and then you have to keep playing until the end (or until you get kicked out) to get your pay day. Or, indeed, to lose your money.
So with cash games, if you are unlucky and lose a few hands, you can simply top up your chips with cash.
Are cash games the same as ring games?
On different sites or when you read different articles, some people say cash game and some people say ring game. They are the same thing. They’re interchangeable terms. Cash game is the more common of the two, so that’s the terminology we’ll be sticking to.
Do I always have to play with real money?
No, you don’t. Contrary to the name, cash games simply refer to the format of poker game. Depending on the online poker room you’re playing in, there should be lots of free to play cash game options. In that case, you swap play money for chips and play that way. That’s a really great way to test the waters without parting with your cash. Then when you gain a bit of confidence, you can move on to the real money options.
What are the advantages to playing them?
There are so many things to love about poker cash games. We love the fact that you don’t have to plan your schedule to play. Simply fire up your laptop or phone and away you go. You can also choose to spend as much time or as little time at the tables at once.
For more advanced players, cash games are the perfect environment for multi-tabling too. They’re just that bit more casual than tournaments, where things can get pretty spicy when it gets to final table time. With cash games, the serious and more laid back action is spread a little more evenly throughout the game.
It’s also very nice to cash out when you win a particularly big pot. There’s no worry that you might lose it, like when you hit it big with tournaments. And if you’re not feeling the table, or Lady Luck doesn’t seem to be smiling on you that day, you can walk away then too.
For beginners and more advanced players alike, poker cash games are also the perfect environment to hone your skills and grind your way up to new levels. Start small and slowly make your way up to higher blind tables. It’s satisfying to mark your progress in that way.
Where can I play online?
Almost every single online poker room offers cash games. They are pretty fundamental to the game of poker. But one of our favourite spots for them has got to be bet365. If you’re new to the site, take a look at our bet365 bonus code to get your hands on a particularly sweet welcome offer.