Cash Games vs Poker Tournaments – The Advantages of Both Types of Poker Games

There are two types of poker primarily played one is the cash game and the other is the poker tournament. Some players specialize in one or the other. They both have advantages for each type of player who favors them. Cash games are often called ring or live action games. Many of them are the most frequently type of poker played at home or “poker night outs”. There is no end time and players can join or leave when they want to. This article covers both types and variations cash games and poker tournaments.
Cash Games
As mentioned, this is the most common type of poker played. Tournament poker often requires a minimun of players. In cash games, there is a minimum buy-in and somewhere between 20 to 100 the big blinds is the average requirement. For example, a cash game with blinds of $1/$2 could require anywhere between $40 to $200 to join.
Fixed limit games generally require 10 times the small blind to join. Using the above example, that would be $10. This will vary from place to place both in land based casinos as well as online. There are cash games for every budget though, from small stakes to high roller. In online games, these games are grouped by micro stakes, small stakes, medium stakes and high stakes. Often, you can find these by clicking on the labels for micro, small, medium or high stakes.
Six Max and Full Ring Cash Games
A game that seats nine to ten players is called a full ring game. Though in the internet age, the six max is also popular. Six max means there are always six players or less at a table. There is usually more aggressive reraising and the blinds come around more frequently. If you want action, this is the place for you!

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Tournament Poker
Poker tournaments are sometimes known as MTTs or multi-table tournaments. There is usually an entry fee. In many cases, there is re-entry available and there might also be a rebuy/addon feature. One feature of the poker tournament is that blinds increase as the game progresses. This in effect forces the player to bet rather than wait for “good hands”. This also narrows the playing field. But as the playing field narrows, the winnings go up. A great example of a poker tournament format is the WSOP tournaments. Most their games are in tournament structure. The winner gets the most money. But for those who finish at a certain level, they also are “in the money”. There are several types of poker tournaments.
Sit N’Go Poker Tournaments
These tournaments are on demand type tournaments that start when a minimum amount of players join. These types of tournaments are usually running 24/7 at popular poker sites due to many players who sign up. Payouts for sit n’go tournaments vary with amount of players.
Satellite Poker Tournaments
Many land based and online sites offer satellite tournament where a winner or group of winners win a seat to a larger tournament. They offer a discount way to get into costly tournaments. For example, satellite entry fee might $10, while the tournament might cost $200.

Poker Tournament Screenshot

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This is the poker tournament menu. Here you can see the types of tournaments available including satellite, sit n’ gos,as well as the stakes from high to micro and freeroll tournaments available as well.
Advantages of Cash Games and Tournament Poker
As said, both games have their advantages. There are people who solely make a living from playing cash games. One thing they cite is the ability to come and go as they please. This works especially for those with obligations. Picking up kids, walking dogs, cooking food all take time away from the focus needed to play at the peak of focus. Playing a cash game can allow the player to focus for brief period of time without worrying about outside factors. Tournament play on the other hand is where the big money is. Those who specialize in tournament play usually have fewer outside obligations to worry about. And have the time to play a long multiple hour tournament. Tournament length will vary due to the amount of players in the tournament, the more players the more time it will take to finish. Generally, the more money on the table, the more players who will be in the tournament. Though high roller tournaments is the exception but the buy-in is usually so high only a few people can join anyway.

 

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