Frequently Asked Questions: Should I Play Cash Games Or Tournaments?

By Christine
January 23, 2024
cash game vs tournament

If you’ve been here a while, you know we’re all about trying to help you be the best poker player you can be. And even if you’ve just dipped your toes in the world of this famous card game, we bet you’ve heard a little about the cash game vs tournament debate.

The terms cash games and tournaments are thrown around pretty frequently. But what’s the real deal behind these two poker formats?

In this FAQ, we’re diving headfirst into the cash game vs tournament debat to break down the key differences between the two.

Cash games and tournaments are like peanut butter and jelly. Both are delicious in their own ways. Cash games are your poker bread and butter. They’re all about grinding it out, with chips equivalent to real money on the line for each hand you play. No rush, no pressure. It’s just you, your stack and the poker table.

Tournaments, on the other hand, are the rollercoaster ride of poker. Think of them as poker’s version of a theme park ride. You buy in for a set amount and battle it out with the other players for a shot at the big prize pool. The catch? Once you’re out of chips, you’re out of the tournament (most of the time anyway).

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! We’ll be answering all your burning questions about these two poker formats, so you can decide which one suits your poker style best.

Cash game vs tournament FAQs

What’s the main difference between cash games and tournaments in poker?

In a nutshell, cash games are about playing with real money. Each chip has a direct cash value. Meanwhile, tournaments have a set entry fee and you play until you’re out of chips or you win (or in some cases, you buy back, but that’s a special case).

How do buy-ins work in cash games compared to tournaments?

Cash games offer flexibility. You decide how much to bring to the table, within the table’s limits. Tournaments, on the other hand, have a fixed entry fee. Everyone starts with the same amount of chips, making it a level playing field (of course sometimes there are top ups too; there’s always an exception to the rules!).

Can I leave a poker game whenever I want?

If you’re playing a cash game, you sure can. Feel free to jump in and out whenever you like. Tournaments are a different story, once you’re in, you’re in. Of course, you can decide to take a break or even abandon play, but you’ll automatically fold/whittle away your chips as blinds/antes until your stack has disappeared entirely. So if you want more flexibility, it’s kind of a no brainer in the cash game vs tournament debate.

Do blinds change in these games?

If you’re playing cash games, blinds stay the same. This gives you a more consistent game environment. Tournaments, on the other hand, are more dynamic. Blinds increase at set intervals to ramp up the action. So if you’re trying to decide on cash game vs tournament, the former is a little more of an easy pace than the latter.

What about the winnings?

Cash game vs tournament winnings are a little different. In cash games, whatever money you win is yours immediately. It’s a direct reflection of the chips you have. Tournament winnings are a little different. You typically win a share of a prize pool based on where you finish. The thrill is in outlasting others to snag a bigger piece of the pie! However, in a bounty tournament, you can get little cash injections throughout the game…

Cash game vs tournament. How do I choose?

It all depends on what you’re after when it comes to cash game vs tournament choice. If you like flexibility and immediate cash winnings, go for cash games. If you’re into competition and enjoy the thrill of a big win with a small entry fee, tournaments might be your thing.

And where can I find a good range of cash games and tournaments online?

If you’re fresh out of ideas for a decent online poker site, we’ve got a good one up our sleeve for you. Bet365 has a fantastic selection of both cash games and tournaments on offer at any given time. Plus you can find a fantastic Loyalty Club and a range of excellent promotions too. And if you’re a new player, use this bonus code bet365 for a wonderful welcome offer.

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