Poker has been around for centuries which is why so many people from different generations are familiar with it. While many would say that poker cash games led to the prominence of this timeless casino game, today online poker is bringing this popular game to an even wider audience.
For many, cash games were their introduction to poker, allowing them to socialize and interact with other poker enthusiasts. To this day, poker cash games remain a popular choice in homes, clubs and poker rooms across the globe. Fortunately, it’s also evolved into the digital era and it has become possible to play online poker for money.
So, what exactly are poker cash games and how do they differ from poker tournaments? Let’s find out!
What are poker cash games?
As the name suggests, poker cash games are played with the aim of being rewarded in cold, hard cash. While some poker variants may reward you in chip or coupon equivalents, that’s not the case with cash games.
Online poker cash games can be played as normal casino table games or live dealer casino games. The option to play live poker online has made it more accessible to people worldwide. In fact, the convenience and flexibility of online gameplay, coupled with the potential to win big, is a drawcard for both novice and experienced poker players.
The difference between poker cash games and poker tournaments
To choose between poker cash games and poker tournaments, you need to understand how the two differ. Where players exchange money for chips in cash games, with a minimum and maximum buy-in amount, that’s not the case with tournaments. You may buy in again and continue playing if you lose your chips/money in a cash game. The chances of winning can be endless.
In tournaments, players buy in for the same amount and are all usually given the same amount of tournament chips. And once you lose all your chips, you can no longer play.
How to protect your hand during a cash game
Let’s face it; nobody likes losing. This is especially true in cash games because of what’s at stake – money! Getting a good grasp of cash games can put you a few steps ahead in both live and online poker tournaments. Improving your cash game strategy can make you a better poker player because you become better with practice. Unlike online and live poker tournaments, cash games can provide a steady income and allow you to hone your skills.
Ready to up your gameplay? Consider these poker tournament tips to improve your chances of winning at cash games.
- Prepare and warm up before playing
Once you understand that poker is a game that relies on mental strength and strategy, you’ll want to prepare yourself well before a game or tournament. This involves noting some of your common mistakes and getting rid of any distractions that may potentially impact your mental steadiness.
- Pay attention to position
The bigger the stack sizes get, the more attention you need to pay to your hands. Being out of position is a disadvantage if you aren’t short-stacked. It gives your opponent a chance to see what decision you make before they must make their own.
- Bet when you have a strong hand
The stakes are high in cash games, so you must tread carefully. Be careful with hands like ace-king (also known as The Big Slick) and don’t bet if your opponent can swoop in and easily beat you. On the other hand, if you decide to bluff, be strategic about it and the opponent you choose. Stick to your story and play as though you really do have the hand you’re pretending to have.
- 3-bet often
Conservative players tend to only 3-bet when they have a premium hand, but this makes it easier to be outsmarted and outplayed. 3-betting puts your opponent in a difficult position and makes it that much harder for them to make decisions, so do it more often.
3-betting reduces the average number of players in a pot while also allowing you to identify weaker players. This can help you strategize and gain the upper hand over them.
- Check the flop in multiway pots
In multiway pots, you should play with fewer hands than in a heads-up pot. The more players who see the flop, the stronger the hands you should check with.
- Check-raise your strongest hands after defending your big blind
After successfully defending your big blind, you should start building your pot in the hopes of getting all in by the river. Do this by check-raising your strongest hand and being very mindful of the board texture when check-raising.
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