Poker has a remarkable variety that keeps it fun to play and watch. There are different variations of poker like Omaha and Texas Holdem, each with different rules and mechanics like the number of whole cards or lack of community cards. Even with the most popular form of poker, Texas Holdem, there are many ways to play, from micro-stakes online poker cash games to famously high-stakes tournaments like the World Series of Poker. Even in cash games, the most popular way to play Texas Holdem, there is enough variety to make it both challenging and exciting. Every game has different poker players, community cards, and more.
Cash game strategy looks simple on the outside, as you don’t need to understand concepts like the Independent Chip Model. The blinds are also fixed, meaning you don’t have to account for tournament levels and make it to the money. Despite all this, the pros often consider cash games to have insane strategic depth and are their go-to for steady profits. This poker guide will take an in-depth look at cash games, explaining what they are, why they are preferred over other formats and the different kinds of cash games.
What are cash games?
As the name implies, cash games are standard poker games played on one table with real money. The chips are direct equivalents of dollars, and players can pay to join cash games and leave to exchange chips for cash anytime between games. What you pay becomes your starting stack size, known as the buy-in. Cash games also put minimums and maximums on buy-in size. The blinds are fixed and used to denote the stakes of the game. For example, $0.01/$0.02 is what is known as a “micro stakes” game, as the small and big blinds are a fixed $0.01 and $0.02, respectively. When you lose, you must pay the buy-in again to rejoin.
Types of cash games: 6-max
Cash games are separated into two types according to player count. The first is known as 6-max because there are a maximum of six players only. That style has become prevalent, especially with the rise of online poker. These games are action-packed and aggressive because fewer players mean everyone pays the blinds more often. You cannot afford to sit back and play tight until you hit a good hand; you have to get involved in more pots and attempt to steal more often.
Types of cash games: Full-ring
In contrast, a full-ring cash game has the maximum number of players that can sit at a specific table, which is either nine or ten. That means the blinds come far less often, so you can stick to playing only the best hands. Being in an early position is also a disadvantage in full-ring games because more players can act after you. Bluffs are also rarer because of the less aggressive nature of full-ring games. They also have less variance since you aren’t often forced into playing less than optimal hands.
Why play cash games?
The popularity of cash games is not unwarranted. Here are a few reasons most people prefer cash games over the other types:
Which type to pick?
The best type of cash game for you depends on your playstyle. 6-max is excellent for players who love aggressive play and enjoy faster-paced games. 6-max can also be more profitable since you get involved in pots more often. While 6-max is generally more popular online, full-ring cash games are still a fantastic place to learn the basics before transitioning to 6-max if you want. They provide a solid foundation for beginners and lower the risk of you going broke from playing too tight and getting your blinds stolen.
Where to play poker games
We hope this article helped you understand the most popular way to play poker. You can find cash games on sites like GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room. GGPoker offers cash games of all stakes, and their being online makes them even easier to access. GGPoker also offers free poker tracking software to all its users, which is an invaluable tool for improving your game. It tracks your stats, finds your mistakes, and does the same for your opponents, allowing you to find their habits and take advantage.