Poker Cash Games
Learn how to play poker cash games
Cash games (or ring games) are the most popular and basic form of online poker. All a player needs is the money to sit down at the table (the "buy-in") and off they go! Unlike a tournament the blinds will not increase at any stage, and a player may get up and leave the table any time they wish.
Once a player has deposited funds into his or her account, then it's time to select the game! The games in the lobby are listed by blinds and game types. Each game type, be it Omaha poker, Texas Hold'em Poker or a friendly game of Seven Card stud are each broken down into Fixed limit, Pot Limit and No Limit betting formats.
Joining a Table
Once a player has decided upon their preferred game and format, the available tables are listed according to the level of blinds in play. Simply double-click on the name of the table, and it will open up in a new browser window.
The next choice is which seat to choose (click on an empty one to sit down). Once a player has done so, he or she will be required to choose to either wait for the big blind (if they haven't joined the game in sequence) or, if a player wishes, they may join in the game ahead of time by posting the BB from out of position and getting dealt-in. The computer will prompt players to make this decision - or, indeed for any posting decision - each hand unless the player clicks in the "auto-post" option box on the lower left hand side.
Playing the Game
The game will progress as normal from this point, with players winning and losing, betting and folding as per any normal game. When a player fancies a break or simply wants to change tables, they may leave and take their chips with them. A few things to note are as follows:
· Players may not leave the game and then return immediately with less money than they left with.
- · Players may 'sit out' of the game for a while if they know they are leaving for a short period (thus retaining their seat) by simply clicking ‘sit out' on the lower left option box, and then upon their return from feeding the cat or taking a phone call, a player clicks ‘sit in' and rejoins the game. If a player has missed his or her turn in the blinds upon their return they will required to post them immediately or wait for them to come round again.
As a useful guide we have enclosed below some information that may help a player decide which table is right for them. In making this decision the amount of available money will often be the determining factor. Most professional players refer to this as their "bankroll".
Any serious poker player should treat his poker bankroll like a business - always investing in the right games, and at the right amounts to play the game properly; never risking more than he or she should, but always properly-equipped to play the game with a reasonable amount of freedom.
Cash games (ring tables) can often be highly volatile with situations whereby you can make exactly the right decisions and do everything correctly, but still get outdrawn. This being the case it is never wise to have everything in your bankroll invested in just one game.
For example, you can get dealt A-A and put all your money in against an opponent holding K-K. One of the other Kings arrives (roughly a 20% chance) and *pop* there goes the hard-earned bankroll. No player likes this scenario. Protecting your investment by not having it all in play at any one time is the best way forward!
If you decide to play a cash game you should ideally buy into the game for around 100 big blinds (up to around 200 max) e.g. playing a €1/€2 NL table you would be well advised to enter the game for €200 as a workable minimum.
What you need to find is a situation whereby you have enough money to play the game but enough in reserve in case you need to buy back into the game after a bad beat. You don't want to be in a situation where you can't rebuy after a bad beat (and they will come no matter how well you play!).
In general, a stable, passive table is less likely to throw up these bad beats than a loose aggressive and volatile table.
In each situation it is important to judge things as they are, and game selection is of the utmost importance. Like any business, key decisions like these are fundamental to your strategy and often determine how much you risk, what reward is available and how quickly and stably you will build your investment.