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Cash Games vs. Online Tournaments

Once you've decided which website you want to use for playing online poker, you then need to decide whether you would prefer to play in a game or a tournament.

Games and tournaments are quite different and, particularly if you are playing for money, it is extremely important that players understand the difference between the two.

Cash Games

Cash games have a single table, where the play continues until there us a single winner. Players in cash games begin with any amount of money they choose to bring to the table. However, there can still be certain betting limits, which restrict the betting to a certain amount.

Many beginner players prefer to play in cash games, as they are a good way to practise your poker skills and techniques. Cash games also give players the opportunity to walk away with their chips at any time. This can also have the advantage of meaning that players are less likely to bet as aggressively as they would in a tournament, as they are less likely to lose sight of the fact that they are playing with 'real money'.


Tournaments are a little different. They are made up of several tables, all playing separate games. The winner, or top players, on each table go on to play against the top players on other tables. This continues until there is one final table, consisting only of players who have finished in the top places of previous rounds. The game is then played out as normal, with the winnings usually split between the top few players. The overall winner takes the highest amount, whilst the player who comes second is given the second most, and so on.

There is usually a far most assertive approach taken by players in tournaments. This partly due to the fact that their original buy-in amounts are converted into tournament chips which they can only cash in if they finish in the final top 10%.

Time is also limited in tournaments, so it important to place crucial bets whilst you have the chance. Tournaments often end up on a heads-up, where there are just two players against each other in the final round. This produces a very different style of play, which is usually much more dependent on luck than the type of skills might be used during a straightforward cash game.