Cash Games vs. Tournament Poker: What Is the Difference?

Cash games and poker tournaments both revolve around the game of poker, but there are a couple of rules that you should pay attention to, especially if you want to play USA online poker.

First of all, all cash games are played on one table only. Unlike tournaments, where there are multiple tables at once, cash games are always required to be played only on one table for the sake of efficiency.

Moreover, cash games allow players to use the money to buy more chips, while tournaments award the same amount of chips for all players who participate in them. In cash games, players have a minimum and a maximum buy-in and they usually get an adequate number of chips which are related to the amount of money they invested. However, the buy-in for poker tournaments is fixed for all players. When a poker player loses all chips in tournaments, they are out of the game, whereas cash game players can buy more chips and return to the table.

Another substantial difference between cash games and tournaments is related to quitting the game. Although players in cash games can quit any time and convert their chips back to the money, tournament players play for all or nothing. Theoretically, they could give up and quit the game, but unless they made it to the payment list, they will not receive any rewards. Therefore, players are awarded at tournaments according to their position on the list. For example, if there are 200 entries in the tournament, and it is determined that 10% of the players will receive prizes, then the first 20 players will be the ones to be rewarded, with the biggest part of the prize pool being awarded to the winner.

Finally, depending on the stakes, cash games have pretty constant blind costs. However, the cost of blinds in tournaments increases with time (for example, they could increase every 15 minutes).

Therefore, no matter whether you prefer playing cash games or tournaments, you probably agree that poker is always exciting, regardless of the competition format. However, it is up to you to choose which option suits you the best and act accordingly. Some people prefer playing cash games as it allows a certain amount of freedom, while many prefer taking part in tournaments which are a very exciting way to play poker both on the web and in live tournaments.

If you like playing and watching poker, make sure to check out the best poker site reviews and find out more about platforms that offer both cash games and tournaments on the web.