Online Poker: Which Real Money Games Should You Play?
If you play real money online poker, then you may be playing in tournaments, cash games or both. Although tournament play and cash games have similarities, they also possess important differences. This article considers which of the two for which you might be suited.
Online Cash Games
With real money online poker, a cash game is one in which you buy chips and play at a particular table. With cash games, you may stay at the table as long as you like. (That is as long as you have enough money to stay in the game.) Unlike a tournament, in a cash game players can start with different chip stacks, which will determine how much power you can wield at the poker table.
In a cash game, you won’t have to buy-in but you will have to pay the rake. The rake is a percentage of the pot that goes to the house. It’s usually 5% of the pot and it is also defined by dollar limits. Usually these limits are between $3.00 and $5.00.
When you play real money online poker in a tournament, you’ll post a buy-in that will include a fee you pay upfront to play in the game. The house take for a tournament should not be more than 10% of the buy-in. Usually buy-ins clearly show the how much cash is going to the house. A typical $10.00 buy-in will be expressed in the following manner:
“$10.00 + $0.10”
Thus, 10 cents goes to the house and the rest goes into the pot. In tournament play using our example, every player contributes $10.00 towards the pot. If there are nine players in the tournament, the total pot would be $90.00. Usually the top three players will divide the pot with first place earning 50% $45.00), second 30% ($27.00) and third 20% (18.00).
If you’re looking for equity, then a tournament is a great place to be. That’s because everyone starts with the same number of chips, usually 1,500. Although some large tournaments will offer re-buys, with most tournaments players simply compete with the chips they initially purchase and if they run out they are eliminated.
When you play real money online poker, whether it is in a tournament or cash game, one of the most important things that any player can do is to pace themselves. In doing so, poker players must be selective in deciding which hands to play and which they should fold. Don’t be a calling station, use your cash or chips wisely.
Set Limits for Real Money Online Poker
As is the case with any form of gambling, when you play real money online poker you must set limits. When playing online, it’s easy to forget that you are spending actual cash at the table. That’s because all exchange of money is done electronically. You never hold any real money, chips or even a credit card in your hand. Still, the money you are spending is real. Always keep that in mind when paying to play in a tournament or cash game.