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Tournaments vs. Cash Games in Poker: Choose the Best Option

Many players often get perplexed if they should play poker tournaments or cash games.

As a general rule, poker tournaments are easier for beginners to learn. The downside with poker tournaments is that they require more time commitment and your winnings will be inconsistent.

By comparison, cash games are less demanding in terms of time spent playing and your winnings will be somewhat more predictable and consistent.

Both formats have their pros and cons, and the choice between either one depends on you.

In poker tournaments, every player is guaranteed a large number of hands for the price of entry. In cash games, each chip represents actual money and the blinds never increase. The goal with cash games is to win more chips than you started with.

If you’re in a $1/$2 cash game, the blinds will stay at $1 for the small blind and $2 for the big blind. In tournaments, the blinds will gradually increase based on a predetermined schedule.

It’s Easier to Learn Poker Tournaments

Tournaments are a bit easier to learn and the decisions are more straightforward. Once you get the hang of it, your blinds will start increasing and fewer hands will get played until the final betting round. This is because the stack sizes are shallower and have big blinds (often 50bb, 30bb, or even less).

With cash games, most players have blinds of 100bb or more in front of them. This allows more room for players to both postflop and preflop. This makes decision-making a bit more complex. Moreover, since the stacks are much deeper, the betting rounds will favor more skilled players. This means that novice players will lose bankroll at a much faster rate.

In either format, you’ll need to be aware of GTO theory and advanced math to defeat skilled players and dominate the final table.

Cash Games are More Flexible

Another thing to note is that cash games give you more flexibility with your time. If you’ve got places to be, things to do, errands to run, then cash games give you a big advantage. You always have the choice of coming and going in cash games whenever you want.

Tournaments are an entirely different ballpark and require you to clear out your schedule ahead of time. In fact, some tournament games may require you to play for over 10 hours – and there’s no way to tell how long the game will stretch. This makes it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

Cash Games Have Higher Potential Earnings

Cash games often feature high stakes on a regular basis, which is great for anyone who plays online poker with real money in India. By comparison, high stakes tournament only on certain days of the week or year (such as the WSOP).

Tournaments attract more players overall – most of whom have no idea what they’re doing. This is because the lure of a big payday attracts more recreational players.

So, if you are looking for soft games, tournaments tend to offer higher chances of making a quick buck. 

When Playing Poker Online, Which Format Should You Choose?

Whether you’re playing online poker with friends or going solo, you’re probably a part-time player and have no intentions of going pro.  You already have a full-time career to keep you busy. If that is the case with you, simply choose a format that you’re more familiar with.

Success when playing poker online in India requires a long-term commitment, no matter which format you choose. You will have to play for many hours and endure disappointments. For the best results, simply choose a format that you enjoy the most.

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