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Poker Cash Games

Poker Cash Games vs. Tournaments vs. SNG’s

Poker Cash Games vs. Tournaments vs. SNG’s

A lot of people who are new to poker have a hard time choosing among poker cash games, poker tournaments or Sit N Go’s (SNGs). If you’re just in this for some fun, then it doesn’t really matter which one you play, as long as you are enjoying what you do. If you want to make some money, though, there are some poker strategies unique to each type of game that will determine which is the best choice for you.

Poker Cash Games

A lot of poker players look at poker cash games as providing the biggest edge and the most reliable income stream for a player who wins regularly. Tournaments and SNG’s have a number of all-in situations, many of them flips that don’t give you control over how things turn out. You can get an edge from tournaments and SNGs, but it generally is not as big as what you can get playing poker cash games going per hand or per game.

Players in cash games often have a bigger percentage of winning sessions, and if you tend to win, your income will be more reliable over time. You can win real cash and make steady profits in the other formats too, but you have to play a ton of games or hands.

If you look at the number of successful players in each format, there are a lot more in the cash games than in the other two. A lot more people have figured out how to turn cash games into a money maker than those that have in tournaments and SNGs.

Also, the cash game will teach you skills that you can take to tournaments and use. Most of the best cash game specialists right now also do really well in tournament play. However, the top tournament specialists generally are not as skilled in cash games.

Multi Table Tournaments

Even though the edge in this format is smaller than what you can get in cash games, it is still bigger than what turns up in SNGs. The best SNG players bring back an ROI of no more than 10 percent, but in the MTT format you can go over 100% in your ROI. You do get a bigger variance in tournaments than you do in cash games, but a lot of the tournament players that engage in online poker are willing to post the additional volume to compensate for this difference.

Sit N Go’s

There are some poker insiders who think that the SNG format is becoming a thing of the past. Not as many recreational players are entering them, and the edge that you can get is really small, particularly if you are playing with a group of regulars. The best way to make money here is to wander outside the traditional SNG format. Heads up SNGs give a bigger edge to savvy players, and the double or nothing SNG seems to draw in more novices than the standard setup.

All you have to do is look at one of the big sites to see that the best nine-man SNG players are only making a small percentage of what the best cash and tournament players are raking in. So if you’re an SNG specialist, it’s probably time to develop your skills in one or both of the other two formats to get your winnings back up again.

Ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables at Cafrino and get all the practice you need while winning real cash. Good luck!

Identifying Fish - Cafrino Online Poker

Identifying Fish at the Poker Table

Identifying Fish at the Poker Table

Need to know the best ways of identifying fish at the poker table? No matter what you’re playing, there is always an immense gap between the pros and the rookies. If you’ve ever watched pickup basketball at the playground and then gone home to turn on the NBA game, then you know what I’m talking about: the action goes a lot faster, the players have a lot more strength and ability and the whole tenor of the sport is different. In poker (Online and live poker), you can’t always tell right away between the sharks — and the little fish.

Where does the difference come from? Sharks put a ton of thought into every move and have a sophisticated understanding of how the game works. Have you ever watched high stakes poker online? You can see the pros raising and re-raising hands, people calling with their second pairs, just like you might see in the cheap games. However, you’re really watching pros who have played against these same opponents thousands of time. That means that they recognize their opponents’ game as well as they recognize their own. Here are some signs that you’re playing against a shark — or against a fish.

Marking Detail

Fish pay way too much attention to their own details when you sit at a poker table. What do they have? What do they need? The sharks aren’t looking at themselves; they’re looking at everyone else. Even after they have folded, they keep an eye on everyone else and they watch every bit of the action. Even if they don’t seem to be paying attention, they are soaking up as much data as they can.

Fish don’t notice things like your reaction to turn raises, or how often that you bet out with a big hand. You can get away with the same tricks over and over against them because they just aren’t paying attention. Take a look at their eyes: they will be on their own hands the vast majority of the time. The sharks, on the other hand, are looking at you.

Fish get “Emo”

No matter whether they have a royal flush or a pile of junk, sharks know how to behave. They know that overreacting is a bad poker strategy. They always look calmed and keep the same facial expression. Fish, on the other hand, often have visible reactions depending on what they pick up. If they win a hand, even if they are playing a friendly session of free online poker, they act like they’ve never raked in a pot before. You can use these reactions to gauge which players are the most vulnerable to your strategies — and the least likely to spot your mistakes.

Fish don’t balance their ranges

Sharks know that they should not make the same move all the time. Fish tend to make the same play over and over once it works. If you don’t want people to recognize that you’re a fish, you have to play so that your opponents will have no idea what you have. Do you check-raise the flop with a huge hand? Then you have to show you will do that as a semi-bluff, or even a bluff. Keep altering your play, or you’ll be caught on a big hook and end up watching your poker bankroll disappear.

Ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables at Cafrino and get all the practice you need while winning real cash. Good luck!

Cafrino Online Poker Tournaments

The Differences Between Online Poker Tournaments & Cash Games

The Differences Between Online Poker Tournaments & Cash Games

Are you familiar with online poker tournaments? There are a number of different poker games and betting variations, but there are also two major types of game formats: poker tournament play and cash games. Here is a list of the primary differences between the two:

In a cash game, you swap money for chips, and you’ll usually see a minimum and maximum amount to buy in, depending on the stakes. In tournaments, all players have to buy in for the same amount, and they all generally get the same number of chips for the online poker tournament.

In a real money poker game, everyone is at the same table. Online poker tournaments may take place on a single table, but they can also take place on multiple tables.

If you’re in a cash game, you can quit whenever you want and turn your chips back in for cash. A tournament does not end until one player has all of the chips. Players receive payouts on the basis on their overall finish.

If you’re in a cash game, the blinds are always the same for every hand, depending on the stakes. In tournaments, the blinds go up in price, such as increasing every 20 minutes. Cash games allow you to buy more chips if you run out. Once you’re out of chips in a tournament, you can’t get back in.

Now, let’s take a more detailed look at each of these two formats.

When you enter a tournament, you pay a set amount of money that includes a fee for the venue to keep. So you might enter a tournament that costs $50 and charges a $3 fee to play, so you pay $53. $50 goes into the tournament prize pool, while the $3 goes to the organization running the tournament. Then, you might get $2,500 in tournament chips – which you can’t swap out for cash. The blinds could begin at $10 and $20 and then go up every 15 or 20 minutes. The blinds go up so that you have to bet more instead of just sitting back and waiting for ideal cards. This format progresses when players are forced out, and the eventual winners emerge.

The number of winners generally depends on the number of entrants. If you have a $50 entry fee for a tournament, and there are 200 players, that creates a prize pool of $10,000. That might go to the last 10 players at the last table. First place would range between $3,000 and $5,000 (30 to 50 percent of the pool), with descending amounts for second, third, fourth, fifth and so on. This is just how they work – the exact numbers will vary from one tournament to the next. The tournament organizer gets to decide how many chips you get to start, the initial blind levels and the time before increasing blind costs.

Cash games are often where people first learn about poker. You’ll usually face a minimum buy-in to start, and if you’re entering a no-limit game there will also be a maximum buy-in at times. This really protects the players over time. No-limit or pot-limit cash games usually mandate that you buy in between 20 and 100 big blinds. So if you are joining a game with blinds of $1/$2, you could buy in for as little as $40, but it’s more common to see buy-ins at $200 or so.

If you’re playing at a fixed limit table, you generally have to buy in with at least 10 times the small bet. So if the game is $3/$6, you would have to put down at least $30 to buy in. Stakes and buy-in amounts will change from one place to the next. You can find cash games of all sizes, especially if you start looking for legal online poker tournaments.

Ready to put your skills on the line? You can practice as much as you need on the free online poker tables and get all the practice you need before making the transition to legal online poker sites.