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Poker Information: Tournaments vs. Cash Games

Poker can basically be played in two ways, with people betting with real money or competing for a prize. Depending on your circumstances and poker ability, you may decide to play one or the other, or a mixture of the two types. If you’re undecided, take a look at this guide of the differences and try to work out what is best for you. If you still don’t know at the end, try a few hands of each and work out which is better. Online sites, like PokerStars, offer both types to give you a go.

Risk vs Reward

A cash ring game offers you the opportunity to play with real money at the table. The risk is high, especially in rooms like the PokerStars Daniel’s Room, where the minimum bet can get up to $100. However, the rewards can be massive. Tournaments offer players the opportunity to compete for cash prizes, with the entry fee paid up front. You do not bet with your own money in a tournament, only the chip stack you have been given. Events like the WSOP offer players the chance to compete for multi-million dollar prizes, but usually the buy-in for these events is very high.


Big tournaments have strict timings, where players must be ready to start on time. There are usually a number of single table ‘sit n go’ tournaments, where the tournament commences as soon as enough players are ready to play. Players cannot leave the tournament until they are eliminated, as their chips have no monetary value. Cash ring games are much more convenient, as none of the rules on timing apply to them.

If you don’t feel confident enough to take on the cash rings yet, visit the PokerSchoolOnline to pick up some important hints and tips.