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What is the difference between cash games and tournaments?

As a poker beginner, you may think that all forms of poker games are the same. Well, you are not alone, the truth is, and many people think the same too. More specifically, they cannot tell the difference between cash games and tournaments. Not only that, the only difference that they know between the two is that they can cash out in card games whenever they want. In contrast, they are stuck until the end of the poker tournament or like a slot tournament.

While they are correct, however, it is not the only difference between the two. More importantly, you should not treat them the same to emerge victorious while playing. In this article, we will discuss the difference between cash games and tournaments is.

The difference between poker cash games and tournaments

Many seasoned poker players will tell that poker tournaments are easier to learn. However, it also requires a long commitment time. Aside from that, your winnings will be inconsistent. In tournaments, you are aiming to gather more pots. That is why you are making more bets and regularly make more stakes. In addition, you need to win each round so that you can still stay in the tournament. It means that if you win, you will then move to the next level. Alternatively, if you lose, then you are out of the competition.

difference between cash games and tournaments
What is the difference between cash games and tournaments?

While in poker cash games, it demands less of your time. In addition, you have more consistent winnings. However, you need to consider each choice in a cash game cautiously. Aside from that, you can refill your pot and back out if you do not want to play. To learn the difference between cash games and tournaments we have listed the pros and cons between the two at trusted online casino Singapore.


  1. If you win in poker tournaments, then you WIN BIG.

You can win a significant amount when you manage to win first place or any of the top three places. Although you will not achieve this very often, you can win a million dollars in a 2-5 session. Which is hard to achieve when you play in cash game poker sessions.

Aside from winning the jackpot, poker tournaments can also bring fame to you. Therefore, if you want to be a poker celebrity today, you can take your chance to play in poker tournaments in top online casino Singapore.

  1. You are playing against RECREATIONAL players, not regulars.

Oftentimes, poker tournaments attract more recs than regs. As recreational players think that playing in a tournament is much more of an experience. Thus, they are not thinking about it as a profitable venture. They are more excited to play against the professional rather than the regulars. Moreover, their hopes and dreams to make it to the finals fuel their desire to win the game.

  1. They can play high stakes against really BAD POKER PLAYERS.

Bad poker players also do exist in tournaments. Therefore, you can take advantage of them. Thus, you can place relatively huge stakes against them. That is why regs and recs poker players are attracted to tournaments. For recreational players, they can easily chase their dreams while regulars can easily battle out the weak poker players.


  1. There is so much VARIANCE.

In poker tournaments, the variance is ridiculous and hardly inaccurate. Yes, it brings many advantages. However, the swings, the monetarily, and psychologically aspect of the tournament is just too much for some people. The truth is live tournament poker players lose months or years. Your wallet must be able to handle it as well as you must know how to manage your bankroll properly.

  1. Joining tournaments are TIME-CONSUMING.

In tournaments, you won’t enjoy any of your winnings not unless you manage to conquer the elimination round and entered the money round. Even if you reach the money round, you will not properly pay for your time until late in the tournament.

Sadly, if you get busted anywhere outside the money round, each second you have spent in the tournament was for nothing.

  1. It requires BIG BANKROLL FUND.

When you join a poker tournament, you must have a big fund on your bankroll. As a poker tournament player, you will experience dreadful downswings. To handle them, your bankroll must be strong enough to make up for the devastating downswings.

For you to be ready for the tournaments, you must have at least 100 buy-ins. Nevertheless, this is nearly not enough for some players. Notably, you need to have a strong bankroll fund to make up for the losing hands.

Poker Cash Games VS. Poker Tournaments: THE PROS OF CASH GAMES

difference between cash games and tournaments
What are the pros and cons of cash games?
  1. What are the difference between cash games and tournaments? You have the FREEDOM with cash games.

When you play poker cash games, you can just sit and play to your heart’s desire. Notably, you can play for a 30-minute poker session or a 24-hour marathon. But with poker tournaments, you cannot do this, instead, you are bind to the registration period.

  1. You have more room for ANALYZING your gameplay and EXPLOITING your opponents.

In a poker cash game, you do not have to worry about advancing to the next level. Therefore, you can focus more on executing your casino cash game strategy. As well as you have more time to study your opponents and plan how to beat them.

  1. There are fewer swings on Poker.

In a tournament, you will often encounter dramatic movement in your chip stack or bankroll. Nevertheless, you will never see this devastating downswing in poker cash games. That is if you are a good poker player as well as you put enough volume on your bankroll.

Furthermore, when you play cash games, you tend to make steady money. As long as you maintain a consistent amount of hands, then, you can estimate how much you will earn monthly.


What is the difference between cash games and tournaments?

For any cash game grind, it is more than enough to have 40-50 buy-ins on your bankroll. While in a poker tournament, 100 buy-ins are still debatable to be enough.

Poker Cash Games VS. Poker Tournaments: THE CONS OF CASH GAMES

  1. There are more REGULARS than recreational.

The regular and stronger players tend to play more in cash games. It is because it requires more and deeper understanding. Aside from that, they mostly enjoy the freedom and lower variance than cash games offered.

  1. It is more of a grind.

Sometimes, even the regulars and seasoned poker players get tired of the monotony of cash games. They get tired of playing poker for long hours. Sometimes, players of cash games get tired of constantly seeing the same color poker chips and regulars.

  1. There are NO MASSIVE winnings.

This is one of the downsides of playing cash games. Compared to the winnings that you will pocket in tournaments, the payouts on cash games are relatively small. At the most, you need to have more than 2-3 buy-ins to have good sessions.

  1. Cash games have higher RAKE.

In cash games, the rake is usually high compare to tournaments. Rake refers to the fee taken by the casino operator. Usually, the casino’s rake is taken out for every pot you win. In tournaments, the rake will only be taken once for each buy-in. 

What SHOULD you play, is it cash games or tournaments?

difference between cash games and tournaments
What SHOULD you play, is it cash games or tournaments?

Now that you know the difference between cash games and tournaments, the question now which one is right for you?

With poker, it is more of a long-term grinding. Therefore, you are going to play for plenty of hours. In addition, you need to deal with countless difficulties. Therefore, when you want to be a successful poker player, you need to choose the game you enjoy the most.

Whether it is cash games or tournaments, you must play what you prefer. Just because many people are playing cash games, you will also play them. What would you do if you were enjoying poker tournaments than cash games? Your decision should depend on your preferences. Both games offer excellent payouts and exciting gameplay. Whatever choice you make, you must enjoy it, and you are committed to it.

Do you want huge winnings or enjoy a more straightforward approach? If so, then join the poker tournaments. There are many online poker competitions, where you can play and win money. Nevertheless, play the cash games if you desire steady wins and have limited playing time.

Cash Games vs. Tournaments FAQs:

Both games offer exciting gameplay and excellent payouts. So, when it comes to who is better, it will only depend on your preferences. Notably, poker tournaments and cash games require different gameplay strategies for you to win.

Ring games or cash games are poker games wherein players are betting real money. Also, there is no designated start or stop time. You can play poker cash games any time you want because they happen 24/7 in an online casino room.

It is not hard to play. New poker players can easily understand and play tournaments because the decisions are more straightforward. However, in cash games, you are more likely to compete with regular and seasoned players. Thus, ring games tend to run deeper than tournaments. In addition, cash games have more rooms to maneuver post-flop and pre-flop. Therefore, it will only lead to decisions that are more complex and making it harder to play cash games.