Cash game poker is among the most popular type of poker. From the weekly nickel and dime game in people’s basement’s to the high stakes tables at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, players belly up to the tables in hopes to be a big winner. In the last 10 years, many people have started to play cash games online. Online cash games vary greatly from those played in a live casino. Knowing some of these differences ahead of time will help you be properly prepared to play cash games online.
The most obvious difference between live poker and cash games online is the fact that you are not actually sitting across from your opponents. Your opponents can literally be from anywhere in the world. It is not uncommon to have a table of nine players from nine different countries. Any physical tells that you may pick up from these players become non-existent and you must rely more on betting patterns and style of play.
This inability to see other players in cash games online can be an advantage and also a curse. The advantage comes as you can mix up everything from your play to your personality. Also, you can set your table to where you are not bothered at all by other players. You can do this by cutting of the chat features. Doing so takes out the personal element, but also allows you to focus on the game more. At the same time, you never know if you are really just playing against one person. Your opponent may be chatting with friends about how to play or may even have players watching the game and giving advice. This is not allowed inside of a casino and makes a big difference online.
Next, another huge difference in playing cash games online is the ability for players to play at more than one table at a time. This is referred to as multi-tabling. In a regular casino, players are not allowed to play in more than one table at a time. The time it takes to move back and forth can make doing this live next to impossible and it ties up seats for other paying customers. In a live casino, there are just not enough tables to even entertain this idea.
However, in cash games online, there are so many tables running at one time that playing at multiple tables is not only allowed, but encouraged. Also, the computer software is setup with multiple empty tables that allow you to sit and play. If all tables are full, just open a new table and play. You do not have to worry about having to find a dealer or having a floor person call a list of players. You can get back to playing poker immediately.
The third most glaring difference in cash games online is the variety of games offered. Casinos cannot realistically afford to offer heads-up games or even six-handed games. The goal of a live casino is to make as much money as they can with the rake. If a game gets short handed for too long, they have to reduce rake and lose money. Also, having specialty games ties up other tables that can make the casino more money with rake.
Online cash games allow for every type of variant of cash game to be spread. If you are a heads-up specialist or prefer playing six-handed, then online cash games will be your bread and butter.
There is one major downside to playing cash games online as opposed to live cash games and that involves cashing out. When you play poker inside of a live casino, you can take your chips up to a cashier cage and they will immediately convert your chips into cash or other chips if that is your preference. That isn’t so online.
When you leave a table in an online cash game, your money goes back into your account. If you want to remove this money, you must put in a request for the money to be sent to you. The transfer is not instantaneous. Many sites will allow bank transfers, but these transfers can take up to 5 business days. If you decide to receive a check, you may be waiting weeks to get your money. If you are a person that uses your online money to pay your living expenses, you better plan for transit time when making withdrawals.
Online poker is more than just a trend or a fad. It is now a way of life in poker. With the games getting larger and larger at both the tournament and cash game levels, the poker world is becoming more virtual by the day. Now is the time to start playing cash games online. Hop aboard now before the virtual poker world passes you by.