Texas Hold’em – types of games

Although rules in Texas Hold’em remain the same, you can play it in many ways, and the type of the game influences the strategy and tactics. Let’s have a look at the most popular types of games in this variant of poker.

It is possible to play Texas Hold’em in two ways: cash game, ring game and tournament, tourney.

Cash game

Cash game is nothing but the game with fixed and permanent blinds. The major difference between the cash game and tournament is possibility of joining the cash game and leaving it at any moment.

Choosing the table, you need to pay attention to several parameters: type of limits (tables with low and fixed limit, pot limit tables, and no-limit tables), value of blinds and maximum number of players at the table (shorthanded tables, that is 5-6 persons max, and full-ring, that is up to 10 persons).


Tournament is the game in which beginning and end of the game applies to every player. Each of them contributes to the game with the fixed amount that allows them to enter the tournament. The total of contributions forms the pot which is then divided as per established rules of the game (as a rule the leaders share the amount on a percent basis).

The tournament starts at a fixed time and every player holds chips of the same value. The purpose of each player is to eliminate opponents and collect as many chips as possible in the course of the tournament. Most tournaments end when the last player is left by the table – the tournament winner.

The player who loses all chips gets out of the game and holds a specific position in the tournament ranking list. If this position is high enough, the player enters the so-called money (paid slot group) and receives a cash reward.

A distinctive feature that makes tournaments different than cash games is blinds which grow as the game progresses. It forces players to be more active and eliminates those who have few chips left.

Tournaments can be divided into the following groups:

single table tournaments (also referred to as Sit’n Go) –  tournaments which take place at one table. Similar to cash games, there are the following tournaments:

heads-up – one-per-one duels (the reward is the opponent’s entry contribution)

shorthanded (for 5 players)

single tournament (for 10 players)

Single tournaments always start when all required players join the table.

Multi-table tournaments – multiple table tournaments for a bigger number of players usually start at a previously arranged time. The number of tables depends on the number of players registered in the tournament and drops as subsequent players get eliminated. During the multi-table tournament, players are often relocated to subsequent tables so that the similar number of players is kept at each table.

The group of multi-table tournaments includes a few kinds of special tournaments. These are the following:

– freerolls – free tournaments (players do not make any contributions) in which organizers sponsor rewards for winners. For beginners, freeroll is a great opportunity to get familiar with the nature of tournaments, yet you need to remember that they are highly popular with online players. In effect you have to pay attention to registering time rather than tournament kickoff time!

satellites – tournaments whose primary reward is a right to take part in the higher-rank tournament (as a rule with a higher entry contribution). It often happens that large prestigious tournaments require a series of qualifications through several-level satellite tournaments, e.g. daily satellites giving a right to participate in the weekly satellite in which winning grants a right to take part in the monthly satellite final.

What to choose?

Cash game or tournament? It is a hard decision which novice poker players need to face. The answer is simple – try both to see which suits you best.

The unquestionable advantage of cash games is limitless nature of the game – you can enter the table, join several deals and finish the game if you have some other duties. If you opt for a tournament, you are obligated to spend more time (getting to the final in the single-table tournament requires about 40-50 minutes with rising blinds and high position in the game out of a few hundred participants may force you to spend a few hours in the game).

Taking part in tournaments in turn means increased comfort in terms of managing funds intended for the game: you instantly know how much you can lose (entry contribution), you are also familiar with potential rewards.

Do you feel that you already know what will entertain you more? See the website for more details!