Texas Hold ’em poker is an exciting game that has been made known by the number of tournaments that are constantly aired on television. You can even get to see some good cash games too. Poker tournaments get you a great deal of admiration and honor for your achievements while cash games are played for entertainment and to roll in money. Both the styles have fine differences as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
In a Poker Tournament you buy-in for a precise amount of money and get a definite number of chips to play with, which however, may not coincide with the amount of buy-ins. For instance, you may play for a $5 tournament but you can get chips worth $1500. The main aim in a tournament is to climb up the pay scale and make as much money as possible. It is not only about winning; you can even make good money if you finish near the top of the leader board.
Sometimes in poker tournaments you have to team up with other players in order to eliminate an opponent. You must go for a check down, which is when a player is all in and gets multiple calls and the players who had called will check to the showdown so as to increase the chances of eliminating the all in player. You need to get the players out in order to increase your chances of winning and to go up the pay scale.
Try to eliminate the other players as fast as you can, because the sooner they are out of the game the better will get your chances of winning and earning a good profit. You can never know that the player you helped to survive by not checking down may later hit a card rush and throw you out instead. Another important factor to be kept in mind is your stack size. You need to have full control over your stack of chips because that is all that you have. You must be able to handle risks and play in pots, which you may not generally attempt. All tournament players have to concentrate well on the pot sizes and bet amounts. You have to stay ahead of the blinds in tournaments because they will grow steadily throughout the event. In case the blinds are high and you are losing on chips, you might have to go all in with a weaker hand.
As for cash games, you buy-in for an amount of money, which is the amount that you have for your play. You can top up your money and ascertain that you have enough money when you pick up a monster. Blinds do not go up in cash games, if you are playing for $1/$2, the blinds will remain where they are for the whole game. Neither do you need a check in a cash game; all that you need to do is to make as much money as you can for yourself. Do not bother about what the other players are doing because you do not have to eliminate them either.
A straddle bet in a cash game is basically buying the big blind. The player under the gun gets the first chance at every hand to increase the stakes to play. For instance, while playing $1/$2, the player under the gun can put in $4 before he gets his cards to buy the big blind and is also the last one to act before a flop. The stakes automatically go up for that hand and you will have to put in that straddle amount to call. You can even double straddle, while the next person after the straddle can re-straddle and the chain goes on in a similar fashion. The only motive behind a straddle bet is to bring in more action in to the game as there will be more people in the pot and the regular raises will also increase.
Hand strengths also change when you play for cash because you would want to make monster hands and earn good profits from them. Suited connectors are good hands; you can conceal your hand strength and with a bit of luck stack your opponents. If you happen to get short of money, you can get some more out of your pockets so as to continue your game. Cash games are not time bound nor do they have any specific rules, you can opt to play for as long or as little as you wish to play. The rules can sometimes be a damper during side games.
Although tournaments and cash games have a different strategy yet they are both a part of texas holdem poker. While cash games may not bring you all that fame and admiration but you can play the game for your contentment and also for good plays and winning sessions. The good thing about tournaments is that you know even before you begin to play, how much you will lose, you may play a $10 tournament and the most that you can lose on it is $10. However in cash games, if you have a bad session you are bound to lose a lot of money. Try playing both the forms of Texas Holdem, you will be able to play them both successfully.