Host Cash Games
Cash Game: Any non-tournament poker game is a considered a cash game. In a tournament players pay one fee (the rebuy) and risk only that much regardless of how much chips they lose. In contrast in a cash game, players play with cash (mostly in form of chips) and there is no limit to how much they can lose.
A cash poker game is also called a “ring” game.
Following are some of cash poker games rules and characteristics:
- Poker chips in front of players have their real value. So a $5 chip is worth 5 dollars. In a tournament a $5 chip is not necessarily worth 5 dollars as every player gets a certain equal amount of chips in the beginning of the game.
- In a cash game players can rebuy and add-on chips as many times as they want. However based on the table blind, there are usually caps on how much chips a player can buy. For example in a typical $1/$2 NL game players are not allowed to rebuy for more than $200 each time. (therefore the only way to have more than $200 chips in front of them, is to win hands)
- There is usually a minimum buy in and maximum buy in based on the blinds. A good rule of thumb is to have the minimum set at 40 times the small blind and the maximum is 100 times the big blind. For example a typical $1/$2 NL has a minimum buy in of $40 and maximum buy in of $200.
- Players don’t have to start with an equal amount of chips.
- Players don’t have to start at the same time. Any player can join and leave at any time. For example a player can win a large hand and leave the table right away. To make the game more friendly the house rules can state that a player has to call half an hour before leaving.
- Blinds are fixed. So if a game is started with $1/$2 blinds it will stay like that the rest of the game. There are two exceptions to this:
- When players decide to raise the stakes toward the end of the night.
- When the game is a “kill” game. In short, a game is a kill game when a players wins two hands in a row. The following hand would be considered a “kill hand” and the blinds would double only for that hand.
- • If the winning player keeps winning the blind doesn’t quadruple. It will simply stay at double.
- • A game can also have a “half kill” instead of a “full kill”. A “half kill” means that given the “kill” conditions the blinds should be multiplied by 1.5 instead of 2.
Hosting A Cash/Ring Poker Game:
- Cash games usually have more cash involved. It is important to keep track of every buy-in and add-on of the players. Also keep the cash somewhere safe.
- Count players money in front of them at the table before you.
- Ask the players to count the new chips immediately after you give it to them to confirm that it is the correct amount.
- It’s always a good to have a log book noting buy-in and add-ons for every player. This comes handy from time to time. You don’t have to record each player’s name; a simple number or character is enough to represent each player.
- Keep strict house rules Ask the players to follow them and enforce it when they come up. This will make the game much more organized and make the players happy in the long run. Players might complain about certain rules, but once they see you enforce it for everybody they’ll consider it fair.
- The host can take rake from the poker game to pay for hosting costs and to make some extra money on the side. This is illegal in most of U.S. states. So check your state laws before doing so.
- Having a dedicated dealer at the game makes a lot of difference. The game goes by much faster and is managed much better. The dealer will make some money from the tips he/she gets during the game.