Since the invention of online poker, both tournament and cash game formats have become even more accessible to both the aspiring and poker pros. In poker tournaments, all players start with the same amount of chips and there is an increase in blinds at regular intervals. The goal of the player here is to win chips from all the opponents. When it comes to cash games however, the player’s chips are equivalent to actual dollar amounts and the blinds in this case do not increase.

Below are a few factors that set these two formats apart and will also play a vital role in determining which format is more profitable;



Cash game poker allows the player to decide on how much time they want to commit to the game. This game runs 24/7 and allows a player to come and go as they please with also an advantage of being able to exchange their chips for cash. Tournaments on the other hand start at specific scheduled time with an obligation for all players to register before they participate. The duration of the tournament is also unpredictable as it depends on the number of participants and how long they are able to keep playing. This tournament ends with only one participant emerging as a winner by earning all chips in play and eliminated all other opponents.


Bankroll Management.

Bankroll is basically how much money a player is prepared to spend on a game and this is an essential consideration for players from both formats. A Cash game will require much less bankroll compared to an online porker tournament because of the unbalanced payout schedule. The bankroll of a tournament player will go more often down than up and players need to tread carefully in order to have a good shot at emerging the prize winner. Cash game players are more likely to have it a little easier and yield more success. That being said, the amount of money a cash game will make is expected to be way less than a winner’s share of the tournament game even with the same buy-in amount.



Cash games face less implications of variance and have a much faster turnover according to the poker pros at idn play. It can be more manageable by playing a smaller game and pulling out when things are going towards the wrong direction. Variance however can deprive a tournament player from making profit for over a month and professionals could even look at six months without returns.

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Determining whether online poker tournaments are more profitable than cash games or vice versus ultimately depends on the players preference once they have ventured into both formats and identified where they perform better.