The beauty of Cap games

ps_news_thn.jpgToday, PokerStars unveils its newest offering: 20 BB Cap tables for no-limit hold 'em (NLHE) ring games. Even if ring games aren't usually your thing, you should check them out, because Cap games offer a little something for everyone.

In a 20 BB Cap game, players are restricted to wagering no more than twenty times the Big Blind in any given hand. Once he reaches the cap, a player is treated as all-in regardless of how much money he has left in front of him. For example, in a $.50/$1 NLHE Cap game, if two players get into a re-raising war pre-flop, the action will stop once $20 goes into the pot. There will be no more wagering, and the flop, turn, and river will be dealt in quick succession just as they would be if the players were all-in.

Cap games don't just limit your losses; they also limit the number of decision you'll have to make in a hand. When two players contest a pot, they usually end up getting all-in pre-flop or on the flop. Such a game can appeal to a variety of players for a variety of reasons:

Transition From Tournaments- Cap games are a great way for players who usually play tournament poker to get started in ring games. There are no antes and the blinds never increase, but the stack sizes resemble those commonly found in the mid- to late-stages of a poker tournament. This means that the strategies and decisions will be familiar to tournament specialists, giving them the opportunity to get their feet wet in ring game poker.

Wrapping Up a Session- Cap games can also appeal to tournament players because they are similar to tournaments without the time commitment. If you are a tournament player who likes to play multiple tables at once, you will often run into a dilemma where you are winding down a session but still alive in just one or two of your tournaments. You'd like to play more tables but don't want to start any new tournaments. Cap games provide tournament-style action with the flexibility of ring games. The decisions will be familiar, but you'll have the flexibility to quit any time you finish up your tournaments.

Moving Up in Stakes- Perhaps you've been doing well in the $.25/$.50 NLHE games and would like to try your hand at $.50/$1.00, but you aren't sure you have the bankroll (or the stomach) to put $100 at risk on a single hand. Cap games limit your potential losses while you get used to new players and stakes.

Gamboooooool!- Sometimes you are just in the mood to get a little crazy and gamble it up. Scratching that itch in a deep-stacked cash game can be expensive and frustrating, as other players may not be willing to splash around with you unless they are big favorites. Cap games offer a more satisfying venue for blowing off steam. Anybody has a shot at winning when all the money goes in pre-flop, and your opponents will be forced to mix it up with you.

No matter what your usual game, Cap games can fill a niche in your schedule. So give them a try some time. After all, what have you got to lose? No more than 20 BBs!

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Andrew Brokos
@PokerStars in Team PokerStars Online