This is a common question amongst beginner poker players. When you start playing poker you have tons of options of the different types of games you can play. In the following article I will try and shed some light about my favourite types of poker game, why I think they are great and what I think you should play.
First of all, I will be approaching this from a financial perspective. Many players just play poker for fun, If this is you, play whatever game you want, play what is more fun to you and what you enjoy the most. However, if your approaching this from a money making perspective it will be beneficial to try and find the game that will make you the maximum amount of money.
I am pretty sure I am slightly biased towards cash games because this is how I have predominantly made my living for the past few years. In my opinion cash games have the least amount of variance, provide the largest edge and the most consistent form of income for a winning player.
What I mean by this is that MTT tournaments and Sit N Go’s feature a lot of allin situations which are frequently flips where you don’t control the outcome, of course its possible to gain an edge by playing Sit N Go’s and MTT tournaments but the edge you generally can get is less than in cash games on a per game/per hand basis. Cash game players will frequently have a higher percentage of winning sessions and the income will be a lot more consistent if you are a winning player. However, its definitely possible to make consistent profits in MTT’s and SNG’s, it just requires that you play a huge volume of hands/games.
Its also worth noting the number of successful cash game players who make a lot of money are greater in number than tournament players and Sit N Go players who make similar money. Far more people have the ability to make a lot of money playing cash games than any other form of game.
Finally, the skills you learn in cash games will serve you well in MTT tournaments. If you take all the top cash game specialists in the world they are all great tournament players. If you take some tournament specialists, more often than not they wont be the best cash game players or could lack the skills necessary to beat deepstack cash games.
Tournaments are my second favourite way to make money playing poker. The reason for this is the edge in MTT’s is greater than you will find in Sit n Go’s. Top Sit n Go players will have an ROI of approximately 10% or less. Top MTT players can have ROI’s of greater than 100%. The variance is still greater in MTT’s than cash games but you will find plenty of MTT players online who put in enough volume to overcome this variance.
I honestly believe Sit N Go’s are dying. Fewer and fewer recreational players are playing them. The games are almost solved. And the edge a great Sit N Go player has is minimal at best, especially if he is sitting at another table full of regular players.
That being said, there are still opportunities outside the standard realm of Sit N Go’s. Heads up Sit N Go’s offer a greater edge for experienced players and the newer double or nothing Sit N Go’s seem to be attracting more poor players than the standard 9 man format.
If you go to a site like SharkScope you will see than the top players of the 9 man Sit N Go’s are making a fraction of what the top MTT tournament and cash game professionals make. Because of this, I would advise that you look into another form of game if you want to maximise your profits.
All of the examples in this article were about Texas Holdem games. Because of the influx of training material over the past few years, the games are definitely getting harder. There is a lot less training material about Pot Limit Omaha and several other poker games. For that reason, we would seriously suggest that you look into learning other games apart from Texas Holdem because they provide opportunities to profit which don’t exist now in Holdem games.