The poker rules are easy, straightforward, and fairly consistent as you move from one casino to another. And yet, there are instances where the rules vary, which could lead to you doing something unethical and even illegal. We’ll be discussing one question that pokers’ enthusiasts keep throwing our way, ‘Can I take money off the table?’
Most casinos will not allow you to take cash off the table until after you quit the game. The only circumstance under which you are allowed to take money off a poker table is when you are paying for the casino’s goods and services like drinks.
Like we mentioned earlier, rules vary among casinos, and it’s essential you find out what’s allowed or not. You should ask your dealer about anything you are not sure about.
Everything You Need to Know When Playing with Cash on the Table
Playing poker with cash and chips are totally different. Most casinos today prefer to use chips. However, when you are in a setting where actual cash is in play, there are some things you should keep in mind. And we’ll be discussing them below.
1. Rules vary
Rules about cash for poker games vary among casinos. Some casinos do not allow cash at all, while some allow you to play with literally any cash, down to $1 bills. And there are casinos where you can only play poker with $100. That’ll definitely make things easier.
You’ll have to ask your dealer about the rules of casinos before you try to play with cash.
2. Beware of bills folded up
It’s common to see poker players folding their cash and tucking it under the chips. Sometimes, the money is kept vertical and hidden behind the chip stacks. Either way, the bills are not easily foldable.
When this happens, it’s difficult for others to determine how much the player has in play. Now, some people are doing this without any ill intent. However, some players do this deliberately, so other players can underestimate the amount they have in play.
So should you notice a player having bills under or behind his/her chips, especially in a way that’s not visible to all, politely ask the dealer to arrange the cash properly.
3. Ratholing happens more with cash
Ratholing is when players take money off a table. And by now, you should know that players can’t take money off a poker table unless they are quitting the game. Again, some people aren’t aware of this and innocently pocket a few notes after winning a pot consisting of both cash and chips.
However, some players do this deliberately to lock a profit. Pocketing a couple of notes also seems to be easier than slipping chips off the table. Should you notice, a player taking money off the table, inform the dealer.
4. People bet differently with cash
People tend to bet more conservatively with cash than chips. It’s more of a psychology thing. Chips can tend to be abstract. But holding real cash makes what you are staking more real.
Funny enough, losing chips hurt players less than losing an equivalent amount in cash. We human beings are funny creatures.
5. Dealers may not notice cash
There are times when dealers simply overlook your cash. And this happens more often when you have both cash and chips. If dealers don’t notice your cash, it won’t be included as part of your all-in-one bet.
Can you cash out of a poker game?
Cash-out in poker refers to when you decide to stop playing and have your chips converted to cash. You are free to leave whenever you feel like you’ve had enough poker during a session. And there’s no need for you to wait for a hand to end before leaving. Except you are part of the hand, of course.
While you can just pack your chips and leave, you can be a good sport and say something nice to the remaining players. Lines like “Great game, everyone”, or “Good luck, guys,” are polite and sociable. Try to be a good sport even when things don’t go your way. It’ll make you feel a bit better.
In some casinos, it’s the dealers that will cash out your chips. But it’s more common for players to pick their chips and head to the front desk or the cashier’s cage to convert them to cash.
Just like every other aspect, there’s a strategy to cashing out. Do you cash out every time you have a healthy pile of chips in front of you? Definitely not.
We’ll be discussing a step-to-step about when to cash out of a poker game.
When Should You Leave A Poker Table
The end of every poker session, whether in a casino or online, comes with the inevitable question of when to leave the poker table. Poker is a game that requires you to make the right decisions, and one of such decisions is to know when to leave and when to keep playing.
Since you cannot control the results at the end of each poker session, you should leave the table when you’ve played the number of sessions or hands you planned to play.
Plan Your Poker Session
It’s important you set a specific length of time or number of hands you will play beforehand. Now, there’s no rule about the length of time you should play, but you have to consider how long you can stay focused and motivated.
Some players prefer to set time limits and keep sessions short to keep their minds fresh to play to the best of their abilities. It’s challenging to keep track of the number of hands you’ve played when in a casino. It’ll be easier to use a time limit.
Never Leave a Really Good Game
You should always stick to your plans except on one occasion. And that’s when you have a really good game.
Not just a good game, a perfect one. And how do you have an excellent game? It happens when you are on a table with someone who’s on tilt and has been losing.
So when you encounter someone who’s a beginner or just having a bad streak, you’ll do well to take advantage of the situation. However, if you notice the tides changing against you, be sure to pack your chips and cash out.
Leave Your Poker Session if you are on Tilt
You should absolutely stop playing when you are on a tilt. And this happens when you are confused or really emotional after a streak of bad games. You start playing based on your emotions and take more risks.
Many players try to recoup all their losses, usually leads to the player losing more games. If you notice you are playing more hands than normal preflop, having a hopeless feeling of being beat in every hand, or making bad calls on the river when you know you should fold, then you are on a tilt.
Leave the game immediately! Don’t try to play through a tilt.
In my poker career, I had quite some situations where I was definitely on tilt. I refused to stop playing after being down and running bad. Every time that I continued playing while on tilt I lost a few buyins more, not once was I able to win back some of my losses.
Leaving The Poker Table For A Break
Most new poker players aren’t sure if they can leave the table for a break. They may want to use the restroom, get some fresh air, get something to eat, etc.
The casino knows how important it is for players to have a break and thus allow them to leave the table. You can leave the table when you are not part of a hand and do whatever you want.
The game continues without you. There is a limit to how long you can leave the table. For most casinos, it’s usually between 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you are gone for longer than that, you may see someone else occupying your seat.
Well, there is no need for you to worry. The casino staff will have carefully collected, counted, and bagged your chips. About three staff members will verify the value of your chips before bagging them. So you don’t have to worry about the casino cheating you. You’ll be added to a waiting list, and upon your return, you’ll be placed on the next available seat in the poker room.