Full Ring Game Poker
In poker, a ring game, is a cash game where there are more than six players seated on a table. Typically, 9 to 10 players are seated in a full ring poker game and when players get eliminated one by one to reduce to six or less in numbers, it is called a shorthanded table.
Full ring poker games witness a diverse range of playing styles due to the larger number of players on a table. As such, players tend to play more conservatively due to the increased possibility of stronger hands amongst opponents.
Due to the greater number of players involved, full ring cash games also run at a slower pace than shorthanded games. A greater number of players means more time taken to act in a hand, thus leading to a more careful and deliberate game.
Origin of Full Ring Game Poker
The key term, “Full Ring” doesn’t carry any historical significance, but it became popular as poker players began to distinguish poker games with greater and lesser number of players present on a table. Those with fewer players were commonly referred to as shorthanded or 6-Max games. Then there are heads-up games as well that consist of no more than two players going against each another.
In traditional live casino setups, poker tables were typically designed and crafted to accommodate nine to ten players, thereby giving rise to the term “Full Ring”.
Key Features of Full Ring Poker Games
Full Ring Poker games carry a bunch of features that set them apart from shorthanded 6 Max games which in turn influences a player’s style and game strategy. Let’s figure them out to understand them better.
Number of Players
This is a key feature that you are well aware of by now. Full Ring poker games often feature no less than 8 players on a table, whether you play live in a casino or in an online poker app such as ours. This is in strong contrast to 6 Max games that feature no more than 6 players on a single table.
Number of Positions
Due to the increased number of players, the number of positions also increase. These positions are tagged as follows:
- Small Blind (SB): The player to the dealer’s immediate posts the smaller of the two forced bets, called the small blind, before the start of each hand.
- Big Blind (BB): The player to the left of the small blind, posts the larger of the two forced bets, called the Big Blind. The big blind also acts last in the first betting round.
- Under the Gun (UTG): The player seated immediately to the left of the big blind is called Under the Gun (UTG). This is one of the earliest positions that always act first after the blinds in the betting rounds.
- UTG+1, UTG+2 These are the players seated to the left of the "Under the Gun" player. These players are also positioned early in the betting order.
- Middle Position (MP): These are the players seated between the early positions and the later positions. MP players enjoy more information about those who acted earlier, but they lack information about those who’s going to act later than them.
- Cutoff (CO): The player seated to the right of the dealer button is the Cut-off. This is a favourable position as here you have more information about your opponents who acted earlier than you.
- Button: The player in the dealer position is always marked by the dealer button. The button is the most advantageous position of all as you have maximum information and get to act last in all post-flop betting rounds.
A greater number of players often make it challenging to predict your opponent’s moves as there are different personalities in play at once, not to mention the increased number of positions on the table. This affects your positional play significantly and brings in more complexities compared to 6-max games.
This diversity can make it challenging to predict your opponents' moves, as there are more potential strategies in play. The table dynamics in a full ring cash game can therefore be more complex compared to a short-handed game. You must observe your opponents acutely to make highly informed decisions.
In 6 max or shorthand poker games, you will face a greater number of difficult scenarios due to the increased pressure of blinds and being in early positions often. This pushes you to do better in order to survive and succeed.
Conversely, the learning curve for honing your poker skills in full ring poker games is gradual. In this format, you gain more time to acclimate yourself to the game without the imminent pressure of the blinds and aggression from your opponents. This is often why experienced players often prefer shorthanded games to full ring settings.
Positional strategy is critically important in full ring poker games. It has a visible impact on the decisions you make throughout a hand. For instance, you have informational advantage over your opponents and more bluffing opportunities. You can value bet and extract maximum value from your strong hands.
Being in late position also helps you avoid difficult decisions by observing how early opponents reacted before deciding your own course of action. Positional strategy also includes stealing blinds from late positions by raising from the cutoff or button and winning blinds without much fight.
Perhaps, the best positional strategy in full ring poker games is the flexibility you enjoy adapting to the changing dynamics of the table. You can tighten or loosen up your game depending on the nature of play in action.
Full Ring Games vs Shorthanded Poker Games
The choice between shorthanded or full ring poker games depends on your personal preferences. Factors such as playing pace, style and the level of action you desire determine which games you should go for.
Some players enjoy fast-paced shorthanded games associated with increased pressure and aggression. Others may prefer more gradual paced full ring cash games due to their larger player field and no heightened pressure of the numerous blinds.
How to Play Poker Ring Games?
Here are the steps to play Full Ring Game Poker games, The betting rounds and actions are like standard games of Poker. Here’s an overview.
Join a table by buying a stack of chips for a specific amount of money. The amount you buy-in for determines the size of your stack.
Blinds and Antes
In most ring games, there are blinds (mandatory bets) that players must post. The player to the left of the dealer posts the small blind, and the player to their left posts the big blind.
If you choose to play Texas Hold’em, the dealer shall distribute two private cards to each player face-down (hole cards) in games like Texas Hold'em.
The game begins with the player to the left of the big blind. Each player has the option to fold, call (match the current bet), or raise (increase the bet). Betting proceeds clockwise until all players have either folded or called the highest bet.
In games like Texas Hold'em and Omaha, community cards are revealed on the table in three stages: the flop (three cards), the turn (one card), and the river (one card). These community cards are shared by all players and can be used in combination with their hole cards to form the best possible hand.
After each round of community cards is revealed, if there are two or more players remaining after the final betting round, a showdown occurs. Players reveal their hole cards, and the player with the best hand (or the last remaining player if all others have folded) wins the pot.
The game continues with the next hand, and players can choose to buy more chips if they run out or leave the game with their winnings at any time.
Ring Poker Game Rules
Under rules to play ring game poker, players are obliged to purchase buy-in chips to get a seat in the match. Ring poker is a real money tash game and every game has a maximum and minimum buy-in limit that the players must adhere to for participating in the game.
Also, there is no limitation on the number of rebuy chips you can purchase to be in the game. While playing for non-cash tournaments, players who lose all their chips had to leave the game, which is definitely not the case in poker cash games.
Tips and Strategies to Win at Poker Ring Game Tables
Good understanding of rules to play full Ring game poker
As beginners, players must have a strong understanding of the basic poker rules, this will help them make exclusive full ring game poker strategy and devise strategies to win at ring game tables. A player must know the number of chips to be bought, the opponent's betting tendencies, devising positional strategy and adapting to changing table dynamics.
Starting Hand Selection
In early positions, play strong and premium hands that carry higher chances of winning. As you move toward late positions, you can broaden your range to include more speculative hands and take adavantage of the information you have on your opponents who acter earlier.
Be Aware of Position
Always keep in mind your position. Being in a later position gives you the strategic advantage of having more information. Use this information to be more aggressive when in late positions.
Pay attention to the personalities and playing styles of your opponents. As discussed earlier, more players invite a greater diversity of playing styles. Adjust your strategy based on whether your opponents play tight, loose, aggressive, or passive.
Avoid Multiway Pots
With more players, you are more likely to face multiple opponents in a hand. Avoid getting involved in large multiway pots with weak hands. Instead, choose to play hands that carry the potential to dominate your opponents.
Be mindful of your position in post-flop play. Utilize the informational advantage from late positions in post-flop play to make more informed decisions. Feel free to control the size of the pot and extract maximum value from your strong hands.
Exercise Discipline and Patience
Full ring poker games can be slower in action, do not be impatient and get impulsive. Avoid the temptation to play too many hands, especially from early positions. Be disciplined and wait patiently for more favourable situations.
Reviewing your game
A skilled poker player always goes back and revisits their last played game to understand the hits and the misses and fix those leaks. It is one of the most crucial full ring game poker strategies that players need to follow if they want to improve their poker game.
Ring Poker Game- FAQs
A ring game is essentially any cash game of poker that is played by a certain number of players at the table with the use of chips. These chips represent the value of real money that can be used to play different rounds in a poker cash game and win instant cash. It follows the general rules of cash games wherein players can come and play and leave the table as they wish.
You play ring poker like another other cash game of poker. You simply need to buy chips that will represent real money that you shall use to play the betting rounds in the game. The rules of the game are the same as any game of poker. Like any cash game, you can sit and exit the table whenever you want. There is no entry or exit time in full ring poker games.