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Cash Plays

The Poker Rule of Cash Plays

by Jesse Knight
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Cash Plays
Cash plays
1. A rule that states that players are not required to buy chips; that bills of a certain denomination will play.
2. A statement made by the dealer indicating that a player is buying in and will be allowed to play until their chips arrive.


In some poker games, bills of certain denominations will be allowed to play, while in other games it may be required that they be converted into chips. Sometimes it is a club policy to either allow or disallow cash to play in all games. More commonly, cash is only allowed in middle and/or high limit games. Often, the only form of cash allowed in these games is hundred dollar bills. The “chips only” rule for smaller games, and the “no small bills” rule for bigger games are there for efficiency reasons.

Sometimes, in a game where cash does not play, chips may not be immediately available when a player tries to purchase them. This is because it may take a few hands for the chip runner to arrive with fresh chips. When this happens, the dealer will announce that “cash plays.” This means that the player who is purchasing chips will be dealt in until the chip runner arrives. This declaration is intended to clear up in advance any confusion over when or how much the player is buying in for. Typically, once the cash is announced it is allowed to play. Until the chips arrive, the dealer will keep track of the bets the player owes by placing an equivalent stack of chips (from the pot) in front of the player without chips. When the chips arrive, the player will be required to match this stack and pay out any owed bets.

Usage: Does Cash Play Here?

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