Experienced poker players know that they shouldn’t sit in on a poker game if they don’t have adequate time to play. The length of a poker game can vary significantly, depending on which format you’re trying to play.
Let’s take a look at a few guidelines on how long it takes to play a game of poker.
How Long Does a Game of Poker Take?
A game of poker can take anywhere from a few minutes to several days, depending on the format. Multi-table tournaments can vary widely in length, so it’s important to know what kind of timeframe you’re looking at before you sign up for a tournament.
Cash games, on the other hand, allow players to come and go as they please. Live cash games can take a while to get into, however, as you’ll often have to wait for a seat to become available.
How Long Does a Poker Tournament Take?
Knowing the length of time you’ll need to go the distance in a tournament is crucial to success. You don’t want to register for a tournament and find that you don’t have time to outlast the field and win the event.
One-day online tournaments can take anywhere from 4-10 hours to complete, depending on the structure, starting chip stack, and the size of the field. Tournaments with turbo structures finish more quickly (4-6 hours) than tournaments with traditional or slow structures (8-10 hours).
An average daily tournament at a casino usually takes 2-6 hours to finish, again depending on player turnout structure, and the number of starting chips.
Major tournaments, like World Series of Poker events, can take anywhere from 2-5 days. Most major tournaments play around 12 hours of poker per day, and length of the tournament in days should always be made clear to players.
The WSOP Main Event plays out each year as one of the longest poker tournaments in the world. The winner of each year’s $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship must traverse through nine days of tournament play.
How Long Does a Cash Game Take?
Poker cash games are fluid, as you can enter and exit a game anytime you wish. Online cash games generally offer open seats at most times at lower stakes, while you might have to wait for a seat as the stakes get higher.
Live poker cash games can involve a bit of waiting for a seat to open. When you ask for a seat in a live poker cash game, you’ll often be placed on a waitlist, and that wait can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.
Calling into a poker room to get your name on the cash game waitlist is always a good move. Some casino poker rooms don’t allow call-ins, but if they do you should use that to your full advantage.