PokerStars Launches All-In Cash Out Feature at Real Money Table

PokerStars have released an interesting, yet controversial, new feature to real-money games. The All-in Cash Out feature allows players to effectively sell their hand back to the house during all-in situations. It is now available on micro-stakes cash game tables. 

The Stars Group are continually evolving their services and features to offer a greater user experience. PokerStars Casino offers a growing number of unique progressive jackpot slots and live casino games. PokerStars have expanded their selection of games to include fast-paced spin n gos and arcade-like variations of poker, as well as teaming up with the UFC. 

The All-in Cash Out feature was first rolled out without a stir on the .NET platform on play money cash games. In an exclusive interview with PokerFuse, PokerStars’ Director of Poker Products revealed that the feature would likely become available on real money games. That moment has now arrived. All-in Cash Out is now an option for micro limit No-limit Hold ‘em, PL Omaha and 6+ Hold ‘em cash games, including 1c/2c, 2c/5c, 5c/10c. 

The All-in Cash Out becomes an option when two or more players are all-in, with no further action to be taken. At this point, the cards are turned on their backs (like normal), and the players have the option of either running the hand, as usual, or cashing out the equity of their hand. 

For example, if a player has a 70% equity in a $100 pot, they can cash out their equity to avoid the risk of losing it all. Effectively, they are selling their hand back to the house. PokerStars take a 1% cut for providing the ‘insurance’ on the hand, based on the player’s equity. In the above example, the player’s cash out is worth $70 – 70c (1% cut) = $69.30.

Players can opt to cash out for the equity value of their hand during all-in confrontations  

The outcome of the hand is not affected, and both players can decide independently of each other whether they want to cash out. If both players cash out, then they both receive their equity for the hand, minus the 1% fee from PokerStars. If they both decide not to cash out, then the hand runs as usual. 

If one player cashes out and the other decides not to, then this can lead to one of two situations. If the player who cashed out would have won the hand, they do not receive any more money and PokerStars takes the extra equity. If they would have lost the hand, then PokerStars has paid out their equity and takes a hit. In the long run, variance smooths this out so that PokerStars only stands to gain the 1% fee. 

The All-in Cash Out is completely optional. Neither player is ever obliged to cash out, and it’s possible to turn the feature off in the lobby so that it never appears. It has now been confirmed that the new feature will not replace the option to ‘Run It Twice’. Rather, the two features will run parallel to each other. 

The stated purpose of the All-in Cash Out feature is to smooth out the variance for players in much the same way that Run It Twice does. All-in Cash Out is like running the hand an infinite number of times so that the actual equity is yet realised. 

This could change the dynamics of the game. The power of the all-in shove comes from the other player’s fears of going bust. This fear may decrease with the ability to cash out on hands. It could also arguably detract from the excitement that comes from the risk of going broke at any moment that is usually inherent in a poker game. There are sure to be mixed opinions from seasoned players, though the fact that this is optional, and does not affect the outcome of the hand, should help to simmer criticism. 

As of yet, PokerStars have stated that they have no plans to roll out the All-in Cash Out feature in poker tournaments. It is unclear as to whether the cash-out option will be available on higher stakes cash tables in the future.

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