Players may freely buy into or cash out of a ring game between hands. However, it is normally prohibited for a player to remove a portion of his or her chips from the table. This is known as "going south" or "rat-holing". For example, if a player buys in for $100, then wins $100 (for a total stack of $200), the player may not remove the original $100 buy-in while remaining seated. He would have to forfeit his seat, possibly wait to rejoin the game, and buy in again for $100. Similarly, ring games are played for table stakes. If, in the middle of a hand, a hand in which a player is still involved, a player attempts to put additional money onto the table (from his/her wallet), he may not do so until the conclusion of the current hand.
Tournaments and ring games have different basic strategies. One difference between tournaments and cash games is that the blind/ante structure of tournaments increases periodically over the course of the tournament, whereas the blind/ante structure of cash games remains constant. Another difference between the tournaments and cash games is that a tournament sticks with a predetermined style of poker, and cash game players, depending on house rules, may have the option of playing other types of card games. Some online cash games offer a variety of choices limited only by the game software.
Other differences between ring games and tournament poker are that, in ring games sometimes straddles and chops are allowed. A live straddle is a dark bet of two big blinds by the player first to act, who is then entitled to bet again if the bet is not raised. A chop is an agreement between the players in the blinds to retract their blind bets if no one else has bet. A chop prevents the casino from taking a rake from the pot.
In "no limit" poker ring games, some cardrooms have a maximum buy-in for ring games that prevents players from buying a chip stack size advantage. In limit poker games, there is seldom a maximum buy-in because betting limits on each hand already limit the advantage of having a larger chip stack.
In a casino, a rake is usually taken from a pot if a flop is shown and the pot reaches certain dollar values. Some games take a time rake instead of a pot rake. In these games players pay a seat charge every half hour.
An example of a ring game is broadcast on the United States television network GSN as High Stakes Poker. The Bellagio casino's "Big Game" is a famous high-stakes permanent ring game, featuring a wide variety of rotating poker games with and without limits, and a minimum buy-in of $80,000.
Wipo Publishes Patent of Astsuhi Inoue, Shoki Kogure and Konami Gaming for "Lottery Ring, Lottery Ring Unit with Lottery Ring, Game Machine with Lottery Ring Unit, Control Method of Controlling Computer Used in Game Machine and Computer Program" (Japanese Inventors)
Sep 30, 2013; GENEVA, Sept. 30 -- Publication No. WO/2013/141841 was published on Sept. 26.Title of the invention: "LOTTERY RING, LOTTERY RING...