Receive equity in the hand immediately
PokerStars launched the new All-in Cash Out feature for real money on the .com, .eu, .uk, and .be software clients this week.
The cash game addition had been live on the play money .net client for a couple of weeks while PokerStars tested it. The new feature is only available at $0.01/$0.02, $0.02/$0.05, and $0.05/$0.10 micro-stakes tables.
When there is an all-in and a call with no other action pending in the hand, All-in Cash Out allows players to lock in a payout without going to showdown. Players who select the All-in Cash Out option during a hand will win an amount equal to their equity in the pot at the time of the all-in.
How All-in Cash Out works
At the point in the hand when all decisions have been made and someone is all-in with a call, the players remaining are presented with two buttons: Resume Hand and Cash Out. Each player’s probability of winning is also displayed.
Using an example with two players, if both players choose to Resume, the hand continues as normal. The rest of the board cards are dealt and a winner is determined.
If both players choose to Cash Out, PokerStars pays each of them an amount equal to their win probability multiplied by the pot size. PokerStars also takes a 1% fee from each player’s payout (not 1% from the pot).
Things are a little more complicated if one player clicks the Cash Out button and the other clicks Resume.
Adjusting the above scenario, if only Player A cashes out, he is paid $5.94 by PokerStars and is done. He has no more opportunity to win the hand. Player B has elected to continue, though, so the community cards are dealt.
If Player B wins the hand, he wins the pot, just as he normally would. In this case, PokerStars actually loses money because it paid Player A $5.94 and Player B scooped the pot. All PokerStars gets is the standard rake (which we are not factoring in for simplicity).
If Player A wins the hand, he cannot get the pot because he opted to cash out. PokerStars then takes the pot because Player B lost. In this situation, PokerStars profits much more than normal, as the poker room receives the $10 pot while paying Player A the $5.94 cash out.
PokerStars says game remains fair
Players have expressed concerns about All-in Cash Out turning poker into a game in which they are effectively competing against the house in certain instances.
PokerStars has addressed players’ fears that there could be a conflict of interest. Calling it “a very serious subject” in a blog post, PokerStars said:
Would PokerStars manipulate the cards in order to get the result that is most beneficial to us? Absolutely not.”
The poker room continued: “In no way whatsoever will PokerStars manipulate the dealing of any cards. The only way that PokerStars will make any direct revenue from this feature is through the 1% surcharge. While PokerStars will take the pot in hands where a player has Cashed Out but then goes on to win the hand, overall the number of pots won and lost will balance out according to Expected Value (EV).”
While the All-in Cash Out feature will be active on all micro-stakes No-Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, and 6+ Hold’em cash game tables, it is optional for every player. Nobody is required to use it. Players who do not wish to even see the All-in Cash Out buttons can disable them using the software’s settings.