PokerStars is testing another new feature that could make its cash games more exciting and protect players from bad beats.
Initially spotted by Poker Industry Pro but now a talking point online, All-In Cash Out brings insurance payments to the site.
Currently being trialed on PokerStars’ play money tables, the optional extra allows players to take the equity of their hand before during all-in showdown.
New Home for Classic Concept
Although insurance is nothing new in poker, it’s a novel concept for online operators. Back in 2012, a third-party site known as InsuredPlay aimed to provide some form of protection for cash game players.
However, a series of internal issues caused the site to close after just 16 months. While that innovation died, the desire to protect hands against bad luck hasn’t.
Picking up on this, PokerStars is looking to replace run it twice with All-In Cash Out.
The final version of the feature could look different to what’s being tested now. However, the main premise will remain the same.
When an all-in player opts to “cash out” their equity, PokerStars covers the cost. As the insurer, the house charges a fee equal to 1 percent of the player’s all-in equity.
For example, if the player moves in and has 70% equity and the pot is $100, they would be entitled to $70.
When you factor in the house fee, (1 percent of $70 = $0.70), the player can bank $69.30 regardless of how the hand plays out.
If a player opts to use insurance and wins the hand, PokerStars takes the proceeds from the pot. If a player wins the hand without insurance, they scoop the money in the middle as they normally would.
PokerStars Working to Generate More Action
Discussing the potential impact of All-In Cash Out, forum users believe it will generate more action. With the ability to protect against bad beats, players may be more likely to move all-in.
The counter to this is that it can reduce win rates due to the 1 percent fee for taking insurance.
What’s most interesting about the latest update is that it’s part of an emerging culture of protection and transparency. Prior to details of PokerStars’ All-In Cash Out coming to light, the GGNetwork introduced bubble protection.
Described as an industry first, the feature automatically reimburses a player’s buy-in if they finish on the bubble.
All-In Cash Out offers a similar level of cover but for cash games. If it proves popular, it could inspire a new trend within the online poker industry.
For the best part of the last decade, operators have been thinking up ways to attract new players. By offering some form of protection, they may now have a hook that brings more novices into the mix.