Cash Game Strategy
Patience is a virtue
Patience is the first thing any cash game player must think about before sitting down and thinking about the specific strategy of the game. In poker there are so many skills that could help you win money in the game but patience is the top skill for anyone to have to win playing cash games. Tournament poker can rush players as there isn’t unlimited time to make decisions, so players have to make decisions they don’t want to make. Blinds are always going up so you have to make a play regardless because eventually you won’t have any chips left. Cash games are completely different to the as you can sit at a cash game for hours on end before you even play a hand and you won’t lose that much in the process.
Play the odds
If you are sitting at a cash game you always want to put yourself in the best position to win the most money. Take a look at the probabilities section of the website to get some help on how to do this by playing the odds.
Remember with cash games you are not looking for a quick hit and run profit, you are looking for the long term gains. You need the patience to sit and always fold mediocre hands and not get bored. Making the second best hand in a poker game can end up losing you a lot of money.
The basic strategy for cash game play involves playing big pairs such as TT, JJ, QQ, KK, AA and big aces like AJ, AQ and AK. When you get dealt these hands and decide to play make sure you make a decent raise. These raises will make sure that the players that just want to see a cheap flop with mediocre hands will be filtered out a bit. It will give you the control of the table that will help you win.
When there are already a lot of players in the pot before it’s your turn to act you can play suited connectors like JTs, 56s, QKs etc With suited connectors you can make lots of good hands like straights and flushes using both your hole cards. These sorts of hands are required to beat everyone else in the pot with you. Suited connectors will usually mean you are going to be playing drawing hands after the flop. Because you are playing drawing hands the extra players in the pot help you to get the correct odds to call.
Changing your style
Playing in cash games requires a very different style to playing in tournaments.
Keep ahead of the pot
In order for casinos to make money on cash games they “rake” every pot. The rake on pots is usually 5% of the pot up to a maximum amount. In order to keep making profit in poker you have to make sure you can stay ahead of the rake.
Play less hands in cash games
One huge misconception many players have about poker is that you should be playing more hands at a cash table. This is not true at all. There is no strategic reason for you to play more hands in a cash game than you do in a tournament. You should be concentrating on your opponents tendencies, your position and pot odds.
Feed the fish
Good players rarely ever say anything negative about the way their opponents play – why would you want to scare the suckers off the table, or even motivate them to play better against you!
Don’t quit while you are ahead!
The saying “quit while you are ahead” is not for poker players, it is for gamblers who play blackjack and craps and other such games. If you are playing with just pure luck and have zero skill in the game then quitting while you are ahead is a good idea, otherwise why would you quit in a game you have a skill edge.
Don’t let mistakes affect your play!
If you make a mistake at some point in the hand don’t let that affect your decisions later in the hand. Just because you called with a weak hand pre flop, don’t just fold at the nearest opportunity. Every new action in the hand should be properly evaluated at that given moment. Use pot odds to help decisions, if they are in your favour then continue in the hand.