Those who love action and adrenaline usually jump right into playing cash games. These cash games offer the chance to show your skills and leave the table with a significant cash prize.
Unlike tournaments, where you play with points and not money, the action can happen much faster, depending on the type of game and the additional factors that may exist in the game, such as the multipliers of some SNG games, which give a plus of rhythm to a game that is already well served with action.
If you have never played a cash poker game, or have tried and ended up losing, it’s time to change that. Read on, because we’re going to give you some tips to help you win at poker in any cash game you play.
Texas Hold’em Cash Game Strategies
- Action always rules. Cash games are action-packed, fast-paced games. Mathematics and probabilities still have a lot of weight, but they are games in which the action is always the baton that governs the pace of the game. In addition, in shorthanded games with few players, decision making must be very agile, so you will have to find a balance between developing your mathematical concepts and apply them to the situation at the table, or take risks and raise the pace to catch your opponent off guard.
- Focus the game. Cash games are not games where you have to fight with more than one player at a time. Choose who might be likely to be defeated by your game or strategy, observe how they play and if you detect tells or patterns in their game. To identify the “villain”, the “pro”, and other types of players, you have to know how to read the game well, basic to create an effective strategy. If you don’t know how to read the table, that table is not for you.
- Follow the same criteria to choose the tables. To have any chance of winning in a poker cash game, you have to choose well the table where you are going to play. You should always keep the same criteria to avoid taking unnecessary risks at tables that are not suitable for your level or that do not adapt to your bankroll.
- Always keep your position. In cash games, playing IP is everything. It makes all the difference when creating strategies, and you will soon realize that playing out of position (OOP) leads nowhere. And don’t forget that you will have to compensate your hand range (the adjustment will have to be higher the further away you are from the button) to compensate precisely for the lack of position.
- Always have your bankroll under control. If you don’t have control of your bankroll, everything will go down the drain in a bad game. You have to keep an eye on it at all times to avoid getting fleeced, forcing you to fold. Experience makes any poker player learn to control his bankroll, but in slower paced games it can be easier than in cash games where the action is more unbridled.
- Tend to play aggressive very often. Cash game play has to be aggressive. There is no room for half measures here, and you will have to be forceful every time it is your turn to speak. However, try not to overact. It is very easy to catch a player who does not know how to play or who is going desperate when he goes too far and his aggressive play stops making sense. Something that, like everything in poker, is learned through practice.
Basic aspects of the game in poker cash games
Any strategy in a poker cash game has to be based, first of all, on profitability. Obviously, if a bet is not profitable, it will cost us money to play, something that does not suit us.
To know if a bet is profitable or not, we will have to know if we are offered more money per euro bet than the odds of the play. If this is not fulfilled, we will end up losing money to stay in the game, so we should stay out.
In cash games, the inverse implied odds have a lot to say. In those hands that leave us in a risky situation and that offer us more guarantees of defeat than success, they can be very useful. But be careful: mastering implied odds requires level. If you don’t have it, you should approach the game in a simpler way, or play in lower-level tables to avoid losing your stack.
Preflop and flop reads are essential in cash games. They always are, but in cash games they are even more so. Why? Because the preflop will define our style of play, and the flop will confirm the tone of our hand.
If we go for a project preflop and we are too aggressive on the flop, we will have a very difficult time on the turn and river because we will have exposed our game, probably reinforced by several tells that have already given us away. In other words: being too clear on the flop will compromise us. It is in our best interest to play by stealth or, at least, not to x-ray our game whenever possible.
This brings us to another important conclusion: in cash games, everything depends on the perception you generate. This will define the game of others, which will influence how easy you can have it to get to the river with a chance of winning. That’s why keeping your preflop game opaque is basic.