Cash Game Poker Strategy

This article is a must read for anyone who is considering playing regular No Limit Texas Hold’em cash games with a 100 bb stack. Already on our site we’ve discussed the 6-max Poker Strategy so on this page we’re going to focus on a full ring cash game poker strategy.

There are various reasons why cash game poker is so popular among players. One of their main advantages is that you don’t have to dedicate a lot of time to playing them, unlike playing tournaments. But more than this, they can still be a fantastic way to build a poker bankroll.

When it comes to building a bankroll from cash games, unlike playing multi table tournaments where you are looking to make that big score, with cash games it’s all about trying to book those small wins to build your roll at a steady rate. Don’t get me wrong you can still have those winning sessions where if you win 5 buy ins at $1/$2, you have won $1000, but a normal winning session, it would be more typical to win $150, and you wouldn’t be unhappy doing that.

A general strategy guide for cash game poker wouldn’t be complete without talking about cash game poker bankroll management. Since we’ve already gone into length regarding BRM for cash games there’s no point discussing it again, but in a nutshell, a new player would want to start with at least 25 buy ins if not a little more to be on the conservative side.

As a new player, it’s assumed you’re going to have leaks in your game and will make mistakes which cost you a few buy ins, however, by having some cushion in your bankroll, you’re not going to feel the pressure when you do lose a bit of money.

Excluding bankroll considerations, one of the first things that a novice hold’em cash game player will want to familiarize themselves with is the types of starting hands they should play. Like everything in poker, it’s situational dependent, and will include the position on the table, and the type of table you are at. For instance, you can get away with stealing more pots at a tight table, then what would be possible playing in an aggressive game full of tough opponents.

When it comes to starting hand requirements when playing 100 big blinds deep, for the most part, a tight and aggressive approach will be very profitable. One of the bigger leaks in weaker player’s games is that they will be calling with too many hands pre-flop, so by tightening up, you will have them dominated a lot on the flop when you both make a hand.

In addition to playing strong starting hands like big pocket pairs, Ace King, Ace Queen, you’ll also want to play more speculative hands like small pocket pairs, and suited connectors, especially in late position at the table, since you will be able to extract more value and will have more opportunities to use positional bluffs to steal the pot when the other player’s have shown weakness. These speculative hands can make you a lot of money because they can make big hands, although since they fall in the “speculative” category, you want to try to see the flop cheaply. If you are having to call big bets pre-flop, then you’re not getting good implied odds to call with these hands.

One of the big advantages of playing hands like suited connectors and one gap connectors is that a favorable flop will give you a very strong draw that you can bet aggressively even though you don’t already have a made hand. This is referred to as semi-bluffing on the flop whereby even when you get called, you will have “outs” and decent equity to still win the hand. It’s a very powerful weapon to have when you’re playing no limit hold’em cash games.

Finally, in order to be able to play cash game poker at a winning level, you’ll want to have a good grasp of pot odds and expected value. When you have a strong mathematical foundation, it will help to ensure you are making plays that have a positive expectation in the long run.

How can you know if a call you are thinking of making is profitable? Well, by comparing the odds of improving your hand with the direct pot odds you’re getting to make the call, you can say with a great deal of accuracy if it’s the right call to make. The math required to do this isn’t very hard to do, however, where some amateur cash game players get it wrong is they tend to overestimate implied odds. When you are first getting started with cash games, it would be best just considering the direct pot odds.