Today, tournaments are ubiquitous and it’s easy to forget that for most of poker history they did not exist. However, the popularity of tournaments did nothing to signal the death knell of cash games. There are more no limit hold’em cash games today than ever.
If tournaments are about prestige, then cash games are where the real money is made. They also train you to play real poker, rather than just move all-in and hope for the best once the blinds are high enough.
Five reasons to play cash games
- Play any time with any number of players (well, up to 6)
- Play as little or as much as you like with no start or end times
- With fastforward , you can speed through a poor hand in an instant
- Play on your terms. You choose how much to take to the table
- Start a game with just $0.60
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Here are a few things to keep in mind when playing Cash Game Poker:
In no-limit Hold’em, you can lose your entire stack in a single hand, so stick with stakes you can handle.
One trick is to divide your bankroll by 20 to find out what you can risk per game. Then divide this by 50 to get the maximum buy-in you should be looking for. For example, if you have $500 in your bankroll, that’s $25 per game, so $0.25/$0.50 is the level for you. Don’t buy-in at anything less than 50 times the big blind, or you’ll be playing defensively with a short stack.
Unlike in tournaments, the blinds remain consistent throughout your cash game play. This means you can afford to be much more patient with your starting hand requirements.
You should endeavor to always have at least 100 big blinds in your stack, if possible. However due to the prevalence of capped games and bankroll limitations, this may not always be an option.
Pay attention to position
Once the stack sizes get big, you need to pay close attention to what hands you can play, based on your position at the table.
Throw away hands like A-J and A-10 if you’re in early position. Take care in the blinds, as you’ll be out of position throughout the hand. In middle and later positions, you can play a bit looser as you’ve got more chance of seeing the other players off and scooping the pot.
In a cash game, you can rebuy or leave the table whenever you want. This means that you must have some bankroll management skills. You must know when to quit and when to keep playing.
You should try to play for as long as you have an edge in skill over your opponents and you are playing well. However, if you have lost more than you were prepared to for the session, you may have to quit. Quitting or playing based on wanting to “get even” or “press a
Play five and six-seater games
You can learn a lot from playing more intense, short-handed games. Here, attitude and position are essential, and feel has a huge part to play. There’s no doubt you’ll need a deeper bankroll for this kind of game and the competition can be tough. But you’ll also learn a lot – and once you’ve got a knack for it you can make more money here than in full-ring games.
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Pot Odds in Cash Game Play
Anytime you play poker, you should be thinking about pot odds. If you have a better chance of winning than the pot the odds are laying you, it’s time to put in your chips.
In a tournament, each decision may represent your survival. As a result, you need much bigger edges. In a cash game that allows you to rebuy, any edge is good enough to put your stack in.
If you feel you have a large skill advantage over your opponents, you may prefer to commit your stack at a time when there is less risk. However, the reality is that as long as your bankroll can manage multiple rebuys, you should be pressing any edge
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