Even though I spend a lot of time talking about tournament/Sit n Go strategy for players who are interested in that format, I do get a lot of questions about cash games. Tournament play is becoming more and more popular in online poker, but many players still enjoy/prefer to play in cash ring games. If you spend much time on Full Tilt or PokerStars, for example, you will find, in short order, a cash game that fits pretty much any budget. Micro Limit games with $.10-$.20 blinds or large games with $100 on up blinds, there is a game for you.
Recently I was asked by a player, if I had to give one piece of advice when it comes to playing cash ring games, what would it be? Obviously we could examine the subject at great length in a number of different ways, but oddly enough, there is, I think, one piece of advice that would benefit many players if they would just take it: play tight!
Sounds simple, right? Yes, just tighen up, wait for good cards, and you will make money. Yeah, right, you say?
Well, I have some news for you, cash ring games online when boiled down to a basic strategy can really be that simple. The one exception might be if you are playing at a high enough dollar level to encounter some real players. If you do that, you are going to have to come up with some creative moves to keep these players from steam-rolling all over you. However, if you are playing, $1-2, $10-$20 ,etc, etc, tightening up your play will make the difference between showing a profit and losing your money.
How can it be that simple? Well, what it really comes down to is the number of fish that you will find playing online. You can sit down at a table any time on Full Tilt and find yourself surrrounded by players who consider A-4 off suit to be a great starting hand.
You will find players that don’t know how to bet, bluff too much, call stations who will give up money all the way through the River chasing a draw that will not even win the hand. You will find players that tilt easily. You will find players that cannot get away from A-K even when nothing hits on the flop. Your will find players that never notice flush and straight draws. Most of the time, these players are novice players that want action, and they will play pretty much any two cards to get it.
I would venture to say that you can show a profit just by playing against players who will play a “bad” Ace all the way through the River when and Ace comes on the board. Just by playing a “good” Ace, you can beat up on these players on a consistent basis. The same thing applies to any “paint” cards. If you are playing K-Q and a K or Q hits, very many times you will find yourself up against some moron playing K-4 who just can’t get away from it when that K pairs up. Kicker, kicker, kicker, kicker.
If you are playing good cards, other will not be many times. The internet is just filled with loose players who live to see if they can draw out a hand. Yes, it will irritate you when they suck out on you, and it will be frustrating when that rag pairs up, but just remember, the odds are in your favor. Being patient and tightening up your play is a great way to start improving your cash game strategy, and in most cases, it can be all it takes to make you a success.
If you are interested in more on cash ring game strategies, check out my e-book,.
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