Basic Cash Games Strategy For Hold'em Poker

No Limit Hold'em poker has been over-complicated throughout the years. This is why many amateurs fail to make a profit. It is important to understand that imitating something you took from a professional on a high stakes table will almost certainly result in failure. People have forgotten basic cash games strategy as it was played 20 years ago, in its pure and simple form, expressed in a variety of books, from Doyle Brunson's "Super System," to Dan Harrington's "Harrington on Hold'em." In modern low stakes, the field is filled with amateurs, who are just begging to pay you off. Complex moves and bluffs sometimes get in the way of the main idea, which is to make a profit. A basic cash games strategy with this title - and any gambling game - is perfect for beginners aiming to make a profit, and for advanced gamblers to keep their variance low while playing the loosest low stakes.

The first aspect of basic cash games strategy is deciding how deep to buy into things. Many may opt for a simple 100 big blind buy-in, but don't forget the advantages and disadvantages of buying in deep or short. By playing the short stack (50 big blinds), you have the advantage of doubling up easier than others. After a couple of bets, opponents become committed to calling your all-in. The disadvantage is that you don't get a chance to see raised flops with suited connectors and small pocket pairs, which could pay off. When holding the deep stack (200 big blinds), one main advantage is that you can act as the bully and can afford coin-flips pre-flop or post flop. Playing coin-flips is expensive, but when it hits, it hits big.

When playing pre-flop, try not to get involved with the professional players on the table. Get involved with the amateurs, who are more likely to pay you off when you have a hand. Secondly, acknowledge position. Position is the advantage you gain when facing an opponent who has called pre-flop out of position, where the contender who holds position gets the opportunity to act last. This allows the accumulation of information from his opponents, either by physical tells or the act of checking and betting. Third, and most important, be selective about your starting hands depending on the situation.

Post-flop, don't bluff a calling machine, and don't try to value-bet the pros. If a professional feels your value betting weak, he will attack you with a re-raise you can't call. Don't try to semi-bluff in multi-way pots with draws, as this can be quite un-profitable in the long run.

Lastly, knowing when to quit is probably the most important factor of basic cash games strategy, as it will determine your profitability. There are three reasons in determining how and when to quit the game: When you start making mistakes from going too many hours or from being affected by previous hands; when the table has dried/tightened up; when you have reached your profit goal.