No-Limit Cash Game Advice: When to Put Your Money In

What's the goal of playing No-Limit cash games? To make money? Yes, but that's too broad. To play the best poker possible? You're getting warmer since that's always your main goal at a table, but go further. In a cash game, you always want to put your money in on the best hands possible.

The secret to playing No-Limit Hold'em cash games at a full table is to wait a long time before striking. Wait, wait, wait to put your money in until you've got the best pre-flop hand possible - AA, KK, QQ and A-K.

What makes this technique particularly effective is that most new players in the poker world love action and practically throw their money away on every hand as a result. They're used to watching World Series of Poker tournaments on television where the action seems constant, so they force action in cash games. However, the circumstances are different in tournament play as opposed to cash games so the same techniques can't always be applied.

In tournaments, you have the possibility of getting blinded out of the game. That's why you'll see the top pros going all-in on A-x and mid pairs. The televised events are also deceptive because all they show is the action. Showing the other 72 hours of players folding, folding, folding isn't going to keep the audience watching, so they only play the highlights and the final table where the blinds are incredibly high and force players to act.

So, new players come into a game expecting a lot of action and end up forcing it, which is something you never want to do in a cash game. Let the action come to you. When you play a full-table cash game, the only hands worth raising are the top four pre-flop hands. I would even limp in on jacks unless I was on the button and everyone had folded.

On occasion you'll end up with a few people in the pot after you've hit the flop hard. You'll need to make a big pot-sized bet in these multi-way pots to weed them out and punish them for drawing.

The absolute best way to play No-Limit Hold'em cash games, at any size table, is to have the patience to wait for straights, flushes or trips before putting your money in. If you can consistently wait for the best hands, you'll win in the long run.

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Badpanda 2009-11-16 21:35:00

It depends on the table. IF you are playing an extermely loose table with lots of fish then you need to play only good hands.

(Since alot of new players dont like to fold you actually need the best hand at showdown)

However if you havent played a hand in an hour people are going to catch on eventually when you start raising and thus when you get AA you will omly win a small pot

Sunny 2009-10-30 19:15:00

Poker is not an easy game to master.

It is definitely not as simple as waiting for cards to come to you. I believe very conservatively, it'll only take one hand to break you over time. You can grind all day if you like, but one bad call and u'll be down for the whole day.

People can follow this strategy as a general guide, but to make money from poker, you definitely need more than that.

You need to understand more than just playing good cards, u need to know when to play them and most importantly how to play them.

new poker face 2009-10-23 05:25:00

I agree 100 % !! its true ... I was playing cash game yesterday... if I would read this I would play smarter.

rob 2009-07-20 17:46:00

I do agree with this strategy because I go down to atlantic city 2-3 times a week and come up either 200-400 everytime for 7 hours of work. Granted i only play maybe 5% of the hands im dealt but its because i wait until i know i won and people are know gonna pay me off. Especiallly when you play $1-2 in ac you can fold 30 times and only lose 9 bucks to the blinds...not bad and an easy way to make a living.

kenneth 2008-10-27 06:19:00

i gotta admit that i do not agree with this article, in theory its all true. but when it comes to online cash games i am of the belive that raising a lot of hands, and keep on firing all the way. i might be a borderline maniac but i would much rather raise or call pre flop raises with small suited connectors or semi connectors than i would raise with jacks or tens, the reasons for this is simple:"you got to give action to get action" and a small hand that dosnt hit is so easy to get away from. When i try to play the waiting game and get a top hand i either end up just stealing the blinds or getting married to it, and hence losing money in the long run.
And i know i am not the only one who have seen a lot of terrible overplays with AK,AA and KK. people ignoring 3 to a flush 4 to a straight boards and keep on betting hard.
BUT i cant play more than two tables at the most if i am going to play the loose game, and i got to constantly be aware of who and how the other players are, all about focus if you wanna be a loose player. And i too almost always limp with those mean jacks..

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