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.
New Poker Players Force the Action
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.