NLHE Cash Game Basics

One of the most popular games when it comes to poker is the No Limit Hold ‘Em cash game? In a tournament, when your chips run out, your day is over, you spend a lot of your time protecting and defending you stack, where in a cash game it pays to be aggressive, and if you lose you stack…well, don’t cry, re-buy! Cash games offer a lot of excitement because you are dealing with real money in front of you in the form of chips, not just tournament standings. One might play a tournament for 8 hours and not receive any kind of reward. You may play a cash game for 3 hours and earn more money than you could have won for first place, in a third of the time. There are some centralized standard concepts one must understand when playing NLHE cash games at any level.

The correlation between a cash game and a tournament is very minimal. Tournament poker often offers a very small stack size compared to the blinds, where in cash games you will often see 100 big blind or deeper stacks at the table. A good of thinking about it is that your stack is brought back to the same size after every hand in a cash game. That being said, the ratio of your stack size to the pot size will determine the importance of winning a hand versus simply defending your money on the table. If you are losing a several small pots, but taking down large sized ones, then you will win money in the long run.

No limit hold em cash games are ones where not making mistakes is at least equally important as making the proper play. Advanced players often spot the beginners and coax them into playing a big pot, then force them to make a mistake for a large portion of their chip stack. There are simply just more things to consider when playing a hand in a cash game, and you must be aware of all of them, however generally you want to open with a wider range. Position is crucial, and a big mistake beginning players make is playing marginal hands out of position, and making a mistake once the pressure is applied.

Opening hand selection is much wider and more fluid in a cash game then a tournament. Good cash game players employ many different strategies before the flop to be able to outplay opponents afterwards. A good opening strategy is very important to being a winning cash game player. Bluffing as well as semi bluffing are also integral pieces of cash game play. Now that you understand the basics, I encourage you to play, play, and play some more. These tactics are essential to every level of NLHE cash games, and must be used in order to win!