Cash games are the purest form of poker, an ongoing cycle of betting and counter betting.Cash game strategy is complex, has many facets and is forever changing.
It is very important to have an overall basic strategy that you refine over time. The poker strategy you read last year is already sub-optimal and possibly even losing you money.
Here are some things in cash poker that are constant, and you should always be thinking about:
Cash Game Buy In Limits
Each limit or buy in plays completely different from the rest. Generally speaking, the higher the limit the more aggressive the game play. If you are playing at 2NL and you find yourself thinking that your opponents are too aggressive then you are probably wrong. The same thought at 200NL does have merit
Time of day you play poker
If you are playing at a european poker room, the chances are that your opponents are also in europe. That means that they are tired in the morning, awake in the afternoon, and drunk and horny at night. Taking advantage of people’s moods and making money off of it is as old as mankind, find how that applies to your games and when your opponents are looser/tighter and you’ll make a fortune.
Cash Game Table history
If you multi table online you might not notice how much table history affects the decisions of the other people on your table, but if they are playing 1-2 tables you can be certain that they are paying attention. Notice what their noticing, profit from their adjustments and stay away from multi-tablers who are playing their cards face up unless you have a hand
Cash Game Opponent Type
Entire poker books have been written about different opponent types in poker, the gist of it is that you should take advantage of the player’s tendencies to make better decisions. If you’re playing someone whose aggressive let him bet, and avoid throwing him a knowing eye (theatrics can be done online too ;)) on the way.
If a poker tournament can sometimes feel like a marathon then cash poker is at least a few triathlons combined. The issue with cash games is that you can win 5 buy ins over the course of a day and lose them in 5 minutes, the feelings that accompany this kind of loss can often be devastating and the only way to avoid them is to improve.
You will have downswings, that is for certain but the way you cope with them will shape your bottom line.