The art of Cash game

Four stack of chipsCash games are one of the most exciting forms of poker. Contrary to tournaments you are playing with your own money in front of you in form of chips. You are perhaps already familiar with the concept of cash game, but here follows some advice that hopefully will improve your results in this game.

The psychological range

Cash game is a game about money, but even more, a game with money. In a cash game, you must be able to play relaxed on the same time that you must be ready to bet everything you have in chips if you feel the odds are right.

This is especially true in no limit. In limit cash game, the bets in relation with your own chips aren’t this high. Therefore, the tendency is that your stack doesn’t feel the same strong up and downs as in no limit. In either form though it is the fluctuation of the money that brings the psychological process all players struggle with: “I must come back on plus minus zero...” or: ”Should I stop now then I have won this much?.”

These are some of the everlasting thoughts players experience when they are playing cash game. The present of psychology is inevitable, your task is to understand the consequences and overcome the negative influence.

Keep the continuity in your game regardless if you are on plus or minus. Don’t be tempted to create big pots or get into all action the table offer because you “need” to win back. Remember that it’s not a disaster to end on a negative result for one day – it must happen sooner or later.

The same thing should be practiced when you are on a positive result. In these occasions, you have no reasons to become passive in a way you want to protect your win. It’s all about the long term result, and this will be damaged when you change your play upon external causes.

Preparations

The first thing to consider when you are about to play cash game is how much money you should bring to the table. This is a very important area, especially in no limit. If you choose to bring 20 units (1 unit = big blind) to the table you won’t lose more than this, but neither can you win more in one pot (with lesser exceptions). If you instead bring 200 units, you can of course win more and lose more. This shows that it’s harder to play with bigger amounts of money but that it also gives you more possibilities. The ambitious player will of course choose the later of the two – you can’t really make a profit with 20 units on the table.

The next thing is to choose a table where to go with your money. (If you are playing on a poker room online you will have plenty to choose from.) Don’t just sit down on a random table, first observe and look for conditions that suit you. Facing players with small stacks is often preferable, that’s one of the things worth investigating before you choose your table. As you go on playing, you will soon get your own preferences.

Flexibility

Here is three tips that should be helpful either you play limit, pot limit or no limit.

1) If the table is very difficult, change to another table. If you have lost some money don’t get the idea you must win it back on the very same table before changing.
2) If your chips are reduced in a way that you no longer can win big pots or that you have to change playing style because of this, it’s time to refill with more chips (or stop playing).
3) If players have disappeared and it’s just you and one or two more left, once again you should leave the table. In other cases, you will have to pay for the blinds unnecessarily often.

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