If you apply the key concepts outlined in the Poker Basics course, then practice often at the tables, you will come to recognise similar situations in your own cash games, where the same kind of reasoning and analysis will apply.
And whenever you come across something that doesn't make sense, or that you disagree with, or seems to stray far from what you have learned so far, by all means save the details and discuss it in the forum.
CASH GAME DISTINCTIONS
- The impact of variance
Cash game availability
Also if you are playing cash, you don't have to wait for a specific time for games to start (as in a multi-table tournament) or for a certain number of players to register (as in a sit and go). You can just scan the lobby for a game you like and sit down immediately if there is a seat open.
If the table is full, you can register your interest on the waiting list and join the action as soon as a seat becomes free. You post your blinds and away you go.
That doesn't mean you should start splashing your chips around without any thought, but it certainly is a comforting fact if you lose to a bad beat or fall on the unlucky side of a marginal play.
It is important to remember in a cash game that "correct play" means there are times you really need to risk all your chips even if you are not certain to win the hand. For instance, you might be playing against a very aggressive maniac player and hold a hand like pocket queens. If he puts you all in pre-flop you are very likely to be a favorite to win, even though it is the nature of poker that you won't win every single time.
In cash games, you need to be thinking about a concept called "expected value", which focuses on making correct decisions that will be profitable in the long-run. You don't need to worry so much about a single incidence: If you get your money in with queens against a rag ace time and time again, you will win much more than you lose.
Here's another example. Let's say you hold on a board of . That means you have a flush draw and a straight draw.
"Variance", as this is known, also exists in cash games, but its implications tend to be much less extreme and more manageable. Although even the best cash game players will lose a couple of sessions in a row, it is possible to cut losses when things aren't going well, or to drop down levels and play a smaller game.
The winning or losing curves of a cash game player tend to be much less steep and offer a better indication if your playing style is profitable or not.
OthersOther cash-game specific strategy advice comprises the remainder of this course. For instance, starting hand requirements can change slightly depending on the circumstances of a cash game, and relative stack sizes also become much more significant. We consider those factors in the section about pre-flop play.
Remember the course is interactive and you should get in the habit of visiting the cash game forum to post questions and join the discussion.