How to beat the most common live cash games
Get to know all tips and tricks how to beat the most popular live cash game $1/$2 No Limit Hold’em in our latest poker strategy article.
Live poker is still a great place to look for soft games. With online poker getting tougher year-on-year it is important to look further afield to maximise your opportunities.
Poker strategy has developed at an incredible rate. Hence, if you are a competent online player then your up to date knowledge should guarantee success in an average live poker game.
There are, of course, a few adjustments that are crucial to crushing these games.
$1/2 No Limit Holdem – Attack the Limpers
Limping has almost died out online bar the weakest recreational players. In your average $1/$2 No Limit Holdem poker game, however, you will see it in the majority of hands.
While there is nothing wrong with limping behind multiple limpers with non-premium hands, you should seize the opportunity to attack single limpers.
These are likely to be weak players with a propensity to put too much money in the pot with hands that don’t warrant it.
In theory it is said that you should raise tighter than your opening range against a limp. This accounts for the reduced fold equity. In practice you should be raising all combos that can make strong hands to exploit the weak player.
For each additional limper in the pot you should tighten up your raising range further.
Play Tight in Early Position
While playing tight in early position is standard poker strategy, it is more important in $1/$ No Limit Holdem and live cash games in general. With the average player playing more hands than in online poker you stand a much greater chance of being forced to play out of position.
With many pots being multiway this is a disaster if you have high cards hands that can give you kicker problems.
An early position opening range in a full ring live game can look as tight as this.
And mid position isn’t a great deal wider.
Even with a large skill advantage, position is still incredibly important for extracting value. Another reason is that your game will likely have other regs who will use it against you by 3 betting and squeezing to target the weak players themselves.
Use Controlled Aggression By Using Backdoor Potential
In online poker we are lucky to have HUD stats that give an accurate idea of how often an opponent folds. In live poker we don’t have this luxury. This means that we have to follow a strategy that targets the overall population tendency.
This tendency is, of course, calling too much. For this reason you must temper your continuation betting strategy by assessing your backdoor draws on the flop.
We open in the cutoff with
Villain calls in the small blind and the big blind folds.
The flop comes
This is a spot where many players will check behind and give up. It is a dry board and we have no hand and no potential to make top pair.
The key is to follow the backdoor draws. We have 10 flush draw outs to hit on the turn as well as 6 more open-ended straight draw outs. This is more than one third of the deck.
With added equity, our turn bluffs don’t need to work as often. With a hand such as pocket deuces or threes we can actually check behind and give up if we face a turn probe bet.
Our hand is almost never good against a call. The chance to win a big pot is much more valuable than weak showdown value.
Flexing Bet Sizes and Ignoring Balance
Balance is only ever a useful part of poker strategy against good opponents. In a $1/$2 No Limit Holdem cash game your average opponent won’t play against you enough to use unbalanced play against you.
Use this idea to exploit weak players by making larger raises with strong hands to extract more value.
A weak villain open limps from MP.
A standard isolation raise size is 4bb plus one more for every limper. In an average $1/$2 game you should be raising to as much as 6-7bb.
Not only will you get extra value from the recreational player but you will also discourage any regs from coming along and making the pot multiway.
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