$1/$2 No-Limit Hold’em is by far the most offered live cash game in the world. Nevertheless, it is hard to find good poker strategy content for the most popular live cash game, but this is about to change! Poker coach John Bradley has created the Ultimate $1/$2 No-Limit Hold’em Cash Games Poker Strategy Guide.
Most of the opponents that you will encounter in $1/$2 No-Limit Hold’em Live Cash Games will be inexperienced, recreational players, who are there primarily, to have fun.
Recreational players tend to play a loose and passive style of poker. You should therefore adopt a tight and aggressive approach in response.
Starting Hand Selection in $1/$2 No-Limit Cash Games
You should concentrate on playing good quality starting hands and hands, which have a lot of potential and good postflop playability.
- Pocket Pairs (AA-22)
- Suited Broadways (QTs+)
- Suited Aces (AKs-A2s)
- Good Suited Connectors (54s+)
- Good Offsuit Broadways (KJo+)
Open more hands in late and less hands in early position
You should open raise with more hands from the button, than you do from the Cutoff, than from the Hijack etc.
This is because the less players left to act, the more likely that an open raise will take down the pot.
Additionally, the later position you are in, the better you will be able to manoeuvre postflop.
When in the blinds you should look to see a lot of flops unless you are faced with a raiser and a 3-bettor ahead of you.
Having already posted a blind bet, you are getting a discount to see the flop and should take advantage of this opportunity liberally.
I would recommend adding these types of hands into your range:
- Suited 1-Gappers (T8s, 64s etc)
- Good Other Suited Hands (K8s, Q7s, T6s etc)
- More Broadways (QTo, JTo etc)
- Offsuit Aces (A2o+)
The importance of Position in $1/$2 No-Limit Hold’em
You should play as many pots as possible in position rather than out of position.
When you are in position, you get to act last postflop. This is an advantage for two reasons:
- You get to see your opponent’s action before you make your decision
- You can check, see a ‘free card’ and gain more information on your opponent’s hand strength on the turn
Open the pot with a raise
If you are opening the pot, you should alwaysraise and not simply call.
Calling (or limping) shows a lot of weakness and gives you only one way to win the pot:
- You see a flop and win the pot postflop
Raising is usually superior since when you raise you can win the hand in an additional way:
- You raise and everybody folds
Raising and 3-Betting in $1/$2 No-Limit Hold’em
Your raise sizes will vary as mentioned above. Your standard sizes, however, should be:
- Open Raise 5bb
- 3Bet In Position 3x the open raise
- 3Bet Out of Position 4x the open raise
If you are considering 3-betting with weaker hands, then you should concentrate on these spots for the greatest success:
- Big Blind vs Button open
- Big Blind vs Small Blind open
- Button vs Cutoff open
- Big Blind vs Button open and Small Blind call
The correct Betsizing in $1/$2 No-Limit Cash Games
You should raise to large sizes preflop and postflop due to your opponents’ propensity to play passively by preferring to call than raise.
You are playing tighter than them and will therefore have a better hand on average.
That’s why you should seek to make the pot as large as possible, given that you will be the one to win it most often.
Preflop, there is nothing wrong with opening to $10, $12 or more.
Ideally you only want one or two callers. If you are regularly getting three or more then you should seek to increase your raise size
Flop Strategy for $1/$2 No-Limit Hold’em Cash Games
If you hit a good hand on the flop then you should make big bets and raises to try and get as much value from your hand as possible.
Your opponents play passively and so slowplaying and trapping will rarely be the best way to make the pot larger.
If you miss the flop, but have raised preflop, then you should make a small continuation bet.
Opponents will often call preflop to see, if they hit a hand and will rarely want to continue if they miss.
Please Note: If there are four or more players on the flop (including yourself), then you should not make a continuation bet as it is too likely that one of our opposition has hit a made hand.
Turn and River Strategy for $1/$2 No-Limit Holdem Cash Games
You should bet and raise large with your strong hands. One of the biggest mistakes that recreational players make is to call too often.
Therefore, you must take advantage of this whenever possible. If your hand is likely to be best most of the time, do not be afraid to play it fast and build the pot.
If you don’t have a good hand on the turn and river
You should check and be prepared to fold. As previously mentioned, your competition is prone to call more often than they should.
Consequently, when you have a hand which is unlikely to be best, you should ‘cut your losses’.
There is no benefit to bluffing, when your opponents don’t fold often enough.
Conclusion $1/$2 No-Limit Hold’em Cash Games Poker Strategy
The poker strategy I have outlined here is quite straightforward, but will require you to be patient.
Sometimes you will have sessions, where you are simply not making any hands.
It is important that you do not force the action and try to win pots, because you have been running poorly.
Your marginal losses when running poorly, will be more than made up for when you run better and your opponents pay you off consistently.
Stay patient, stick to the poker strategy outlined here and you will be crushing your competition in no time.
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