Cash Game

Poker winning attitude in cash game NLH

In low stakes cash game you should:




  • Adopt a Weak Tight or Tight Agressive
  • Not bluff
  • Not slowplay (never never never – except if you hit a full-house or four of a kind!)
  • Not try to trick, do not go for fancy moves
  • Fold as much as needed
  • Get your  »tilt » under control. If you are facing a bad run or bad beat by a fish move away from the table and come back when you are calm again. Its EV+ in the long run, rest assured.

In middle stakes cash game TAG still works well:

  • Look for nits and maniacs in order to put pressure on them
  • Put pressure on the  nits (VP$IP <15% ,PFR <10% , 3bet <2%, (Fold to) 3bet >60%) : float the flop and make a big check-raise on the turn.
  • Put pressure on the maniacs (PFR >30% , VP$IP >35% , 3bet >6%, (Fold to) 3bet <30%) : for this you need to have the position on them and sit at his left

How aggressive should you be in small and middle stakes cash game poker (NLH)?

Aggression in cash game should lead you to build big pots with strong hands




At these limits your cash game opponents will almost always call if they are on a straight or flush draw or if they have hit a pair. You should always value bet if you found a strong hand (on the flop, turn and river) up to 50% ot 80% of the pot.

  • Do not use scare cards on a bluff attempt (for instance a 3rd heart on the turn) because your opponents will not have the skills to understand the meaning of your bet (and you will get called)
  • At NL2 and NL5 you can limp a bit more (than a higher limits) to try value your speculative hands but restricted to those 2 limits only as you will rarely be punished by a re-raise at a generally passive table
  • If you are faced on your left with a player that uses and abuses of 3-bets you have no option but tighten your game or change table (4-bet lights will rarely be profitable unless you increased your stack from 100BB to 200BB)
  • At NL10 cash game limit limps to the minimum (in late position following several limpers)
  • At NL25 cash game make some adjustments to your game : steal blinds, float, introduce 2nd-barrels…

Opening poker hands based on position in cash game NLH

With which poker hands should you open based on your position in a cash game?




Early position (UTG, UTG+1, UTG+2, UTG+3)

AJo UTG shoud be folded

Do not play speculative hands (suite or non suited connectors) that require good skills postflop

Simplify your postflop decisions by playing big pairs or AK, AQ, AJs : on the flop you either hit a A (or a K or Q with top kicker) and will be able to extract some value out of the 3 streets, if you do not hit the flop at best you try to check up to the showdown (or exit the hand)

Middle position (cut-off, cut-off -1, cut-off -2)

Do not play speculative hands (suite or non suited connectors) that require good skills postflop

Do not call a raise preflop with QJ, KJ, KQ, KT, QT (dominated hands) but depending on your position you can open with those

Late position (BB, SB and button)

Thinking about calling from the BB a raise by the cut-off with KJs : do not think about it

Do not call a raise preflop with QJ, KJ, KQ, KT, QT (dominated hands) but depending on your position you can open with those

Attempt playing speculative hands (suite or non suited connectors) if on only you are confident in not being raised (limp opportunity)

Focus on specific hands

JJ better plays in heads up, you should always raise with JJ preflop (or raise all-in if short stack). With JJ you have to pray for a flop with no overcards. Yet 43% of the time you will see at least 1 overcard (13% two and 1% three). If you add the texture (eg 2 hearts which can be also quite scary) you will be facing a scary flop with your JJ 66% of the time…A are totally scary (because they can have been played with almost any kicker), K and Q also but to a lesser extent. With 1 overcard you are either far ahead…or far behind. You need to extract as much money as possible from a player whith a smaller pair and avoid giving out too many blinds to a player who hit his flop. Best thing to do is not to raise heavily as this is a EV- move in the long run.

Poker bankroll rules & winrate goals in cash game NLH

Define your objectives and dedicate a specific bankroll for your cash game sessions




For a lot of players, myself included, beating the micro and small limits is like climbing the K2 (not to say the Everest) and these lines will hopefully help you in your journey.  If you are playing in NL2, NL5, NL10, or NL25 and do not seem to make any profit, win regularly or crush the limit please read further.


  • Aim for a winrate of 5BB (in small stakes) and 3BB (in middle stakes) every 100 hands (over > 50 000 hands played)
  • Make less mistakes than your opponents
  • Do not be surprised by the moves you will see
  • Play a solid poker, stick to it and be patient, you will win in the long run
  • Draw as much money into the pot as possible and as fast as possible (by value betting)


  • Never risk more than 5% of your bankroll in low stakes cash game
  • Meaning you should have 20 buy-ins to play at a given limit (eg 20 x 10$ at NL10)
  • Always sit a table with 100BB (unless if you adopt a short-stack strategy with 30BB and focus on pre-flop games – not a big fan an therefore will not detail it here
  • The number of needed buy-ins increases with the limit (never risk more than 3% of your bankroll, make it 30 to 40 buy-ins at NL100)

When you will climb from small to middle stakes limits you will be facing sone new and more complex moves at these limits and more skilled players. This means you will have to adapt your game always and mix up your play to balance your range. You need to start asking  » what does my opponent thinks i am holding? ». Too many players moving up from the low stakes only focus on their cards and what they believe their opponent is holding.


  • Aim for a winrate of 3 to 5BB every 100 hands (over > 50 000 hands played)


  • The number of needed buy-ins increases with the limit
  • Never risk more than 3% of your bankroll
  • Make it 30 to 40 buy-ins at NL100