Avoid These Low-Stakes Cash Games Mistakes

Low-stakes cash games can be very profitable, but only if you approach them correctly. Cut out these mistakes and watch your win-rate soar.

Low-stakes cash games are a potential goldmine. You will not get rich from them, but you can make a decent hourly rate if you approach them correctly.

Check out poker forums around the world, and they are full of posters complaining about having to navigate their way through bad players in low-stakes cash games. They bemoan their luck, claiming the Poker Gods have it in for them. They post hand histories showing how poorly low-stakes cash games regulars play. Those moaning players often neglect to reveal the mistake they are making themselves.

Weaker poker players make more mistakes, which is one of the reasons they lose more money. Good poker players make mistakes too, but they are fewer and further between. Cutting the following errors from your low-stakes cash games grind will see your profits increase.

Avoid Fancy Play in Low-Stakes Cash Games

It is easy to get carried away and think you are Phil Ivey when you play low-stakes cash games. You make advanced moves and plays, knowing full well that being wrong only costs you a few bucks. Cut fancy play syndrome out of your game immediately if you play low-stakes cash games.

Most players frequenting the $1/$2 live games and $0.05/$0.10 games in the online poker world are pretty bad at poker. They grind these limits because they are new to poker, because they want to have fun, or because they have hit their skill ceiling.

Attempting to bamboozle these players is a total waste of time. Do not even consider four-bet bluffing as a way to merge your ranges because many of your opponents will not even consider your range of hands!

Keep things simple, and you will not go too far wrong in low-stakes cash games. Bet when you have it; check when you do not. ABC poker is not the most exciting style to play, but it is effective at these limits.

Do Not Allow Bad Players to Tilt You

We have all found ourselves in a situation where the deck is smacking a ridiculously bad player square in the face. You bet every street only for the villain to call you down and hit a miracle two-outer on the river. It is tempting to throw your mouse across the room in anger but keep your cool.

Dealing with the variance of poker is all part of your learning. Bad players have to win to keep them coming back for more. They continually make mistakes, so they give you ample opportunities to win back your money and more. Do not berate them. Do not tell them how badly they played. Congratulate them on their nice hand, and move on.

You want bad players in your games. Screaming and shouting at them has one of two effects. They either leave the table with your chips in their stack, or they consider their lousy play and try to improve. Neither option is ideal.

Get Out of the Habit of Short-Term Thinking

Remember how we said not to let bad low-stakes cash games players send you on tilt? Be aware you can be your own worst enemy, too. Waiting all session for pocket aces to land in your lap, only to see them cracked and you lose a full stack, is disheartening at best and infuriating at worse.

Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Pocket aces will be the hole cards that win you the most money in the long term. I do not know a single poker on the planet who is a losing player with pocket aces in the long run. Your aces are approximately 80/20 to win against another hand preflop. This means you will lose one in four times you are all-in preflop.

Similarly, flushes and straights will win you a lot of money. Do not think about the short-term if you miss several draws in quick succession. You will complete your draws many times in the future and add lots of money to your bankroll.

Brad Johnson

You name the game, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Brad has either played it or placed a wager on it! Brad calls himself a natural gambler, and someone who gains as much enjoyment from writing about the crazy game of poker as he does playing it.


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