Playing casino 1/2 no limit cash game.

    • Athletics86
      Joined: 30.12.2008 Posts: 2
      Hi all. I wouldnt say i'm a beginner but not quite amateur. I have bought plenty of books that have given me some good information. (Gus Hansen every hand revealed, Harrington on hold'em vol. 1, Daniel Negreanu's power hold'em, The little green book.) I have read each one and went and highlighted what i thought was good information and common knowledge in all the books.

      I play a lot of casino 1/2 cash games. I have found success about 50/50. The tables are almost always full with 9 people and there is no standard x3 the bb raise or a certain amount people like to bet "X times the bb" From the way i see things. 15$ is the standard as if it was x3 the BB. I usually enter with a 200$ stack and watch the table for about 20 minutes when debating where i would want to sit. So im not to sit in the middle of aggressive players with stacks larger then my own. Buy in limit is 300$.

      I have been playing to find a way to play against this. I tend to watch whose who at the table. I find out whose the aggressive group and who could be called a conservative player. Typically I will find a few people with stacks well over 500$. I tend to play the cards pretty legit. I try to play the player and not the cards.

      The problem is however, with most hands even a 15$ raise from an early position with have about 4 other callers with it. Which seems nice but its hard to get into that action and steal a pot or "play the player" when i have 4 other people to battle through. Flops that generally are crap and dont have any straight or flush draws i will try to raise to knock one or two people out but usually get 2 callers. Turn card well they will check and i need to assume with a 9 handed table and 4 callers someone should have that top pair right?

      I am having a hard time trying to find ways to be a solid player at a table like this. I tried today to play more aggressive and win more pots. Since you will see the more aggressive players be the ones more successful at poker. Being conservative can only get you so far.

      Heres a hand that busted me tonight. Maybe someone can help me out.

      PRE-FLOP: I was the button in a 9 handed table and i had 3 limpers then on me. I don't look at my cards until its my turn to act hoping to find who is REALLY interested on what im going to do. The players on the blinds are conservative so i think i could get them out with a nice raise and the limpers havent shown to much strength in previous hands tending to fold with a nice placed bet. They both try to limp and in position i raise it up to 15$ hoping to maybe get one caller and be able to beat him later in the hand since i felt i was the superior player here. One limper folds one calls. (PERFECT)

      Flop Flop comes up 7,7,3. no flush draws. The limper Bets outright at 15$ I raise it 30$ to get a good feel for whats to come. I didnt put him on to much thinking maybe he had overcards and i thought if i gave off the presence of holding something strong he would back down. He just smooth calls and onto the turn!

      Turn 9 of clubs. No help to a flush. Maybe a straight but i didnt put him on that. This time he doesn't bet first and checks it to me. Now i have seen him do this in the past and i took it as a sign of weakness. The only way i could make a value bet was putting the rest of my stack in the middle. Just betting a little bit would give him correct pot odds to call whether he had something or not. I go all-in for an addition 87 or so. He ponders it, counting it out then thinking about it. Suddenly, he moves it in. I was shocked. Could he have been slow playing the 7's?!?! We turn over and he hit the 3. He had 3,8 offsuit. Maybe he had a read on me but i still think thats a tough call to make. I dunno. Was he not even keen enough to think over pair? Or the 7?? What if i had the 3 and more than a 8 kicker. The river didnt matter as he took down the pot.

      I find that if i play conservative at these tables the aggressive players will push you around whether you got a hand or not. Even having a nice hand we all know you only have a 30% shot at hitting the flop. At a nine handed table how do you play aggressive while being safe? I thought i had an accurate read on my opponent and tried making a vlue bet in which i thought he would fold since i have seen him fold many times before.

      How do you guys play these types of tables and is there a style of playing these tables i just dont know about? What have you all found successful?
      Thanks to anyone who took the time to read this as i tried to make this as accurate as i could.
  • 8 replies
    • TerrorBlade
      Joined: 16.10.2007 Posts: 1,922
      Hi Athletics,

      I'm no NL player but what most people observe in live cash games is that the level of play is about 10X worse than the same level online, thus you're gonna be playing with some pretty horrible people who call 7.5xBB raises with 83.

      Because you are getting called by so many people preflop & can't even push people off bottom pair I'd recommend playing stronger hands on than you usually would on average and just mucking your hand if they don't fold to the flop conti-bet or if it's multiway to the flop drop the conti-bet all together with your unimproved hands

      In short, most fish like to call more often than it is prudent to do so. Hence we counter this by tightening up & bluff + semibluff less, making good valuebets with your strong hands and playing more straight forwardly. Your description of the table dynamics sounds really familiar to micro-stakes online NL and the standard strategy there is to value-bet the fish to death! Be patient (or play online poker with multiple tables :P ) and wait for the stronger hands and I guarantee you'll see a turn around.

      Wait till you get your starting capital (and bronze status) then you can read the "BSS" articles in the NL section, they'll give you a more detailed breakdown of the strategy I'm describing.

      You said the aggro players will push you around if you have a hand or not...well that's good if you have a strong hand cause then ship the monies thanks for the stack, otherwise there's no harm in folding.

    • GunFlavoured
      Joined: 19.10.2008 Posts: 626

      I found the same problem when I gave live poker a go at the casino, the problem I was faced with was the max buyin was 40 bb and every pot is raised preflop so you're almost pot commited with the first decent hand you get. It's easy to say tighten up but when you're only playing around 20 hands an hour it gets tiring watching everyone else getting action. I think next time I go I'll play in a tournament so I can avoid the aggressive big stack that has been at the table for the last 8 hours.
    • Sasa1234
      Joined: 22.05.2008 Posts: 298
      If the biggest stack was 40 BB, it it easy decision. Something like SSS- every hand is all in preflop or on the flop.
    • TheBrood
      Joined: 17.07.2008 Posts: 4,383
      Athletics, what did u have?

      And Terrorblade seems right on with his post.
    • Athletics86
      Joined: 30.12.2008 Posts: 2
      Technically it didnt matter what i hand. Since i was just trying to play the player and since i thought i had a good feeling for his play i wanted to take a pot down with a flop that didnt seem to be threatning. I had A,5 :club: on the button with only 2 limpers on a 9 handed table. In that position to me, you raise with anything really. You want to take the pot. I could have just limped with the rest and tried to take it on the flop but i wanted to maybe get one limper out of the way to make the odds of him missing that much better for me. I was going off of him hitting the flop only 30% of the time and with a flop like 7,7,3. I figured i was in a good position.

      So the story im getting really is just play more tight and wait for those premium hands. But i have experimented with playing conservative even taking out 200$ and solely playing conservative. I sat at the casino one time for 4 hours only to look down at my stack being 25 dollars up. I tried getting into cheap pots and playing strong hands. The problem i see with that is if you wait for that A,Q or AA, A,K or pocket cards you tend to wait all day. When you finally do hit them you will see a raise and a re-raise infront of you making you feel like you are behind anyways.

      You should never go all-in preflop knowing its going to be a race with a 48% vs 52%. I love playing poker but not gambling. If I was going to try and play aggressive again do you think it would be more against the bigger stacks or the player with more sensibility since he would be more knowledgeable when to fold a hand. Or would that be a bad decision if that smart players stack was a big stack and calling value bets vs a small stack doesn't really matter to him.

      I agree though. Maybe play a little more conservative and wait for those premium hands. I thought i had the table pretty well figured out too. I was even able to bully a big stack once or twice with well placed bets on their checks.

      Thanks for the help from everyone who actually takes out the time to read this. Thanks a lot! :)
    • fun101rockets
      Joined: 01.06.2008 Posts: 1,162
      i would play very conservative and value bet big with strong hands
      i would also buyin for the maximum
    • Puciek
      Joined: 23.01.2008 Posts: 657
      If they play like maniacs and you pick strong hand (even AQ would qualify here) then don't worry about raise and reraise in from, just push it all the way, don't worry you are ahead altho you must buyin for max and have couple bullets with you (badbeats happend). If everyone will fold to your allin, then you can loosen up and raise strong a bit more, and continue loosening up till they start calling you.
    • SoyCD
      Joined: 20.02.2008 Posts: 6,356
      The looser the opponents are - the tighter I get. There is no point in trying to bluff or "outplay" people that will gladly pay you off for several streets of value with worse hands anyway. Simply wait for strong hands and value bet. There is no point in raising A5s here if you don't think you will be able to get your opponents to fold by the river in case of a miss.

      As shown by his 83o call you just need a hand and you will get paid off.

      Best regards