Texas Holdem Real Money Basic Strategy
Fresh from the fun money tables and the freerolls you will see an awful lot of new players at the cash game tables. Many of these players are yet to learn the huge differences in real money Texas hold'em poker and the play money game that they may have been playing, and to put it quite simply, they are there for the taking, and can be beaten easily by playing a solid and steady low stakes Texas hold'em game. There are a million and one things that make a great Texas hold'em player and it can take years to truly master the game, however within a very short time you can master the basics and more importantly, learn how to spot those players that you should be beating.
Look out for Those Callers!
Players new to the game have some very bad habits, and arguably one of the worst, and one that is easy to spot, is a player who will call anything. As there is no real risk involved in play money poker, new players will make the mistake of taking this habit to the real money Texas hold'em tables. You will often see players that call continuously, even preflop with very poor cards and these are players that you can make money from. So many players will call with an Ace and a low card, hoping to catch a pair of Aces or even 2 pair, and should you be holding anything that can beat this then you should be taking them out. OK, occasionally they will hit the card or cards they are looking for, but by taking these players on your wins will far outweigh your losses.
Still on the subject of calling with nothing, you will often see players chasing a flush or a straight...all the way to the river. They will keep calling your bets or raises and again, they will catch the right card now and again, but you will beat them regularly. Some of these players are very easy to spot. Look out for players who will constantly call preflop, then fold directly after the flop, or even better, folding after the turn...they are simply throwing money into the pot and that money could be yours. It will also be worth your while to slow play good hole cards and making the most out of these hands. By slow play it means to not be too aggressive, limp into the pot and if you must raise make it a small one...extract a bet from the player.
All or Nothing Players
Players at play money tables just love to go all in, even with ridiculous hole cards. Many will also take this habit with them and although you will need to be careful to start with, should you find a player at your table who believes that they will never be beaten by simply playing extremely aggressive poker then with a simple game plan, and a little patience their stack will be yours. Stick around at the table, watch them a while, and if the big raises and all in bets keep coming, sit tight and strike when you have a great high pair...they may get lucky, but luck will always run out.
Don't Be the Same as Them!
Watch the new players come to the tables, and as well as take their cash from them, learn from them too. Observes their mistakes, their style of play and quite simple, do not do the same things. Watching their play carefully not only allows you to beat them easily, but it will also prove to you just how quickly a chip stack can be demolished by a few errors and big mistakes.