I recently hosted a live webinar (click the link for a FREE 31 minute video) where I discussed and analyzed my play from a few sessions of live $1/$2 no-limit at Borgata. During these sessions I did quite well by getting blatantly out of line and exploiting my opponents’ specific tendencies. Since this webinar was so well received, and Strategies for Beating Small Stakes Poker Tournaments is constantly the #1 Kindle book, I have decided to make a new book about the strategies I used to crush the small stakes cash games. It will likely be titled Strategies for Beating Small Stakes Cash Games.
In order to make this book the best it can possibly be, I am enlisting your help. I realized after reading Strategies for Beating Small Stakes Poker Tournaments that some of you still had questions. In order to help fix this problem, which is constantly an issue with strategy books, I am going to let you submit your questions, which I will answer to the best of my ability in the book. Your questions can either be about specific topics or individual hands, as long as they pertain to small stakes cash games. While I cannot guarantee I will use every question, if I do use yours, I will give you credit in the book (assuming you do not want to remain anonymous).
*** Please submit your questions and your name in the comment box below this post***
I am also looking for a small number proofreaders who will get exclusive access to a section of the book before it is released to the public. I need the proofreaders to read and find any errors/typos within a week and return the fixed versions to me. Please apply for this job only if you are good at English. I will give all proofreaders credit in the acknowledgments section.
*** To apply to be a proofreader, email firstname.lastname@example.org and briefly tell me why you are qualified for the job***
I aim to have this book complete and available by October 2015, although it could take me a bit longer, depending on my poker schedule. I am looking forward to working with you to make this project a success.
Thank you for your help!
49 thoughts on “I need your help with my next book”
I am always available to proofread.
Excellent! I will email you when it is finished.
Hi Jonathan – I would love to help you proofread your new book. Not only am I “good at English,” I work for a book publisher. Please e-mail me and I will be happy to give you any additional information you need.
Awesome. I have your email. I will contact you when the text is ready. Thanks!
As a regular in small stakes cash games I often pick myself thinking what is the best initial raise size to make in 1/2 games. Should it be the standard 3x, $6, a bit more, $7, mix it up? Or should I go bigger like $10, $12? The players like to see a lot of flops so should I ´´thin the field´´ or not?
Also, what should I be 3 betting with? Since they like to call, I don´t know if I have to worry about being balanced since if I 3 bet a J5o ip and they call I will be in bad shape but at the same time when I 3 bet the expect my hands to be stronger I guess and should be easir to put me on a range. I would appreciate your help! Good luck with the book, I am looking forward to reading it!
These are excellent questions that will certainly be addressed! Thanks.
Can you talk about 3-betting strategy/sizing against different types of opponents.
Also, since the game is primarily about betting for value…can you talk about some spots where it is +EV to semi-bluff/bluff.
This will be discussed. Thanks!
Jonathan I am reading your “Live no limit cash games: the theory” book. I have found in playing live 1/2 holdem a 6-7.00 raise pre flop is almost nothing. I have read many accounts where a three bets to go is a solid play, but three bets to go in 1/2 no limit game is a sure way to get 4-6 callers every time.
I raised 25.00 with aces ,once in high jack, and once from the small blind. Both times after being tight for an hour I received 2 callers and 3 callers respectively.
Last hand I was AA (small blind seat one) bet 25.00, called by seat 4 with pocket 10s, mid position raised with kings to 65.00 next player (6 chair) shoved with 98.00 with Ace/Queen. Seven, eight, and nine folded.
I shoved 239.00, pocket 10’s all in (110.00) pocket kings seat six called (he had just about 200.00)
My Aces held tonight and I won 611.00.
But 3 bets is nothing from what I’ve seen playing 1/2 holdem, I’d love to see this issue addressed in a book, because when you think three bets to go is a lot you’ll get a rude awakening quick.
It seems like you have an awesome game. I do address preflop bet sizing in the book. Fwiw, I still suggest raising to $5 or $6 at $1/$2, especially if you want to quickly acquire postflop skills that will allow you to do well in larger games eventually.
Some subjects you can write about: 1) Bet sizing 2) Type of players 3) When to leave the table 4) Amount of buy-in chips 5) Most common mistakes in 1/2 and 2/4 6) Limping 7) Straddle 8) Playing different stacks 9) How to beat calling stations, maniac’s, LAG and TAG players 10) Casino and table selection 11) Benefits of being a regular of a Casino 12) Rake 13) When to move up from 1/2 to 2/4
Most of these ideas will be included. Thanks!
I will isolate weak lags preflop but run into trouble when they call flop and turn bets w any piece….middle pair 6 kicker….vs these players should I just give up on flop if I whiff?….even w ak or low pair type hands?
Would be interested in proof reading.
If your opponent will call 3bets wide and then call down with any pair, you should simply not bluff them too often.
Dear Mr Little,
A friend of mine used to be a student of you through Skype in Sydney here.
He is now my coach for small stake cash games.
we found that cash games with small stakes are profitable with the following rules:
you do not bluff often as players are not as good in reading abilities;
expect a lot of newbies/ oldies that have no idea/refuse to learn about raise sizing, isolation, re-isolation, position,they play by their stack.
Need to get into the mind of what is it like to be them:
i) what would you do with your stack and what would you call with/ raise with if you are not intended to re-buy;
ii) how much are you happy to pay to see a flop;
iii) how much budget would you allow for the turn and how much is to be in the pot before you are committed for the rest of your stake by the river.
By knowing the type of player(s) primarily fault at which area of the game helps you max. your profit at their blind spot(s):
i) would they ever fold 2 pair passing their bed time (mentally fatigue state)?
ii) are they on a call happy state due to a (rare) good run? (you don’t need a hand to play this spot)
Always take the strongest lines against opponents as they are not good at handling tough spot or decisions;
Let your opponents take the weaker line then take the pot away from them later preferred to be IP;
No need to re-iso too much as multiway pots are fine since they are mostly weak players (you are in to win a huge pot with zero stress every time!) – Vice versa get away from hands extra early when you are not going to scoop in multiway pot as they are confused by the turn and river and their decision normally does not make any sense unless you are able to lead the action all the way.
DO NOT EXPECT A HIGH PROFIT YEILD – i.e. $1/$2 or $2 / $3 live would only be max. on an average run of $35.00 per hour. Getting paid 1 hand per hour is extremely normal and it is up to you to embrace how much you can get when that hand comes.
Over exploit is a massive No no in small stakes cash game. Players are just not discipline enough to let go or good enough in terms of knowledge to see what you are doing ever after years of exploiting let alone hours in just one day/session.
Knowing what factors are relevant to them and use them to attack, use your own poker knowledge to defend your edge.
Leo “Jinchuriki 9” Wai
Sydney – Australia – The Star Poker
i would also like to add that Verbal exploits are also powerful and effective on small stakes cash games as they do not know how to interrupt the true meaning/ intention of a conversation on the felt.
Effective use of conversation not only will get you pots at times, but eventually their entire roll as you bind them in to continuous re-buy to seek your response as well as not knowing the reason to loosing other than “Unlucky”.
Thanks. Interestingly enough, pretty much all of these topics have already been written into the rough draft! Thanks for sharing them with me.
I’d be happy to help proofread. I’ve spent much of my working life writing so this fits me. I’ve also played poker at various levels for quite some time, both at low stakes and at the WSOP (you and I have met when we had dinner with your pupil from the’09 final table a couple of times over the last few years).
From a question standpoint, one of the things that I never deal with well is that so many people at low stakes want to limp in, often creating a cascading limp-fest. Do i limp along, something I generally hate to do? Do I raise and try to get rid of them, even though too many people will call and I’ll end up with a large pot with a non-premium hand? Do I stay disciplined and just play high quality hands? I generally don’t limp into pots so when faced with this I never know quite what to do.
Thanks Paul. I will add you to the list of proofreaders. I will certainly address limping as it is a huge part of small stakes games.
General small stakes question. Is there a general rule as to how much we should by in for when entering a cash game or should we just always buy in for the max or cap if applicable?
Thank you sir
This will be addressed a bit, but if you want my thoughts on it now, check out Jonathan Little on Live No Limit Cash Games, as I go deep on this topic in that book.
As a new player studying the game, I find myself on Happy Tilt a lot. I constantly read about how bad these small-stakes players are, how it’s so easy to get their money, but I don’t yet have the knowledge or experience to fully exploit their mistakes. After a few hours of following the strategies I read about in your books and others, I get too confident. I start raising PF with garbage hands because I think a c-bet will take down every pot. Then I get called and end up barreling the turn and river trying to get my opponent to fold because I can’t show down 7-4o. Next thing I know I’m down two buy-ins and go on tilt wondering why in the world I chose to bluff away all the money I made.
Thanks for the concept. I will be sure to address it.
First of all, congratulations on your wedding.
I don’t actually have any questions for your book, but that will be easily covered by other readers I guess.
I am enlisting myself for your new book proofreading. Although I am Greek, I am fluent in English, particularly with Poker Publications, owning and having read about 40-50 books about poker. I also am a HUGE fan of your books, that is why I see it as an honour to participate in your next project.
Greetings from Zakynthos, Greece
Thanks! I will add you to the list.
Big fan of your writing! I have noticed that in $1/$2 there is a lot of people that open raise to $10 to $12 dollars, which builds a big pot. Could you cover a strategy to best exploit these types of plays?
That will certainly be addressed.
I’d like to offer my help to proofread your next book. I have close to 250 books in my library and over 20 of them are poker related. I crush the small stakes home games here in India and also play the $1/$2 cash games in casinos when traveling on business. Thanks to coaches like you I’ve had a successive run of 5 straight years of staying on the +ve side of my expensive hobby. Don’t ask what happened 6 years ago (hint: still hurts).
In addition I have 2 questions for you which I hope you’d answer in your book:
1. I’m good at live cash games but absolutely suck at online cash games. Having said that, I’m a better online tournament player than a live tournament player. Question is – how does one handle the transition from online to live?
2. I’ve seen that there is a cultural difference in the 1/2 cash games between Europe, US and Asia. There’s a lot more gamble in people in Asia, games in London are a lot more about post flop play and in US there seems to be a lot more pre-flop aggresion. Can you talk a little bit about this cultural difference (if you also feel it exists)?
Looking forward to your book. Good luck!
I will add you to the proofreader list.
As for your questions, online poker will not be addressed, but know that online games are MUCH tougher than live games. This means you have to be technically sound to succeed online.
As for the cultural differences, they exist, but I do not think you need to stereotype too much. Also, I go through my thoughts on this in-depth in my other book, Jonathan Little on Live No-Limit Cash Games.
Well, others have pointed to this but I will add my question as well:
In my local card room, game is 0.5/1 but the initial openings/raises are about 6-11. Actually opening with a bet of 3-4 is a tell that you come from internet playing and you are not familiar with live games, at least on this room!
How should one adjust his game to these conditions?
And something else: If the game is wild (of course it is), do you think that a small stack strategy can apply in the game, for example buying in for 50 and playing a particular way to maximize profit? Or should one buy for the maximum (which actually doesn’t exist, one can buy in for 300 or more, there is no restriction to it) and alter his game, and how?
Thanks in advance for any answers.
Thanos Nikolopoulos from Greece
And of course, there is the issue of too many callers…
If I open to 5 from early position I might get 4-5 callers, and an opponents reraise will not be even seen as a strong move (if it’s not too big), it will usually be seen just as an effort to clear the area from all the “limpers” (I know I should say callers, but they are treated like limpers).
I know that most good poke players pray for such games, but still it would be great for you to give as a few guidelines of how to handle such fruitful games.
Seeing the flop with lots of players is a great thing if you play well after the flop and they don’t.
Thanks for the great ideas. I will certainly discuss how to play against people who raise huge, but in general, simply play tight. It is almost as if the blinds don’t exist if your opponent wants to put in huge amounts of chips every hand. You can also reraise them then contination bet and see how they react, but there is nothing long with just playing snug.
Lots of talk about initial raises in a 1/2 NLHE cash game here. While blinds determine raise amounts so does stack size. If you have 9 guys at the table and the avg stack size is $200 the raises will be smaller on avg compared to a table where the avg stack size is $400-$425. I have seen a 2/5 game start looking like a 5/10 game pretty quickly based on stack sizes. Many people don’t realize this but when NL cash games were being spread back in 2003-04 the 2/5 game at the Bellagio had a max buyin of $200.
Stack size is very important!
Some things I would like to see addressed, that come up a lot in $1/2:
-Playing against players who buy in short vs. deep
-Getting maximum EV from player types (the gambler, the tight old guy, the reg, the tourist, the position dummy, ect)
-What to do in a call fest (the limp call fest, or if you 3-bet it causes a chain reaction of callers)
-Bet sizing. Maybe also address overbetting the river against players who are afraid of getting bluffed and/or will never let go of TP or an OP.
-The donk bet. How to defend against it and when to use it.
-Playing back at players HU
-Playing against players who view bets as relative not in regards to the pot (example: It’s only $10 more our of my $300 stack to see a flop)
Looking forward to another great read!
Thanks for all the ideas!
I’m available to help you proofread your book. Congratulations on your wedding!
I’ve been playing small stakes cash games for around 6 months or so, doing fairly well, but I’ve always been curious about proper “straddle” strategy. In Mississippi, we play $1-$3 NLHE so when someone straddles it is $6. Effectively cutting the stakes in half. Now most the information I find on straddles says “don’t play them” but in many of the games that are available to play, everyone just about always wants to do a straddle every hand. I can’t complain too much because it makes for some very juicy pots, but is a totally different dynamic of the game. If you could dive into playing from a straddle and against one, that would be incredible. And I think a lot of others like me would really find it beneficial
Thanks so much!
Thanks for the comment. Straddles really should not change the game much, besides they cut the stakes in half. However, some people lose their minds when there is a straddle in play. In general though, the game should not change. The small and big blinds should perhaps play a bit tighter, but beyond that, it is the same. Of course, some people who straddle always raise when people limp, so limping with a premium hand becomes an option against those specific opponents.
What is the best strategy when the majority of the table buys in for 50BB’s or less. should we put 100BB+ on the table or 50BB’s and pocket the rest?
You are always playing the “effective stack”, which is the shortest stack involved in the hand, assuming two players are in the pot. If you have 1000bbs and your opponent has 20bbs, you are playing 20bb poker.
I found your site while sampling new books to read about new methodology to beat no limit cash games. I have played limit for 20 years at middle limits but saw that no limit was and now is the future of hold em and I needed to expand my knowledge with new school methods. I would like to thank you for the free video on pot control. Watching this video around 10 times has opened my eyes to the flexibilities and complexities that exist within hands of big bet poker.
I just finished watching the hands from Barcelona and I have 2 suggestions from someone who plays 1-2 nl 5 days a week at the Santa Fe Station. First, I play roughly the same range as you do but I play small sets, generally 9’s and below vastly different. I find it is better to weak lead then call a raise, check back then depending how much of the villains stack is in play make your move on the turn or river. If you check raise in low limit the usual clientele become afraid and will make big laydowns. Second, I notice you raising the beloved A-7 suited in all positions and I feel that in low limit much of the value of those types of Ax suited hands come from making hands with them (and bluffing turns when I need to) so raising in early position removes the players I want in for those types of hands.
I will be closing my Chess.com account to join your training site soon. Thank you for all the informative emails I have received so far I feel they have added around $1,000 to my bankroll in the last 2 months. Email me if I can be of any help with what types of regs play 1-2 here in Vegas.
Thank you again,
My apologies …Congratulations on your wedding, she must be amazing to marry a guy who is already married to his career 🙂
I wanted to add another big mistake that low limit hold em players making every day concerning draws. I wont argue the game theory optimal math here rather the concept that weak players default to checking turns when completing draws. I think they feel that they are disguising their hands in some way or that betting here would drive players out that would otherwise pay them off on later streets if they do not check.
The reality is that rarely do we flop completed hands therefore our opponents are often drawing themselves. The way to get value on made draws is to collect bets while our opponents are trying to complete their draws or “pair the board” themselves. By waiting until the river these players need their opponents to complete a hand that is worse than theirs yet good enough to pay off with??? It seems ridiculous to play this way yet this is the default strategy of most players I play with at the lower limits. This is not the time to pot control. Checking your completed draws gives your opponents infinite odds to outdraw you.
By waiting till the river to bet, the bets made often have no value since when our opponent misses they will not call and if they outdraw us they will raise. I feel the heart of good no limit play is to get stacks involved and this is one of the areas that good players get value while poor players miss value and bemoan their bad luck by getting outdrawn.
Thanks for the space to rant and good luck with your book,
I would like you to address in this new book, in detail, top pair play post flop. In position, out of position, HU, multiway and of course with all kinds of opponents, 3bet pots, etc.
For example, In a 0,50/1 NL cash game (max buy-in 100):
My Hand AsKc, Stack 150, I am in the SB
EP opens 6, MP calls, I 3bet 18, EP folds, MP calls. MP stack 120, is new at the table – no knowledge of this player.
Flop: Ac, 7h, 9d, I bet 18, MP calls
What to do here? keep betting? check-call? check-raise?
I check, MP bets 30
What to do here? fold? call? raise?
I find this situation (top pair) one of the most common situations in my live cash games of 0,50/1 and 1/2. Many times is the best hand but you end up facing though decisions for all or almost all your stack in this kind of games.
Keep up the good work,
I will be sure to discuss situations like this.
As for this hand, I would 3bet a bit larger, perhaps to $25 from out of position when there is a caller. Once you flop top pair with $58 in the pot and only $120 left in stacks, it is fine to get it in every time without an insane read. I would bet $25 on the flop. The Td turn is somewhat rough for you. I would check, as you did. At that point, your opponent would likely be all-in wit my bet sizes. As played though, I would tend to check-call the turn and check-call some rivers. I agree that this is a tough spot. There is no right answer. You have to play poker!
I would like your expanded expertise on hand reading. Specifically, I would like a comprehensive analysis on “positional flops.” What types of FLOPS are better for a late position raiser vs. the blinds vs. an early opener with multiple examples? Additionally, please include examples when it would be most prudent to raise a player that consistently c-bets. Also, if you are still looking for proofreaders, I am available too. I teach 11th and 12th grade English. I can’t wait for this book.
Thanks. I will be sure to address these topics. I will add you to the proofreader list. Thanks.
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