This poker pro shares cash poker secrets and explains how to compete against four types of players

What to Focus on During Each Hand of a Cash Game

Your Play

• Think about the action on every street of every hand before you act.

• Don’t play the same generic style all the time.

• Pay attention to every single hand that takes place during your cash game session.

• Do not value bet the turn and river against tight players who fold all their worst hands and continue with all their better hands.

Your Stack 

• How should I alter my play based on the effective stack size?

• When calling a raise, ensure you are getting at least 10:1 implied odds with small pocket pairs and 20:1 with suited connectors.

• When the effective stack is greater than 40 BBs, try to play lots of pots in position.

• If you only pay attention to your own two cards, your position and your chip stack, you are certain to fail in the long run.

Your Opponent

• What do I know about my opponent?

• What are my opponent’s tendencies?

• What can I do to take advantage of my opponent’s tendencies?

• What does my opponent know or think he/she knows about me?

• Is my opponent doing anything to take advantage of me?

• Should I play in an exploitable or balanced manner against my opponent?

• Always put your opponent on a range of hands instead of a specific hand.

• Do NOT value bet when you think you have the best hand most of the time and you think your opponent will fold most hands that you beat.

Play to Your Opponent

Loose Passive—players who play too many hands too passively:

• Value bet relentlessly. 

• Fold when they apply significant pressure.

• Bluff on later streets when they have a marginal range and you think they will fold.

Loose Aggressive—players who play too many hands too aggressively:

• Realize they often have marginal hands even when they apply pressure.

• Bluff them on scary boards.

Tight Passive—players who play too few hands too passively:

• Relentlessly steal their blinds. 

• Fold to their aggression. 

Tight Aggressive—players who play too few hands too aggressively: 

• Do not stack off with hands worse than top pair, top kicker.

• Relentlessly steal their blinds.

Against players who play well:  

 • If they think you are tight, bluff a lot. 

 • If they think you are wild, play tightly. 

 • Intelligently avoid them and focus on playing against the weak players.

Jonathan Little, a professional poker player and WPT Player of the Year, has amassed more than $7 million in live tournament winnings, written 15 best-selling books, teaches at, and owns @jonathanlittle