If you’re like most of the people playing online poker at Bodog, you started out playing tournaments. This is how the poker boom began. Tournaments are still incredibly popular, but at some point, if you want to continue growing as a player, you need to get involved in cash games. Cash poker will take your skills to a whole new level, and maybe even fatten your bankroll along the way. Here are some cash game tips to help you find your way around the tables at Bodog Poker.

Play at Stakes You Can Afford

This is one of the most important online poker tips you’ll ever receive. As a general rule, make sure you have at least 20 buy-ins (of 100 big blinds each) for the stakes you’re playing. Anything less will expose you to too much risk; this is bad for your bankroll, and the mental stress from playing under-rolled can impair your decision-making process, as well. If tilt is an issue for you, consider playing with at least 50 buy-ins in your account, or even 100 or more if it makes you feel comfortable.

Set a Stop-Loss

One of the great things about cash games compared to tournaments: You get to keep playing if you lose your stack. All you have to do is buy in again. However, it’s also easy to lose track of how much you’ve bought in for, especially if you’re topping up your stack automatically. One way to avoid this is to place a stop-loss limit on your sessions, maybe for two buy-ins. This will also keep you from going on tilt and digging yourself into an even deeper hole when the cards aren’t falling your way.

Use a Balanced Strategy

Tournament poker gives you plenty of opportunities to learn how your opponents play and adjust accordingly. With cash games – especially when you play Zone Poker at Bodog – you don’t get much of a chance to profile other players. That makes it more important for you to “play defense” and use a more balanced cash game strategy, rather than focusing on how to exploit your opponents. Find the right balance of bluffs to value bets and stick with it for the most part. This will be even more important when you’re multi-tabling and trying to put in a higher volume of hands. You’ll leave some money on the table here and there, but you’ll also minimize your mistakes and put yourself in the best position to make more money per hour in the long run.