Blinds vs. No. of Players

If you have researched something about poker strategy, you'll know that players are usually advised to play a fairly tight style that includes only strong holdings. However, that is mostly advice for full ring games that feature either 9 or 10 players. You see, there's a large difference in the frequency you have to post blinds, when we compare the full ring games versus shorthanded ones. It gets even more obvious, when taking a look at the heads up games. If you play these as tight as a full ring game, you will get killed really fast. Lets take a look at the optimal strategy at every time of cash games depending on the number of players at the table.

MicroStakes FullRing Strategy

FullRing is known to be the most beginner friendly variation of cash games. This is simply due to the fact that there are either 9 or 10 players at the table and you'll have to post blinds less often. You can play only your strongest holdings and take advantage of your position. Full Ring is also considered to be a beginner friendly variation because the likelihood of having bad players at the table increases along with the amount of players seated.

Best Online Poker Sites

If you are just starting out at cash games, I would strongly advise you to start exactly with full-ring. Play your strongest hands from the early position and develop a linear hand range. One that includes a wider hand range as you get closer to the button.

MicroStakes ShortHanded Strategy

Shorthanded cash games are currently the most popular variation in online poker. They feature more action and more room for aggression than the full ring games, but also require more skill, as you will have to play more hands to make up for higher frequency of putting up the blinds. I wouldn't advise to jump straight into 6max games, if you don't have much experience in Full Ring, as you might be uncomfortable with playing post flop holding relatively weak hands.
However if you do jump right into these games, here's a reasonable hand range that you should start with. This only shows the hands that you should be openraising.
  • UTG 77+ AQ+ AJs+ and occasionally play some speculative hands that flop well like 89s.
  • MP play a similar range to the one from UTG, but wider it up a little. 66+ AJ+ ATs+ KQ+ Kjs+ should be a good star. Also add some more speculative hands once in a while.
  • CO cutoff is the first of so called stealing positions. You'll have only one player holding a position against you, thus you can play a wider hand range. You're also looking to play versus players in the blinds, as they will be out of position after the flop and you'll easily be able to win money longterm in spots like these. You should be playing a relatively wide range from the CO. 44+, AT+ A8s+ K9s+ KT+ Q8s+ JT+ and many speculative hands.
  • BTN button is the absolute best position at the poker table. When playing on the button there is none at the table holding positional advantage against you. Once you get comfortable it's actually possible to play all the hands from this position, given that the players on the blinds are passive and will fold too much. However, a good starting range would be something like this 22+ A2s+ A5+ K6s+ Q8+ J7+ 45s+
  • You can just add any hand you like, as it will be easy to control how the hand is played postflop.

Heads Up Poker

Heads Up is a form of battling between 2 opponents. If you've just started to play poker, I would strongly advise against doing this as HU is the most technical game of all and requires flawless hand reading skills. It's more of a game of skill than anything else and that's exactly why most top professionals prefer to play this variation.
I won't get into this type too much, but if you do decide to play raise most of your hands from the button and play a reasonably tight hand range, when on the big blind. Position is everything, especially in heads up.