While playing your typical local game, or card room game, you need to be sure of your opponents moves, as well as your own. Most avid players will play plenty of home games against the same opponents, and be put into the same situations. Within these groups, there is always one strong player that usually ends in the black, or even by the end of the session, this person, should be you.
One of the most important factors of playing an opponent that you have great familiarity is utilizing his weakness against him. More often than not, you will be put in very similar situations with this player, and the structure of the hand will be completely the same. Also, the session will play out the same as it normally would (opponent(s) gets lucky, opponent(s) go bust).
To ensure that you finish the session ahead, you really only need to do two things, wait for cards (hardest part) and play to your friends/opponents WEAKNESS. You do not need the best hand every time to beat these guys, but it will sure help if they are weak players.
When in a hand against your friends(donks) ask yourself this every time if you bet, “How many of them WILL call this?” This is why it is very important to have good hands while playing these players. The more expected to call due to their poor judgment, should directly influence how much you will bet, if you decide to bet at all.
Here’s a situation: You are playing a 6 handed Hold’em game, blinds are .25/.50 everyone has about 60 big blinds, and you are on the button with 100 big blinds. Both UTG and second to act both call, hijack folds, it is on you, your cards read Ks Qs. In your typical online game, you would raise this instantly, but having poor players in the pot, you must tread lightly. You decide to raise $2, everyone calls. The flop comes 10s 6c 3h. Action checks around to you, you decide to take a stab at it with $4. SB folds, the rest call. Turn 8d.
By raising your button, you put pressure on yourself to continue action, and try to take down pots against dumbfounded opponents. The hand doesn’t need to play out because you get bet out on the turn, money lost, $6. Sure, it was only six bucks, but a loss is still a loss.
Knowing how your opponent will play against you, and how they will play regardless of the raiser that hand is vital to win these small cash/fun games. Control your betting by dictating how many will call, and find yourself a winner every night. It wont be long until you have the nuts and are getting 4 callers in the hand because they do not know any better.
Remember, play to your opponents weakness in these easy games before playing to your strengths.