I've played a bit of live cash games after playing online a lot and have found it quite comfortable. The stakes are higher but once you get your feet wet, it's quite comfortable, and in my opinion, even easier to win than online. Here are some tips.
Make sure you have at least three buy-ins
for every 6 hours you plan to play (if not more). There are many legitimate reasons why a good player can lose a buy in. You want a back up in case your pre-flop raises don't hit the flop. Calling other people's raises can cost you some money too. Also, make sure you're comfortable with losing your buy-ins (never gamble money you can't afford to lose). The best way to increase your stack of chips is to be confortable throwing it away.
I personally prefer buying in for the minimum amount of chips and building my stack. This minimizes the loss if I shove pre-flop and lose. At the blind level you mentioned, I'd probably buy in for $100-$150 at a time, and stop after losing $400-$600 worth of buy ins within 6 hours of play. You really shouldn't be bleeding a lot of money unless you get a bunch of big hands because you're going to...
; play very, very tight. If you're playing with $2 and $4 blinds, that means it's only $6 for the button to go around the table. A dealer will get out a hand approximately every 2 minutes, so you can expect to see 30 hands an hour. With 10 players at the table, that's 3 rotations of the button around the table which means it will cost you $18 an hour to play. Expect to fold a lot of hands. The blinds never go up and there are unlimited rebuys.
Don't be a douche. Tip the employees
who are serving you. Give the pretty waitresses who bring you your free drinks a buck for every drink. Whenever you win a pot, give your dealer a buck or two. If you give him two, he'll notice; most people only tip a buck no matter how big the pot is. Both dealers and waitresses get paid crap and deal with crap all day. They'll treat you nice no matter what, but their niceness will be genuine when you tip. Plus, you're playing a game where you can expect to make a profit easily. Share some of that wealth with the people that make it possible.
Stop bluffing, stop c-betting, stop check-raising
. It's not very effective and won't work the way you want it to. Check raising scares the fish and will kill your action. Bluffing will either cost you money or win you pots that you would have won by checking. You don't need to hide your hand with consistent C-bets because no one is going to know what you have when you range your bet based on the strength of your hand which brings us to...
Bet the strength of your hand
. If your hand is really good, raise pre-flop and see what you get. If it's not that good pre-flop then just limp. If it's weak and someone raises, you should fold. Don't expect to beat someone after the flop with a weak hand when a stronger hand, held by a fish, is going to call you all the way to the river. If you do call a raise with a weak hand, you're not much better than a donkey player.
When your hand does hit the flop, determine if you've got the best hand and what kind of draws are out there. Fish love chasing flushes. They also will play any Ace and some will play any King. Bet enough so that good players draws and high card-rags will fold. A fish with those hands will follow if you keep it cheap. They don't understand the concept of odds
and they don't know how much is in the pot (a big pile of chips in the pot will encourage them to call for more money-use this to your advantage when you've got a good hand). If you suspect another player has a better hand than you, just check; fish like to check, because betting is scary to them. Donkeys and smart players will bet the strength of their hand. The money you make will come from when you hit the flops hard and build a huge pot (I can easily see a pot reaching $500 with only other player, so save your money for when you get one of those pot-building hands).
Don't be afraid to fold
hands that don't hit the flop right. It's only $18 an hour to play. Most of the money you'll lose will be due to over betting hands or betting on marginal hands. Don't do it. If you've got middle or bottom pair with an Ace on the board and some donkey/fish is betting, fold. Winning money in poker comes from having the best hands. Profiting
from poker comes from folding hands that you're not going to win with.
. Figure out what type of players you're playing against and watch what hands they show at show down. You probably won't be able to establish a perfect range, but you can make broad generalizations about the type of player they are based on the hands they limp with and call raises with (I'd ignore the hands they play in the big blind). You can quickly determine if they are a fish that will call all the way to the river with middle pair or a donkey who will call with anything or a good player who shows down with pocket pairs and high cards.
Your brain will pay more attention than you. Your brain picks up a lot of information that you don't realize. When you're trying to decide whether another player is bluffing or not, your brain is going to make a decision. The decision it makes will be correct more often when you're paying attention. It's not something difficult you have to do. Just watch the game. Figure out whose turn it is, determine what the nuts for the board is, what other kinds of hands would want to make a bet with that kind of a board, what your hand would have been if you limped, what you think the betting player has, etc. Pretty much be involved in the game and your reads will be better than if you played Angry Birds on your phone (I love the players who occupy themselves with their phones or friends or the sports game while playing at my table).
Don't play when tired, drunk, high on caffeine (or other drugs) or on tilt. Get up and go do something else. Come back when you're concentration is not affected negatively.
Be a good player
. Not good at the game, but a good person. Bring honor to your hobby by respecting the other players at the table along with the dealer, the floor person/people, and the waitresses. If a mistake happens, bring it up so it can be corrected. Don't let a player win a pot that another player should have won because the dealer and player misread the hands.
Poker without money is very dull. Winning money from other players is part of the game (as well as losing money to them). Don't be a dick when you win and don't be a dick when you lose. Accept that you won/lost, keep your mouth shut, and move on to the next hand. Don't apologize for winning and don't berate other players or the dealer for losing a hand that favored you. You can be respectful and polite to other players as you take their money away from them.
Don't teach others how to be better players
. This includes berating them for making bad plays. It is bad for the rest of us if you improve the collective knowledge of the player base that we play with. It ultimately hurts your bottom line when you help others to become better players.
If the game allows it, I suggest you allow pots to be chopped pre-flop if the other player wants it and the board to be run twice if another player requests it. You'll probably find yourself in situations where you will want the pot to be chopped or you want the board to be run twice. You're more likely to get other players to allow this if you also allow it. Remember also, you're going to make your money when both you and one other player wants to put money into the pot. When the other player doesn't want to put money in the pot (and wants to chop instead), you're not going to make money.