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6 Max and General Shorthanded Poker

How does 6 max texas holdem and shorthanded poker compare with that of the full table?

The shorthanded 6 max or 5 max games are popular online as they are generally more fun because you can play more hands per hour than at a full table. Theres also plenty more action and aggression which also adds to the fun.
Firstly high cards go up in value and your lower suited connectors go down in value as you have less pot odds with less players.
The game is more aggressive with alot more semi bluffing and bluffing. So to adjust yourself you will need to become more aggressive both pre flop and post flop. Limping first in in these games is a sign of a weak player and you will often get raised and find yourself heads up with a weak drawing hand and out of position.
The best poker players are tight aggressive. This becomes even more important at shorthanded tables where you need to be aggressive, gaining the intiative and taking down the pots when the flop has missed your opponents.
The flop often won't hit anyone, so you will lose alot of pots if you wait around until you hit your top pair. You will need to adapt your style so you are the one taking down these pots.

Making notes on the players you are against is also much more important. You will be playing many more hands with these players and you will need to be aware of there strengths and weaknesses so you can take advantage of them. Which players are overagressive, who is weak tight, whos the calling station etc. This site discusses how best to play against each of these types of players.
The blinds will becoming around much more often and therefore you will likely be facing many more blind defence situations. If you play tight in the big blind like you do in a full ring game you will certainly be losing money. You will need to loosen up as more often your hand will be fairly equal to that of the raiser.
How you play your hands post flop also changes as with less players seeing the flop middle or bottom pair is much more likely to be the best hand. Top pair is certainly a much stronger hand than it would be in a full ring game and your overcards may even be the best hand.

Another reason to play 6 max is that it will improve your overal poker game and you can then apply some of what you learn whenever you do play full ring. Some sites have predominately 6max tables or only full ring at some limits, so game selection can be greatly restricted if you want to stick at one limit and you may have limited choice of full ring tables. Also if ever you are playing at a full table from which a few players leave you will have the advantage over those players left at the table who may never have played shorthanded and may not be adjusting, therefore presenting you with plenty of profitable opportunities. Also if you are fortunate enough to keep moving up limits it becomes harder to find full games and relatively easier to find shortanded games.

  • high cards go up in value
  • lower suited connectors go down in value
  • Be more aggressive than at full ring
  • Don't limp first in

    Relevant Reading

    Six Max Baby Steps

    Some 6 Max Hand Examples

    Some More 6 Max Hand Examples

    Adjusting from full ring game to short handed play

    A cry for help Alot of general discussion

    Why play shorthanded??

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