6 max Preflop Strategy
strategy is vitally important if you want to become a good winning
Below I show a starting hands chart. First and foremost the saying
"tight is right" is absolutely correct. The mistake the vast majority
of players make at a 6 max table is to loosen up way to much. We've
all sat down and seen some of these players go on amazing runs picking
up loads of pots. However that is due to short term luck and in the
long run these players lose. I strongly suggest you to start out very
tight. Over time when you are winning well, then consider adding more
hands and we will look at what those extra hands options later.
However some full ring rock players who find themselves in a 6 max
game or when the full ring table has gone shorthanded do play too
tight and will end up being blinded to death because they dont adjust.
The majority of the time you enter the pot it will be with raise.
Texas holdem is a game which starts as a fight for the blinds. By
raising first in you may win the blinds right there. The preflop raise
only costs one extra small bet and you gain the intiative in the hand
and often on the flop with a single bet you will take down the pot
when other players check to the raiser when the flop has missed them.
6 Max Starting
I would first like to point out that any starting hand guide is
just a base from which to work from, which is why I havent made
it into a chart. The starting hands are not set in concrete. Alot
depends on the table texture and how you read other players at the
table. However many players like to see some form of starting hand
chart so I have set out a guide below. Follow the links for a more
indepth look at how to play differently pre flop from the various
positions and get a better understanding of starting hand values.
To start with I suggest you stick to this chart. You wont be going
far wrong. Over time and as you become more experienced you can
change some of the plays and develop your own style and also understand
when and what hands can be added or played differently.
Position is vitally important in texas holdem so I have split the
starting hands up into positions. For a more indepth look
at each positions and variations on starting hands click on the
relevant position links.
Raise 1st and callers: AA-77,AKs,AK,AQs,AQ,AJs,AJ,ATs,AT,A9s,KQs,KQ,KJs,
Raise 1st and callers: 66-55, A8s,A7s,KJs,KTs,QJs,QTs,JTs,
Raise 1st or Call a caller: K9s,QTs, Q9s,
Raise 1st only: A9,KJ,KT,
Call a caller: JTs,J9s,T9s,98s,
Raise in front Reraise: AA-99,AK,Aks,AQ,Aqs,Ajs
Optional Reraise a LAG 88, AJ
Call or reraise KQs,QJs,KJs,ATs
Raise 1st and 1 caller: 77-55,A9,KT,QJ,
Raise 1st only: A4-2s,A8,A7,
Blind Steals: :44-22,A6,A5,K8s,QT,JT,K9,Q9,Q8s,J8s,T8s,98s,87s,76s,65s,
Not auto raises! With these you want button and blinds to fold,
or if a blind calls for them to easy fold flop when they miss.
1 caller Fold: A4s-A2s, 44-22.
2 callers: call: 66-22, A7s-A2s,T9s,98s. fold: A9,KT,QJ,
Raise in front Reraise: AA-99,AKs, AK,AQs,AQ,Ajs
Call, reraise or fold: KQs,QJs,KJs,Ats,
extra possible cold calls/reraises
cold call against prf +15% suited or hands with more than 1 caller.
suited hands: QTs, KTs, JTs, want multiway pot with these
so I dont mind cold calling
unsuited hands reraise aggressive raiser: 88-77, AJ, KQ
donít overplay, play cautiously could be dominated
Raise:: AA-77,AKs, AK, AQs, AQ, AJs, AJ, AT,KQs,KQ,
Raise 1 limper or call 2: A7s-A2s,KJ,KT,QJ,QT,JT,QTs,Q9s,JTs,J9s,
Call 1 limper: 66-22,T9s,T8s,98s,Q8s,J8s,J7s,T7s,Kxs or raise
Call 2 limpers: 97s,87s,76s,65s, raise 1st in but fold if
Auto Blind Steals 55, Axs,A5,K5s,Q8s,K9,
Blind Steals44-22,A4, K8,K7,K4s-K2s,Q7-Q2s,Q8o,J9,J8,T9s,98s,87s,76s,
Blind Steals 65s,54s,T8s,97s,86s,75s,J8s-J4s,T7s,96s,85s,98,87,
Raise in front Reraise: AA-99,AKs, AK,AQs,AQ,Ajs
Cold Call (or reraise 1) KQs,QJs,KJs,Ats,
If raise is 1st in from CO and likely to be a blind steal over say
estimated for example 26% then consider reraising the following:
Possible extra reraises 88-22,Axs,AJ,AT,A9,A8,A7,KQ,KJs,KJ,QJ
The more aggressive the player the more you can reraise with, QJ
is pretty weak.
Can consider cold calling the if pfr 15% and/or more than 1 in
the pot or loose blinds.
suited hands: QTs,KTs,JTs,
cold call 3 players in pot 77-22
Donít overplay, play cautiously could be dominated with unsuited
Ill state again the above is a solid guideline. In any game you
should be adapting to players at your table and in time with experience
you may be able to add more hands. Please read the relevant sectiosn
for each positions as not all the above hands are playable every
time, for example the blind steals and iso raises.
Playing the blinds in 6 max texas holdem is alot different from
a full ring game. See the relevant links for details of an indepth
Blind - You out of position and will often
be facing steals.
Blind - You'll need to learn to defend your big blind.
With good players playing more aggressively pre flop you will more
often see players cold calling. Find out when it is correct to cold
My starting hands
guide and pages should set you up with a solid pre flop strategy.
I highly recommend you read these links to increase your understanding
of the preflop plays and with experience you will learn which plays
are correct and when and wont need to follow a starting hand chart.
Heres some great preflop advice and starting hand charts from Leader.
Play: Take off the training wheels by Ed Miller. Ed Miller
highlights how you should be thinking preflop, play more hands against
weak players and less hands against strong players.
table of 6 handed open raising standards King Yao draws
up a table of his opening raising standards in 3 to 6 handed games.
This is a good base from which to work from.
Standards in 6 Max according to 9-2 offsuit.
30 preflop questions Different players opinons on what
hands they play preflop.
yet another preflop poll Answers for 13 various preflop
Am I a rock ? Common situtation for some tight full ring
players who move to 6 max.
Back to Basics. What do you do pre-flop UTG, button after
2 limpers and sb to a button raise questions.
Preflop hands 10 various preflop questions
Preflop hands II 10 Steal and defend questions.
25 very simple questions Various preflop questions answered
and discussed many good players.
proper level of aggression ?? Discussion on what hands
to raise preflop
for pocket pairs Basic discussion on playing pocket pairs
preflop and flop. Ive included to highlight not getting married to
your pocket pairs post flop.
or Raise 3 preflop situations discussed, K8s in CO after
1 limper, JTo button after 2 limpers, 77 in CO after 2 limpers.
suited kings: playable? A detailed looked at Kxs preflop.
and QJo in Party 5-10 (6max) Players 2 biggest losing
hands in $5/$10
pro needs help .. look at my stats please Leads to some
discussion on preflop hands. Rory gives some general good preflop
Card Power" in shorthanded play What exactly does this
mean and does the kicker count?
tight? Trying to find which hands to add... (10k stats included) Good preflop comments from TazQ
are more profitable...loose or tight blinds?
5% VP$IP Interesting how well Nikla uses position, something
highly important when considering adding new hands.
to limp pre-flop in a shorthanded Hold Em game Discussion
on when and where to limp and why.
and KT with limper in front from various positions From
a thread "Quick Preflop Questions"
Raising standards... 8 questions Raise, call or fold in
these 8 preflop scenerios.
Poll: 3-Bet Standards. UTG folds, UTG+1 raises, CO folds.
You're on the button. Which hands do you 3-bet?
PF Limp tricks. Is there any reason in SH? Might be useful
if playing against same players often.
Some Newbie 6-max questions #2 Highlighting some preflop
hands and situations.
Still not what I would like to see - to low a vpip Discussion
on stats, stealing and defending.
of 17 Looking to increase VPIP
of Hand rankings by percent of pots won vs random hands, played to
the showdown, against 1 - 9 opponents
Starting Hand Charts
The below offer starting hands chart, they are useful
in particular the top 2 links which show how the the chart evolved
and how certain players thought certain hands should be played. I
do think these charts are way to basic and have there flaws but useful
Another SH Starting Chart This is the first version of
the chart, Ive included this link so you can see players comments
on why and how certain hands should be played preflop.
Starting Hand Chart v2.0 (In Progress Update) This is
the updated version of the chart, again with many comments.
Ultimate Starting Hand Guide
For many players new to shorthanded texas holdem its difficult for
them to adjust and become more aggressive. This aggression starts
preflop when entering first in most pots you should be raising. Limping
is the sign of a weak player.
The following articles look at why raising is preferable to limping
raising prevent wouldbe junk limpers?
Games Discussion on limping preflop in low limit games.
handed play the optimum strategy IMHO Poster thinks limping
and passive play is best, read why and the counter arguments. Take
particular notice of comments by Naphand who was a player who experimented
and had great discussion on limping in preflop in the earlier "Loose