Introduction To Short-Handed Texas Holdem Games Online

Texas-HoldemThe following article will teach you how to play winning short-handed Texas Hold’em. Short-Handed Texas Hold’em poker refers to games where there is six or less players at the table. A normal Texas Hold’em ring game has 9-10 players. It doesn’t seem like much of a difference, but the dynamics of both games are very different.

In this age of online poker, the short-handed poker games are widespread, especially in online no limit hold’em ring games at most poker sites where they’re referred to as 6-max online poker games. As a matter of fact, they are much more popular than full ring games, as short-handed play encourages lots of action, bluffing, raising, and everything that makes poker such a fun game to play, so it is very important knowing how to play against less opponents if you want to become profitable in these games.

It is very exciting to play Short-Handed Texas Hold’em, because this game gives you more action than you would find in any full-ring No Limit Hold’em game. Most experienced poker players actually prefer playing against fewer opponents, because the game is more interesting and they have a greater chance of winning more money against less skilled players.

You will be playing a lot more hands in the short-handed version of the game, so you and your opponents will be playing with a wider range of hands then you normally would. If you know how to play post-flop poker and what strategies to apply in different situations, the short-handed game could be very profitable for you, as there will be many good spots to win the pot before a showdown.

Good poker players have a preference for short-handed play because if you know how to beat your opponents you would win more money than in a full-ring table. Also if you want to take part in a Texas Hold’em tournament and make the final table, you will need to be a very good short-handed player, and so you can use the experience of playing short-handed cash games to your advantage.

The general approach to playing short-handed No Limit Texas Hold’em games is to play your hands aggressively, but very carefully. Due to the fact that the blinds come around at a much faster rate, it becomes increasingly important to pickup the blinds when you can. You will need to raise and 3-bet many playable hands, especially when you play from late position. When you are in early position you must be more selective about your hands as there are still many players left to act. Do not play weak and speculative hands from early position, you can easily be dominated and even when you flop a big hand, it is likely you will be playing the hand out of position, making it more difficult to extract value from your hand.

When the flop takes place you must continue to play aggressively, especially when there were only 1 or 2 callers pre-flop, which there often is in short-handed games. Because you are playing against wider ranges, it means in all likelihood the flop didn’t help your opponent, although it very much depends on your opponents and the board texture.

In short-handed poker games all hands, which contain an Ace or a King are very good, particularly when they are suited and you are in late position at the table. With such hands you have a very good chance to win. Remember that any pair, even pairs like 55 and 66 are good hands to play, and you must know how to play these hands depending on your position at the table. If it has been folded around to you, generally you will always enter the pot with a raise.

Because short-handed games played a lot more aggressively in comparison to full-table games, it means players will typically have a fairly wide open raise range. This provides plenty of opportunities to pick good spots to bluff pre and post-flop. It opens up the possibility to re-raise before the flop not only with your strong hands but as a bluff with the plan to take down the pot before the flop. Even when the 3-bet does get called you can often take it down uncontested on the flop. If you have a read on your opponents and know they fold to 3-bets fairly often then it’s going to be a profitable play.

Playing with wider ranges really rewards aggressive play and it is the main reason that short-handed play is a good way to learn the game. You’ll be playing with different ranges at a full-ring table, but there still are many situations that play similarly, for example, the cutoff versus the button, blind versus blind situations, and so on. Players are also typically playing with similar ranges in early position.

It also means you should be less willing to call raises with weak hands, as you’ll be put in a lot of tough decisions with marginal holdings, and the aggressive play of your opponents will take away your ability to steal pots after the flop since you were not the pre-flop aggressor.

Due to the importance of taking the lead in a hand, you will see players in short-handed games re-raise pre-flop with a much higher frequency. So you will need to adjust properly against players who are aggressive pre-flop, firstly by tightening up your raising range, and fighting fire with fire will be necessary at times, to let your opponents know you can’t be run over that easily, and that you are capable of coming over the top.

Like all poker games though you need to develop reads on your opponents before assuming too much. You don’t want to start making ill informed aggressive plays because it can quickly become spew making you lose a couple of buy-ins in no time at all.

Hopefully the advice in this article to play short-handed poker will teach you how to play this exciting format of the game and increase your win rate. Good luck at the tables.