6 Max No Limit Texas Holdem Tips

Back in the old days (that is before the internet era) practically all the texas holdem poker games were so called full table games, meaning that each table had 9 or 10 players playing in them. That was also the case in the beginning of the internet poker era. However for an unknown reason (likely because it is so much more fun) after a couple years most of the no limit texas holdem games running had become 6 max player tables, also known as the short handed games. At first this was especially true at the European online poker sites but now days it is also true at the big American online poker sites. Playing the 6 max games is in a sense pretty similar to playing the full tables, but on the other hand the winning strategy is also quite a bit different. What this means is that basics are the same (e.g you shouldn’t call huge raises with 83 offsuited), but you also need to change up your play in certain situations to maximize your profits in the shorthanded tables. From below you will find couple tips that we believe will improve your success when playing the short handed NL games.

Top 6 max no limit texas holdem tips:

1) Bankroll management!

As with all the poker games if you are playing poker to win money the most important thing is to follow a good bankroll management strategy. The swings (= losses and wins) are naturally much bigger in the 6 max games, that is because everyone is playing so many more marginal hands and playing them in much more aggressive style. We recommend that you always have at least 50 buyins for the table limit that you think you are winning player in and are playing. So if you are playing $0.5/$1 6max no limit in which the normal buyin is $100 you should have a $5,000 bankroll. This might sound like a lot but it is not uncommon to have terrible days during which you end up losing 5 to 10 buyins ($500 to $1,000). After such a days you might also want to consider playing smaller tables until you are certain that your confidence is back on the level where it is supposed to be.

2) Abuse the people who call too much

6 max games attract the type of players who simply can’t let their hands go. They probably noticed that in the 6 max tables people are bluffing more and thus their desperate (and often, in all honesty, ridiculous) calls win more often in the showdown. It is quite easy to spot players who do call downs like this, simply observe the hands they are playing and the manner in which they are playing them. When you find a player who calls too much don’t be afraid to “value bet” (= betting your hand so that you extract the most money from his worse hand) him thinly, and you can often even value bet him somewhat obviously. Against good players you will often need to mix up your game a bit so that they don’t know when you have a good hand and when you are bluffing. The people who call too much don’t care about your hand: they are simply playing their hand. e.g if they think a top pair is a good hand they will call you down even if it is obvious to everyone else that you have a much better hand.

One tip about value betting against this type of players is that you should always plan your betting in such a way that you will get the most out of it. So for an example you should for an example very rarely slow play anything against them, simply bet the flop, bet the turn and bet the river and if the stacks allow it make the bets such a that each bet is smaller than the pot but in the end either your or your opponent has all the chips in the middle.

So for an example if you both have $100 stack in $0.5/$1 no limit game and you have AA and the flop comes A93 with no flush draws and you are 1 on 1 against the type of player with $15 in the pot you could bet the flop, turn and river in the following fashion: On flop bet $12 to $15 now you both have $88 left and there is $29 in the pot, on the turn bet $23 to $29 pot, now you both have $65 left and there is $75 in the pot on the river simply go all in for the $65 to the $75 pot and hope that he calls.

3) Stay calm!

Fact: You will lose big pots more often in 6 max than in full table no limit games. In 6 max people go much more often all in on the flop with draws, do marginal preflop shoves and play otherwise in a fashion that will simply cause you to lose big pots more often in that game in the full table.

Fact: It will take you very long to get moneys back which you spew away when you are steaming. Great 6 max player can expect to make around 5 big blinds for each 100 hands played, so if you are a good $1/$2 no limit player you can expect to win $10 for each 100 hands played. If you steam occasionally and throw stacks away grinding them back might take very long. For an example if you lose just two stacks (2*$200) in the fashion that could have been avoided if you were thinking clearly (for an example you decided to bluff against the player describer in the tip number 2 it will on average take you 4,000 hands to get the moneys back. If you play 2 tables at the same time that will translate to average of 20 (2*20*$10) hours of play to get that $400 back. I hope that clarifies why it is important to get up from the table the moment you start steaming.