6 Max Poker Strategy

This article will explain how to adjust your poker strategy to fit 6-max games online, which have become much more popular than full ring. There are several reasons why 6-max poker games have gained in popularity over the past few years. One of the main reasons is that this short-handed version of online poker means players get to play more hands per hour. Another one of the benefits from playing 6-max games is they tend to attract the action junkies, with the average 6max player much more willing to get their chips in the middle, so the swings can be big.

When making the comparison between full ring cash games and 6-max online cash games, it really is like comparing chalk and cheese, they are nothing like one another. So it makes sense not to approach 6-max games with the same mindset you would have when playing at full ring tables, since the same strategies and general approach you have adopted in your normal FR cash games just won't work as well.

If your game of choice up until this point in time has been playing cash games at full ring tables, you will probably find the increased aggression of 6-max games uncomfortable to deal with at first, but you don't want to allow this to negatively impact your game and win rate. The first thing you should know is that there are fewer players in 6-max games (6 players or less) and this completely changes the dynamics of the game. When there aren't as many players left to act there is less of a chance of someone actually being dealt a premium hand, which lends itself to more aggressive poker.

Generally speaking, 6-max players are playing with a wider range of hands and also stacking off a lot wider in certain spots simply because there is a lot more preflop aggression. With the blinds coming around at a faster rate, it also means 6-max players are looking to steal the blinds hoping the players in the blinds won't put up much of a fight. Much of the blind stealing takes place from players in late positions at the table. Even though successful blind steals will typically mean you will only win a small pot, it's a crucial strategy of winning more at 6-max, as it will allow you to constantly keep adding chips to your stack.

If you have played 6-max for a while you will also notice there is a lot more three betting even at the micro stakes level. As noted above, players are raising with a wider range of hands before the flop (with very little limping into pots). As a result, thinking players are a lot more willing to 3bet because they know it's difficult for the initial pre-flop aggressor to continue in the hand as they won't want to play a big pot with a marginal hand. A pre-flop 3betting strategy that makes use of light 3betting to win lots of pots uncontested pre-flop is something you will definitely want to integrate into your game when playing 6-max just as long as it's executed under the right conditions. For example, if a player has been opening their button 30% of the time and you also know they have a very high fold to 3bet %, this means they are raising with a really wide range from the BTN and folding to most 3bets. So, if you were in the blinds, a 3bet/resteal would be in order, as you will likely get a fold from your opponent. Not only will you likely win that hand without seeing a flop, it will create a certain table image that will allow you to more easily get paid off when you are actually have a big hand.

A common mistake made by beginners who just get started playing 6-Max is they over-adjust and become too aggressive. The outcome as a result of this never ends well and they inevitably end up donating their chips to the sharks at the table. Poker is a situational game, meaning that what cards you play, and how you play them, will vary depending on each situation, and 6 max poker games are no different in this aspect from any other normal ring game. It's all about well-timed aggression and picking your spots.

In Conclusion

I think it would be true to say that 6-max games are more profitable for better cash game players. Since you will be playing a lot more hands and there will be a lot more marginal spots, the better players will be able to better judge where they're at in the hand, and will be making fewer errors then their opponents. If you wanted to improve your game, especially your post flop play, then you should without a doubt start playing 6-max poker games. As a beginner, if the main aim isn't so much improving your game as it is getting your feet wet in poker cash games online, than you may feel more at home at full ring tables, and then you can make the jump to 6-max once you get more comfortable and start craving more poker action.