A Basic Guide to Six-plus Hold’em

by | May 26, 2019 | Poker News

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Although it has been around for about five years, Six-plus (or Short Deck) Hold’em didn’t really catch on until recently.  

After it was found by a few of the biggest names in poker, it has become more common and is slowly making its way into online and live poker tournaments.  

To get into the game, it’s important to understand the differences and make strategic adjustments in order to win.

Six-plus Hold’em is called short deck hold’em because the deck is lighter than in normal poker games.  The 2-5 of each suit is removed, leaving just 6-A. The 6 becomes the “low card” and the Ace can be used to be either the low end or the high end of a straight.  In other words, you can have a A-6-7-8-9 straight or a 10-J-Q-K-A straight.

Apart from that major change, the hands change, as well.  Three of a kind beats a straight, a full house beats three of a kind and a flush beats a full house.  The other rankings remain the same.

Straights are exceptionally normal in Six-plus.  The motivation behind why straights are positioned lower than trips is on the grounds that straights are simpler to make. What's more, the motivation behind why straights are simpler to make is that there are fewer cards in the deck, which expands the likelihood of hitting one.  In Six-plus, the likelihood of hitting an open-finished straight by the river is near 48% (right around a 16% higher likelihood than in Texas Hold'em).

Since a set is more grounded than a straight in this variation, you should play pocket pairs all the more forcefully and not be hesitant to call 3-bets with any pocket pair.  The likelihood of hitting a set once a flop is shown is 18% compared with 12% in customary Hold'em. When you hit a set, attempt to boost your benefit by overbetting since your adversaries won't realize what you’re holding.  You only have to worry about a paired board that might give your opponent a higher full house or quads and suited boards (which can give your rival a flush). Sets will frequently get you paid more often than not.

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Flushes outrank full houses because they are now harder to find.  In Texas Hold’em, nine outs are available to hit a flush, but there are only five in Six-plus, or about 32% by the time, the river card is shown.  However, keep in mind that suited cards in Six-plus have higher values and a suited Ace is a great hand and is playable from virtually any position.  

In spite of the fact that big pairs are typically played aggressively in Texas Hold’em, the game changes in Six-plus.  Having a top kicker doesn’t hold the same value and, even if you have the lead on the flop, an opponent’s odds of improving his or hand by the flop are greater.  Because of this, it’s better not to overplay a hand if it just holds one pair after the flop. In almost no circumstances is it recommended to go all-in on the flop with just a pocket pair; likewise, betting for value on the river with a one-pair hand is not advised.  

Six-plus hold’em is a fascinating variation with a lot of nuances that make it more challenging.  This is one of the reasons it has become a favorite with high rollers who have already proven themselves in Texas Hold’em.  It will almost certainly continue to gain favor as more poker players try it out.

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