playing short handed games

Once you have mastered the basics of Texas Holdem, you may be ready to move on to some advanced topics. One area where advanced Texas Hold'em strategy comes in is in short handed games. A short handed game is one which has six or fewer players at the table, as opposed to a full ring game of nine or ten players. How do you adjust your strategy for this type of game?

For one thing, you must play many more hands. The likelihood of certain holdings to be the best increases considerably in a short handed game. Often an ace high is the strongest hand dealt out, much more often than in a full game. In addition, players will be trying to steal more often, since there will be fewer players they have to get past to win the pot. For this reason you must be prepared not only to enter more pots, but to call and re-raise more often than you would in a full game.

Also you must be prepared to play heads-up. In a short handed game however, it may often come down to just the blinds, who will have to play heads-up. Keep in mind that as the small blind, you will be out of position for the rest of the hand, so it is often a good idea to come in for a raise if you are going to enter the pot at all. This is true even if you have an average hand. If you just call the big blind every time you have a marginal hand, he will sooner or later catch on that you only calk with mediocre hands and start raising you frequently. Similarly, if you frequently find that the button is raising your big blind, you will have to take a stand and start picking strategic spots to re-raise, even if you don't always have a strong hand. Once you have done this, you should bet the flop most of the time. The likelihood of the flop hitting a single other player is only about 1/3, which is fairly low, and against a player who is attempting to steal frequently, this bet will usually take the pot. Of course you have to try to develop a feel for when this player has a real hand.

Finally, you will have to adjust to the speed of the game. A short handed game goes much faster, which means you will have much bigger financial swings in a much shorter period of time. Be sure this does not take you off your game. If it does, play a smaller limit game while you undergo a period of adjustment.

Short handed games are fast and full of action and can be a lot of fun to play. Consider the ideas here and with a little practice, you can be a highly successful short handed Texas Hold'em player. If you want to learn more about anything from Texas Hold em strategy to Texas Hold’em rules, you should definitely check out!