Poker Articles

Short Handed Play

Short handed poker is a different game then playing a 9 or 10 player table. Aggression becomes more important and you will necessarily have to play a wider range of hands to not get blinded out. Compared to a full table, short handed play is much more about playing the other players instead of the carsd and it will test your capability to outplay the rest. This is the reason why short handed play is difficult to learn but here are some general concepts to help you.

When you see a short hand game, were there only 6 seats or 9 seats at the start. If you see a 4 player game on a 10 seat table you should be aware that you are looking at the winners. These 4 sharks killed the rest of the table and are waiting for new fish. So you'll have to be confident about your poker skills.

The blinds will hit you faster in short handed play, so to avoid being blinded out and grinded down, you will need to widen your range of starting hands.

You will need to show more aggression to win your share of blinds and pots. This means you need to widen your range of raising and re-raising hands.

Be aware that your opponents are widening their range of starting hands too including theirraising and re-raising hands.

If you were playing full seated games, you probably already adjust your hand selection by position. You should play short handed games as if you were always in the late position in the full ring game. Without playing position it will be difficult for you to gain an advantage on your opponents cause your opponents will most likely be playing their position when they have it. Also try to open raises more often and try to buy position if you are not on the button. Playing position will help you read the hand and keep your opponents guessing.

Since short handed play encourages players to widen their range of starting hands and be more aggressive, slow playing gets more powerful. There is quite a big payoff from being deceptive about the strength of your hole cards since your opponents are less likely to just check. There is less risk of them simply taking free cards.

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