6 Max Cash Games
Players who have tried their hand at 6-max no-limit holdem cash games know that they are quite a bit more aggressive than their full-ring counterparts. 6-max games are won and lost on the button and players who can force their opponents to react to their aggressive play will find themselves successful. That being said, players who are too aggressive will find themselves being set-mined into oblivion. Follow our top five 6-max cash game tips and you too can learn to walk the tight aggressive line.
One of the advantages of 6-max games is that because there are fewer players in each hand, players spend more time in the blinds and on the button. This allows skilled players to take advantage of opponents who frequently over-defend their blinds or raise too aggressively from the button.
If you are looking for full-ring or more general cash game suggestions, check our top five cash game tips article.
Top Five 6 Max Cash Game Tips
1. Play Tight
Aggressive play is key from late position, but it is incredibly difficult to play profitably with weak holdings from the blinds or early position. The best way to play out of position is to simply choose NOT to play out of position. Fold.
Most new players play far too many hands and play them far too passively. Typically you should be folding between 2/3 and 3/4 of the hands you play without investing any money in the pot. This means suited aces, suited connectors, and face card hands should be folded in basically every position except the button. It certainly sounds cliche, but tight is right!
An awareness of your opponents’ styles and strengths will allow you to identify the regular players and take advantage of their strengths and weaknesses. Strong players for instance are much more likely to fold a medium strength hand like top-pair on later streets.
2. Be Aggressive
Aggression is key in poker. During a hand, the aggressor has a distinct advantage over the other player in the hand, the aggressor can win the pot by either having the best hand or forcing the opponent to fold. This additional win condition gives the aggressor such an enormous advantage in any given hand that famous poker players like Tom Dwan and Tuan Le have built their poker careers on this one concept. Force your opponent to make the tough decisions.
What this means is that virtually any hand you play you should begin by raising. Whether you are playing a speculative hand from the button, or a strong hand from early position, raise entering the pot. Playing aggressively will prevent your opponent from reading you and put your opponent on the defensive for the rest of the hand.
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3. Play Position
Play as much as possible in position, and as little as possible out of position. This concept is another very important facet to crushing no-limit holdem in general and 6-max games in particular.
Poker is a game of information, the more you know about your opponent’s hand the better you are able to play your own hand. Whichever player acts last during a hand of poker knows what the opponent is going to do before deciding whether to check, raise, or fold. The player in position has a significant advantage throughout the hand.
In early position you should play stronger hands so that if you are forced to play out of position post-flop, your hand can stand up to some pressure from the opponent.
In first position in a 6-max game you should generally limit your opening hands to medium pairs and above, very strong Ace-x hands, and KQ suited. On the button you can raise any suited connectors, JT offsuit, any two face cards, all paired hands and strong aces.
4. Believe Your Opponents
In low and micro stakes games, $100 NL and down, when an opponent is making an aggressive play into a reasonable sized pot it is either because they have a hand they think is good, or it’s because they’re a bluffer. And in low stakes games when someone is a bluffer, it is blatantly obvious. This means that unless someone has given you a good reason to suspect that they bluff too often, you should assume that their bets mean something (continuation bets aside).
If you are unsure if your hand is good, then it is likely correct to fold. Ask yourself if their line of play makes sense with the hand they are representing. If their play makes sense then it is safest to assume that they have the hand they are representing.
5. Isolate Limpers
When a player limps into a pot, it’s usually a sign that the player is not a strong player. It’s also a sign that the player’s hand is weak. A good way to take advantage of this information is to raise to push all of the other players out of the pot and get heads up with the opponent. This is called an isolation raise and is a great way to earn extra money in no limit holdem games. Generally speaking you want to raise a lot more hands than you would have raised if there was not a limper in the pot. If another player does enter the pot after you make an isolation raise, you can usually assume they have a strong hand and you can easily get out of their way.
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