Part V-C: Six Player Tables

Author's Note: This article is part of a larger course for new players. Course links are provided at the bottom of this page.

Online poker sites mostly provide a mix of six player tables and full ring games. Six player tables should not be something you are afraid to sit down at and play, since they resemble full ring games enough that you only have to modify your basic full ring strategy moderately in order to be successful. You loosen up on your pre-flop calls or raises slightly.

Instead of being in a hand an average of 18 to 20% as you would in a full ring game, you should average around 20 to 25 percent in a six player game. Following that, your strategies remain pretty much the same as they would in a full ring game, making all the regular adjustments for the fact that there are a few less players in the hand. By making adjustments I mean adjustments in your assessments of the likelihood that other better hands might be have been made. With a third less players, the chances of any particular hand being made is also less.

The biggest difference in a six player game is the speed of play. It moves a lot faster than a full ring game and online the players tend to be a lot more aggressive. If you are sitting at a six player table which is very aggressive you might have to cut back on the level of your calls and raises as you would in a larger ring. Excessive player aggression always means that the other players are calling and raising with generally inferior hands, and so you must tighten up relative to what they are doing, but when it comes time to act, be no less aggressive than they are being-the only difference is that you will have the goods to back up your plays, while they will rely on inferior tactics such as raising into straight draws, and other such poor plays which can not hold up over time against a strong fundamental strategy.

The other important factor to consider is the increased value of your table image. With the less people in the ring with you, the importance of your table image rises. If you do have a run of bad luck in a small ring, then the other players are more likely to key in on that-they will smell blood and try to move in and finish you off, playing even more loosely and poorly. It is difficult in this situation to combat an entire table of players, where in a sense they are playing together against you. If you get the sense that that is what is happening, then it is time to leave. Even using correct poker strategy in this situation, if the regular response factors of the entire table have altered due this scenario, many of the different plays that you would use in a normal situation will just not work.

So while I would not recommend a small ring as the very first table that you sit down at when learning to play, I would recommend that you try it out before too long. However, it is best to start out in a full ring if you are just sitting down for the first few times, in order to take advantage of the slower play.

The following links for this poker course are listed sequentially. Beginners may want to go through in the order in which they are listed to get the whole rundown. More advanced players may want to skip around to the parts which hold interest for them.


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