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Six Handed Tables vs Nine Handed Tables

Article By: RuffPoker.com

The biggest mistake when a beginner plays at a short handed table is the thought that it is the same as a nine handed table. There is a big difference between the two and it is crucial to understand what those differences are. Playing in a six handed game is not at all the same as a full table. There are less people which means there are less cards out there. The fewer cards that are out, the wider your hand selection should become.

Playing at a short handed table allows you to play more hands. The reason is because there are fewer cards out. With more players there are more cards and hands. That means that there is a much better chance that someone will have a great hand. In a nine handed game for example you would never want to play a hand like Ace 8 or Ace 9. Unless you are just in the right position for the right price, you don’t play hands like that in a nine person game.

In a six person game a hand like Ace 9 or Ace 8 may not be that bad. It still is not a very strong hand but, it is very playable. Most of the times you will probably be ahead with a hand like that. The main difference between a short handed game and a full table game is the difference in hand strengths.

A good example is Ace Jack

Ace Jack is not a very good hand at a full table. There is just too good of a chance for a hand like Ace King or Ace Queen to be out there. Not only that but any pocket pair JJ or higher is going to have Ace Jack completely dominated. Of course, the idea is to play when you are ahead. If you are that far behind in a hand you are only going to win maybe 30% of the time, which is not very good odds to be playing for.

In a six handed game however, Ace Jack is a very strong hand. In some situations that hand is worth pushing in some serious cash. Your hand really has nothing to do with making money playing poker. Just because it is an Ace Jack or an Ace 10 or whatever it may be does not mean it is going to win or lose. The goal is to get as much money in while you have the best hand and to get away when you are beat. If you do that enough times, you are going to win money in the long run. If you are up against a 5 7 then an AJ is just as good as an AK. The point here is that AJ is a very good hand as long as you are not going up against a hand that is higher. In a six handed game there is less of a chance for that to happen.

The same thing goes with any other hand. There will be times in a six person game where you will have the best hand with a King 3 going into the flop. That doesn’t mean that a King 3 is a good hand. All that means is that your starting hand selection can widen a bit. There are hands that you may not play in a full nine person table that you would play at a six handed table. It is a completely different game and takes experience to get used to the differences. The more aggressive players always to better at six handed tables.