Playing low stakes short–handed Hold´em is very popular amongst many of the sites associated to the smaller networks. This is possibly because these networks are populated by online poker players who have migrated from a casino or sports betting affiliate, and are the type of player who likes their action fast.
These 6 player tables range in all stake values, but the lower no-limit tables are the ones you should aim for initially. There are several ways in which you can make your visits to these tables profitable, but they may require a slight alteration to the way you play full ring games.
As with full ring games, try to select your table by the number of players going into each flop. At low stake levels there are a lot of inexperienced players who will try to get to the flop cheaply. These add value to the pot and will increase your winnings.
Strong starting hand selection is the key to success. Only play the very best hands. We mentioned above about seeking out tables with high players/flop ratios. Even when playing short-handed, try to maintain your own involvement to less than 30% of hands – no matter how tempting it is!
Bet sizing is important. As you may find a lot of “calling stations” on your table, you cannot afford to go too large pre-flop. If you miss the flop with your high pocket cards, and one of the calling stations catches with their lower ones, you could easily lose a substantial amount of money. Better to go lighter than you would into the flop, and then bet and raise aggressively once you have caught.
Position is not as important as it is on larger tables. Although there is an advantage to being on the button, in many cases it will be the value of your hand which determines whether or not you should bet. Remember that with only six players, there is 33% less chance of seeing the top hands as there are on full tables.
Playing small blinds with weak hands is a money loser. A circuit of the table occurs more frequently, and therefore the blinds also come around 33% more often. If you can avoid playing weak hands in small blind and saving your chips for stronger hands, you will see a noticeable difference in your chip count.
Each of these points carries equal importance and will help you successfully play short-handed Hold´em at all levels of the game. By introducing yourself at a low limit on a loose table, you will be able to develop your bankroll quickly, and by multi-tabling, it will be easier to keep you participation down to a suitable level, but also enable you to clear bonuses much quicker.