Short Handed No Limit Poker Strategy

  1. Live No Limit Holdem Strategy
  2. Short Handed No Limit Poker Strategy 2017
  3. Short Handed Poker Strategy
  4. Short Handed Poker
  5. Short Handed No Limit Poker Strategy Bet
  6. 1 2 No Limit Poker Strategy
  7. Short Handed No Limit Poker Strategy Rules

Jul 26, 2011 Your range may open up from, say, 15 percent-18 percent in a nine-handed game to 55 percent-65 percent in a five-handed game. Oct 25, 2016 It was a short stack, short handed poker game so check out this video for detail poker analysis and feel free to share your thoughts. Poker is your thing? Ready to move up in limits? Shorthanded (5 or 6 handed) poker requires a far different strategy than normal 9 handed poker games. This article will give you the changes you need to make to dominate the tables.

Limit Hold'em:
1. Longhand Limit
2. Shorthand Limit
3. Adv. Shorthand
No-Limit Hold'em:
1. Intro to NL
2. Advanced NL
3. Who Pays Off
4. Stack Sizes
5. Double Hold'em
1. Intro to Omaha
2. Low Limit Omaha
3. Intro to PLO
4. Omaha Hi/Lo
1. Tourney Overview
2. Single-Table NL
3. Advanced NL STTs
4. Multi-Table NL
5. Multi-Table Limit
6. Tourney Variants
7. Knockout Tourneys
8. Ante Up Tourneys
Money Management:
1. Moving Limits
2. When to Quit
3. Short/Long Run
1. Intermediate Mistakes
2. Utilizing Promotions
In other languages:

$8 FreeUse Our Link
On the 888 network with the softest players
100% up to $500TIPS500
Large network with soft small stakes games
100% up to $600STARS600
Large network with soft small stakes games
200% up to $2000tips
Easy games at the largest poker room
Understanding how to play shorthand games (six or fewer people) is important to becoming a winning poker player. Most postflop play in longhand games involves critical shorthand concepts. If you are an internet player, you will find that shorthand games are very popular at online poker rooms. In fact, most high-limit games are played shorthand.
What type of game should I look for?
One of the most important skills in poker is simply playing in the right game. This is a very under-appreciated weapon in a poker player's arsenal. Unless you just want to practice, there's no reason to play against professionals! The best way to examine a game is to watch how much betting and raising occurs. If there is a lot of raising and folding, stay away! If people limp in a lot preflop and then just call bets, join the game! The reason you want to play against passive players is that selective aggression is the key to winning at shorthand.
Preflop Starting Hands
So what types of starting hands should you look for when playing shorthanded? Many articles have been written about this, but I'll briefly summarize what I believe are the playable hands.

One thing to remember is that hand values are relative, so a hand can be good under some situations and total trash under others. For example, if there has been a lot of action, like a raise, a reraise, a call, then a cap, I would fold anything besides AA, KK, AK, QQ, and JJ. You should always think about what the other guy has and guess whether you have a better starting hand than him before entering a pot.
Hands to raise with:
Pocket Pairs, AT+, KQ, KJ, QJ, JTs
Hands to call a raise with:
High Pocket Pairs, AJ, KQ, KJ, AT (maybe), QJs.
Hands to reraise with:
This depends on the raiser. Reraise a maniac with any pair or A9+, because you'll probably be winning at the flop. This sort of player could easily be raising with A4, so you want to isolate him, even when holding a hand like 66. Against other types of players, reraise with strong hands like AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AK, AQ (although you may want to smooth call with JJ). You should consider just calling with AK and AQ because it does very well 3- or 4-handed. If you hit top pair with one of these hands, there is a good chance you will get paid off if the pot is 3- or 4-way.
Suited connectors and small pairs are only playable under certain conditions. If people are not aggressive, it may be possible to limp with these hands and play multi-way pots. If there are four or fewer players in the game, there will not be any multi-way pots. So when the game is very short, suited connectors have very little value. For small pairs, you want to play a heads-up pot if the game is very shorthanded. Thus, if you are in early position, you should usually fold small pairs. If you are on the button and everyone has folded, you should raise with a small pair.
Flop Tips
When you have a made hand, bet it. Whenever you have a hand that is top pair or stronger, you should usually just bet. If your opponent raises you, you should probably respond with a reraise. Your opponent may be trying to buy himself a free card on the turn by raising you. Or he may have a weaker hand and is trying to raise for value in his eyes. Nevertheless, generally the best move is to bet or reraise with top pair and good kicker or better.
However, if you make a pair, but it's not the top pair, you have a decision to make. This decision will be highly situational, but here are some general tips. First, you must analyze how strong your hand is relative to the board.

It is unlikely that someone holds a nine. You should bet this hand if it is checked to you and probably call down if someone bets at you. Let's look at another example.
In this situation, your hand is extremely weak. You should fold this hand on the flop. Basically, measure how good your hand is against other likely hands.
Another important idea revolves around when to fold your hand. If you are going to fold, you want to do so earlier in the pot. For more discussion about this topic, check out When To Fold.
Drawing Hands and Pot Odds
Always know how many outs you have, or the number of cards that will make you a winning hand. But don't be too liberal when counting your outs.

Live No Limit Holdem Strategy

In this example, you cannot count the Ace as an out. After all, someone could easily have AK or hold a Jack.
No limit poker freeFlop bluffs. If you are the preflop raiser, the flop is a very good time to bluff.

Suppose you raised preflop, and it is heads-up on the flop. Your opponent checks to you. Bet! You have nothing, but he probably has nothing, too. Go ahead and try to steal. In pots that are contested between just you and one other player, often mere aggression is enough to win the pot, so your cards don't matter as much.

Short Handed No Limit Poker Strategy 2017

Semibluffing. Semibluffing is betting when you don't have a made hand yet, but you are on a strong draw.

You have a flush draw. Go ahead and bet. Not only do you have a good chance of hitting, you might steal the pot right here.
Other Bluffs. These don't work too well at fixed-limit, but they do work at times. Suppose the flop is checked and a Queen comes on the turn. Go ahead and bet. Your opponents are likely to fold unless they hit a draw or they have a hand themselves. Please realize that some opponents will call you down with Ace high. Against these players, don't bluff much. Instead, value bet often, and win a lot of chips whenever you have any sort of hand against them.
related video

Next Article: Advanced Shorthand Limit Strategy

Create an account and get up to $88 no deposit required, use our link.

How To Create A Great Atmosphere For Your Home Poker Game
May 30
27 Questions to Ask Yourself During a Poker Hand
May 20
The Pros Are Jumping on Twitch: Get In On the Ground Floor
April 30
Amaya Gaming Acquires Pokerstars and FullTilt in 4.9 Billion Sale
Party Poker Launches Casual Cash Games
Ryan Riess wins 2013 WSOP
US Players Able to Receive Full Tilt Money Soon
Thoughts on PokerStars VIP Changes
The Top 9 Myths About Online Poker
The 4 Worst Tips Given To Beginner Poker Players (Don't Fall Into These Traps)

This strategy column, and many like it, are featured in every issue of Card Player magazine. Subscribe today to get 26 issues delivered to your home each year!

Many players dislike shorthanded play, which is a shame. Full-ring game limit play is certainly profitable against the right lineup, but it can also be fairly dull as you fold hand after hand. Of course, playing more hands in full games is more interesting, but it is a sure way to lose more in the long run.

In shorthanded games, you get to play many more hands; not all of them, as some players believe, because a somewhat tight-aggressive game is still the key to long-term success. Your range may open up from, say, 15 percent-18 percent in a nine-handed game to 55 percent-65 percent in a five-handed game.

Playing more hands usually increases volatility, and your stack may routinely yo-yo far more than it would in a typical full game. Coping with swings is one of the adjustments
that you will have to make if you play shorthanded, as it simply cannot be helped. If you just tighten up, you will lose your blinds way too often. Don’t forget, in a five-handed game, you are in the blinds 40 percent of the time, as opposed to 20 percent in a 10-handed game.

You also get a lot more time to study opponents, since there are fewer of them, and they are probably playing many more hands. This should enable you to pick out traits and styles that you can exploit to your advantage later in the session.

Live shorthanded play is rare in many places, but if you play late at night or early in the morning, you can often find such a game. And being able to play shorthanded enables you to play when the games get short, instead of feeling that you have to pack up and leave; more fun, more play, more potential profit.

Here are a couple of hands that I played recently in a shorthanded $40-$80 limit hold’em game at Bay 101 in San Jose. I will take you through my thought process and share my conclusions. Shorthanded games are more situational than full games are, but you may pick up something from following the logic of my play.

Hand No. 1: I pick up the K Q on the button. We are four-handed. The player on my right folds, I raise, and as usual, both blinds call. In
shorthanded play, most players in the blinds call with whatever they are dealt, so you can’t draw any conclusions. I like the flop of K 9 8, and bet when the other two check. They both call. While calling, the guy in the big blind says, “See you at the river!” Now, I have played long enough to know that when guys say that, they usually mean, “Please don’t bet the turn. I have a little something, but would love to get to the river as cheaply as possible. Perhaps by saying this, I can scare you into not betting a hand like ace high, so I can get to the river.”
Frankly, it’s rare for an opponent to say, “See you at the river,” and actually call on the river.

Short Handed Poker Strategy

An interesting and rarely discussed aspect of shorthanded play is that players generally become far more chatty. After all, there are only a few players, and they are in virtually every hand together. Sometimes this talk can give away useful information, such as this case.

Short Handed Poker

The three of us saw the turn, the 2. Again, I bet after two checks. Again, there were two calls; the small blind called reluctantly, and the big blind rather quickly. Once again, he volunteered, “See you at the river!” The river was the 6. Both players checked again. I had every reason to believe that was a safe card, and that I would win the pot. I bet, and again the small blind called reluctantly. I was sure that I had her beat. But before I could celebrate, the big blind check raised! But this time, he gloated, “I told you I would see you at the river.”

Well, it was nice that he was having fun, but did he have the best hand? And if so, what could it be? It is highly unusual for a player to attempt to bluff-raise two players, because even if I was somehow bluffing, the caller certainly was not. I cannot beat any legitimate raise, as he would need a minimum of two pair to raise. He more likely had 10-7, flopping an open-end straight draw and getting there on the river. There were 11.5 big bets in the pot, so a call would seem to be in order no matter what, but I hate to give away money when I know that I am beat. Plus, guys who bluff almost never make a speech while they are doing it. They do not want to do or say anything to make opponents suspicious enough to call, so they sit there silently and think, “Fold. Fold. Fold.”

Given the speech and the intermediate caller, I did not think it was close. I folded, as did the small blind. But the winner was not finished gloating. “I told you I would see you at the river,” he announced as he flipped over his 10-7. So, at least I knew for sure that I saved the $80 correctly.

Short Handed No Limit Poker Strategy Bet

Hand No. 2: We are still four-handed, with a slightly different lineup. Again, I am on the button, and the player on my right folds. I raise with the A 9, an easy raising hand when shorthanded. The small blind three-bets, and the big blind folds. This is now a question of expectations. He expects me to raise here in a shorthanded situation with pretty much any two cards, so my A-9 is well above average for what I could hold.

1 2 No Limit Poker Strategy

On the other hand, he will three-bet with any playable hand (as would I), so his range is quite large. He bet the flop of 8 4 2, and I called. So far, his range is unchanged, as he would continuation-bet every single hand that he three-bet, from A-A to J-9, and maybe even less, as some people like to try this play with hands like 6-5 suited.

The turn is the 7, and he bets again. I like this bet less than the last one, but I am near the top of my range for my button raise. Sometimes when shorthanded, you have to call with hands like mine even if you lose fairly often. If you fold every time that you don’t have a pair or better, opponents will run all over you. My current plan is to call all the way.

The river 4 pairs the board, but this time he checks. I am delighted to check behind, as A-9 is not a hand that I would like to bet for value. He tables the Q 10, so my hand is good, but I need to be aware that he gave up easily, and must worry next time if he bets the river under similar circumstances.

Short Handed No Limit Poker Strategy Rules

Conclusion: Shorthanded play presents many opportunities for reads and good play. Sometimes you have to lay down top pair, and sometimes call with no pair at all. And, of course, you will be wrong some of the time, but so will your opponents. Shorthanded play can be challenging and interesting, as you get to play a lot of hands and get involved in many difficult situations. But this experience helps you to hone your judgment and make money in situations where others feel they have to leave. Try it if you get the opportunity.

Barry Tanenbaum is the author of Advanced Limit Hold’em Strategy, and collaborator on Limit Hold’em: Winning Short-Handed Strategies. Barry offers private lessons tailored to the individual student. Please see his website,, or write to him at [email protected]

Related Articles