Six player max hold ‘em ring games vary from the full table games in a few areas that if you aren’t prepared for will cause you to have a losing session. The largest difference by far is the speed at which the game is played. Typically in a full table game you can avoid mixing it up in a lot of pots without having the blinds demolish your chip stack. In a six handed game, however, the blinds will reach you much faster forcing more action.
If you’re playing online you’ll notice that the hands played per hour is much higher in a six handed game than in a full table. If four players at the table fold, you’re left with two players going to the flop. If one bets and the other guy hasn’t connected with anything worth while on the board, you have a winner. In full table games where you have 33% of the table seeing the flop you’ll see more turns and rivers than at a six handed game with 33% of the table seeing the flop.
The number of players seeing flops is a very important number to look at when selecting your six handed table. The higher the percentage, the more players are taking flops. This number will tell you if the table is playing tight or loose. A loose table may be more profitable for a tight aggressive player than a tight table, as you have more opponents to extract chips from. On the other hand, a tight table may be more profitable for a loose player to steal pots from.
Momentum plays a larger factor in table play with fewer players. At a full table, the blinds nearly always stay active at all times. With six handed you will sometimes be able to find thirty hands on the flop before the cutoff. At a full table this is not the case, and while you can play tighter, there will always be players that will be ready to steal the pot from you when you raise. Watch for these guys, they’re easier to steal pots from than the players that everyone else tries to steal pots from.
Now you have a better idea of how to gauge which table to be at, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking the time to learn the numbers well. Watch a few tables you’re not familiar with, and start there. If you’re playing online, visit a few room with poor paying tables and begin there. While you’re familiar with the concept of software in general, be sure and stick to only the most popular hands. You’ll want to have a few rounds in otherwise, you’ll be bored.
Finally, you’ll want to have a few tips about busting. This is the most overlooked aspect of Hold ‘Em. You have to be able to bust your opponents to win. Whether it’s bluffing, multi-tabling, or the skill of the hand itself, if you lose a hand you won’t ever beat the house. Remember that you don’t always make the winner, and sometimes the table is just too far gone for you to be the winner. If you learn to be more aggressive and more often, you’ll be able to win at less than half the pots. Be different every time, and the more you vary your style the more frustrating the whole process will be.