How to Play Poker Short Handed
A full poker table in most cases will have 9 or 10 players at the table. There are times when you may find players have left the table and you are playing short-handed. The term refers to a game where there are six or fewer players left at the table. Your strategy should change significantly when there are fewer players.
Chips move around the table much faster in a shorthanded game. You will also find that the blinds come around more often. Players are often much more aggressive short-handed. You will see much more hand per hour.
Lastly, there is a likely hood that there are fewer premium hands that your opponents may be holding. Playing short-handed can be much more fun if you know what you are doing. There is a lot more raising, bluffing and taking advantage of position.
You can open up your hand selection when there are fewer players at the table. This ability is because the blinds will come around much faster. You want to make sure to avoid having your blinds stolen and playing too many hands out of position.
Hand selection in late position is important; you want to play as many as possible. In the Early position, you can stick to more strong hands.
The position is Important
The fewer players at the table the more power your position gives you. Always remember that no matter how good you are you can be pushed out of a hand or loss a lot of money because of position. This happening is even truer when you are playing a short-handed game.
Play tighter in early position but open up your hand selection when in late position. This style is even more important if you are normally a tight player.
Open With a Raise
Only calling is rarely a good idea when playing short-handed. You need to take control of the table. You could end up taking down the pot or more importantly by the turn card. Taking control is important because you will be playing more hands and may need the turn to make your hand.
I also suggest that if you have been playing for a while and are up some real money, it just might be a good idea to get up and leave the table when it gets short-handed.
Learning to play a short-handed game is important for any serious poker player. If you play online to try a few micro stakes games with only four players and try some of the tips we have suggested.
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