I am going to discuss the difference in playing at a short-handed game (4-6 players) and your best approach to these games. There will be many times that you will find a game that can be profitable, but you find that your style of play probably won’t get you the chips as it would in a full-handed table. There are many factors that work against you in a short-handed game that one needs to conquer to be a winning player. I like to play my poker games at 888 poker as it has one of the largest online poker communities in the world. Make sure to read 888 poker review if you want to find a more in-depth information about this company and why most poker players are playing their games there.
Blinds – The blinds are coming around faster than in a full game, but you’re still getting the same frequency of playable hands so it’s costing you more money to see your hands.
Rake– I’m mainly talking about short-handed games with 4-6 players (note: I will not be talking about games that are heads-up or with 2 opponents). Depending on the casino you play in, most of them will reduce the rake when a game becomes short-handed. But that is still money that is gone — which is more important the lower the limit you are playing.
For example: You’re playing $3-6 Hold-Em that is short-handed and a guy puts in $200 total over the course of 2 hours and loses it all. Let’s say the rake is $2 when it gets down to 6 people and the table is seeing 25 hands per hour or more. The rake is $100 (25 hands x $2 rake x 2 hours = $100, assuming there was a flop with maximum rake) for those two hours. Half of the money that guy put in now belongs to the house.
To get around these 2 factors, the higher the limit you play the less they go against you.
Opponents – What you might find in certain cases is that players in short-handed games are actually in fact relatively good. I’m not saying all of the players you find are good, but you will discover that these games do on average consist of a greater percentage of better players. Short-handed games for the most part were once full, and the most common reason they became short-handed is that most of the poor players ran out of money. This is usually found more often later at night. Continue reading