Help with playing short handed

PRLJAM FAN

PRLJAM FAN

Guest
I was just wondering if any one could give me some advice on playing short handed tables. I've been playing short handed fixed limit cash games for a while and have basically just ended up breaking even. I realise you have to play more hands as the blinds chew through your stack quickly, but which ones? I've tried to play really loose with hands like A-rag K-rag, but seem to get out kicked alot and then when I play something like 8-10 and make middle pair I'll bet only to get called and then beaten by someone who had top pair. I've read some articles which say the key to winning is to play more aggressivley and throw out alot more preflop raises, especially when on the button and then again after the turn. I've tried this aggressive style along with my tight approach but just can't seem to get anywhere with either. I would really appreciate some help, as I enjoy playing the short handed tables, but man it's just so frustrating when you have been playin for a few months and just can't seem to increase you bank roll even slightly.
 
shinedown.45

shinedown.45

Legend
Put up a hand history of you 6 most recent hands to give more of an idea of what you may be doing wrong
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
K-rag and 10-8 hands shouldn't be played unless you have very specific reasons to play them, and they're definitely out of the regular range of hands you should continue with.

The blog contains a fair amount of posts geared towards shorthanded play. Maybe you can find something of interest there?

Edit - Good place to start is here: https://www.cardschat.com/blog/02/24/volatile-but-oh-so-profitable/
 
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Dorkus Malorkus

Dorkus Malorkus

HELLO INTERNET
Indeedy, you don't need to be playing hands that aren't even marginal without due cause.

In fact, if your table selection is good enough, the range of hands you 'should' be playing compared with a full ring table is not that much wider. Of course some stuff you shouldn't be playing UTG at a full ring table like KJs/ATs/etc become raising hands UTG at most 5-6 handed tables, but there isn't as much difference as you might think, like I say, as long as you're sitting at the right tables.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
An additional comment:

Your preflop standards should, optimally, be roughly proportional to your skill. The better you can play postflop (that is, the fewer mistakes you make) the more hands you can profitably play preflop. The problem with this statement is that I don't know of any poker player that doesn't severely overestimate his own skill (myself included, of course) which means that we all have a tendency to play too many hands.

If you're new to shorthanded play, tighten up. Perhaps play just as tight (or even tighter!) than you would at a full table, until you figure out what's going on. The tighter you play, the easier your postflop decisions will be which translates directly to you making fewer mistakes. When you're working your way up to being a winning player, one of the key points to focus on is avoiding situations where you have to make difficult decisions.

As a sidenote, once you're a winning player and want to become better, that's when you may actually consider purposefully placing yourself in difficult situations just to learn from them. The reason I started playing 6-max was actually for that reason; to challenge myself with more tricky situations. That I ended up falling in love with it and staying (for glory and, to no small extent, profit) is just the ending of a happy story.

Cheers,
FP
 
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