Short-handed limit hold'em

F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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Some specific questions regarding short-handed (limit) play:

Pre-flop:
How do you adjust your starting hand requirements? Not everyone uses Sklansky's list, but most people have an idea of how suited connectors perform better at a full table then when you're heads-up. But how radically do you change your priorities in a 6-man table compared to a 10-man table? Does the list just change its contents for you, or do you also loosen up the requirements altogether?

Do you play more aggressively pre-flop short-handed than at a full table?


Flop:
How do you reason when you have overcards and are first to speak? How about on the button when no one's bet?


Is your decision whether to slowplay a monster affected by the table size?

How about semibluffing draws?


Do you see any reasons to play the turn or the river differently?

/F
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

A Member
Lots of good questions but I have to ask what limit are you playing? At the lower limits (even 2/4), bluffing is next to impossible as it only cost folks 1 more bet to call you down. Adjusting to the table is the most important aspect in short-handed limit. If you're playing at a very tight table, loosening up is a necessity as everyone is waiting for AA or KK. At a loose table, I sit back and wait for premium hands. One thing you have to avoid is the natural tendency to defend your blinds by saying to yourself, "it's only another buck". You'll end up "stuck" in hands you won't win and have a hard time laying down.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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I try to avoid smaller tables, because I'm not as comfortable playing them as full ones, so when I do sit down, it's usually micro-limit to low-limit tables.

However, my intention wasn't so much to ask for advice, as to just ask anyone how they reason, at "their" limit. But you're touching on something interesting, Dave: Do you react differently to a loose 6-table than a loose full table? Is your hand selection different?
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

A Member
Not really. The problem I continue to see at limit tables is that many (maybe the majority) folks will call with anything to see a flop. The more players at the table the more chance that the 8-3 offsuit they called with will turn into something. That's one reason I hope our private ring table at Titan will start to get some use as we can at least ridicule each other if we limp in with junk and catch.

I almost never play the 10 seaters anymore for this very reason. The blinds come faster at the smaller tables but there's less players to limp in and call you down. If there's a strategy that works to combat this common occurance - I've never heard it...
 
Tammy

Tammy

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I personally prefer the short-handed tables to avoid the limpers as much as possible. I never seem to do as well at the larger tables because of the guy playing the 8/3os catching his hand. I like to play the .50/$1 and $1/$2 (that's the level I'm comfortable with now) as I find that anything lower than these (micro-limits) are filled with noobs, and play is just atrocious. To answer your specific questions:

Pre-flop: Do you play more aggressively pre-flop short-handed than at a full table? No, not really. Now, once I get a feel for the players at the table, then I might, if I find that they are really tight. But again, it can be difficult to bluff on limit tables.

Flop:
How do you reason when you have overcards and are first to speak? How about on the button when no one's bet?
First-to-speak: I'll check it down, so as not to give an opponent the chance to raise me. This way I can hopefully see the next card for a cheaper price. On-the-button, I would definitely bet here.

Is your decision whether to slowplay a monster affected by the table size? I think slow playing at limit is a mistake, unless you flop the nuts. Then I would slow play at first, to try to get a bet to raise. Table size wouldn't matter. But on a larger table, definitely no slow playing.

How about semibluffing draws? Depends on my feel of the table, but I would consider doing it more on a 6-player that a 10.


Do you see any reasons to play the turn or the river differently?
If I've flopped the nuts, perhaps. I might try a little check/raise action. Or, if it's a hand that has been checked-down continually, I may take a stab at the pot.
 
V

VIPERPS

Guest
tough one, i like to play the short handed tables, because it has more actions and your preflop hand requirements are much lower. The good thing about the full table is that you can play tight and the blinds dont come around too fast.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

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VIPERPS said:
tough one, i like to play the short handed tables, because it has more actions and your preflop hand requirements are much lower. The good thing about the full table is that you can play tight and the blinds dont come around too fast.
Aha!

How much lower are your starting hand requirements? And do you rank down certain hands (like drawing hands) vs. lower pairs like 88 or 99?

I'm interested in the reasoning, either mathematical or experienced, that goes into making these decisions.
 
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