6+ Hold’em

Six Plus Hold’em Starting Hands

10,438 Views Comments on 23/6/16

If we look at traditional Texas Hold’em starting hands, we would expect to get our beloved AA about once every 221 hands, so what about in our new version of the game?

Article image


In the first part of the article we looked at Six plus Hand Rankings, where it became clear that the 16 cards missing from the deck in this variant leads to a slight, but important, changes in how strong the starting hands are which we will receive.

Let’s take a look at this in some more details, and work out how this affects the strategy of our game.

  • Lowest Rake 6+ Games Online
  • Mobile & Desktop Six Plus Action
  • PLO & NLHE Variants
Sponsored Content


Pocket Aces

If we look at traditional Texas Hold’em starting hands, we would expect to get our beloved AA about once every 221 hands, so what about in our new version of the game?

Well, without troubling you with the maths (I CAN do it, honestly!) the answer is you’ll get your pocket rockets once every 105 hands, which is more than twice as often as in Texas Hold’em!

Naturally, what goes for aces also goes for the other pairs – you’ll have a pocket pair more than twice as regularly in Six plus Hold’em (as will your opponent! Don’t forget this important consideration).

Are there any other changes we need to know about regarding starting hands? 

Well, let’s take a look at a few examples and see how they compare to normal Texas Hold’em…



Let's Say We have JJ

A naturally tricky starting hand in Texas Hold’em, but one we would probably open-raise with pre-flop. How does it fare in Six Plus?

We need to realize that instead of beating nine other pairs pre-flop, now it is only a favorite against 5, and still a dog to QQ, KK and AA. So it is not as strong in this respect.

However, because 3 of a kind now beats a straight in Six Plus, flopping a set becomes very strong against many hands – flushesare harder to come by, as we saw previously, because there are only nine cards of any single suit available in the deck.

So, how often will our smaller pairs flop a set? In Texas Hold’em it’s about 11.8% or roughly one time in eight. In Six Plus, we will do the maths quickly (just to prove I can!)

There are 36 cards in the pack, we have – let’s say again – JJ in our hand. So there are two jacks left in the 34 remaining cards.

The flop probabilities work out at 2/34 + 2/33 + 2/32 = 0.18, so basically one time in five when we have a pocket pair we will improve to a set on the flop. Not too shabby!



What About the Hated 72 Offsuit?

In traditional Texas Hold’em this is the worst starting hand, and almost completely unplayable. Well, as you can probably work out yourself quite easily, in Six Plus the equivalent hand is J 6 offsuit, which, let’s be honest, would rarely be played even in our normal game!

  • Lowest Rake 6+ Games Online
  • Mobile & Desktop Six Plus Action
  • PLO & NLHE Variants
Sponsored Content


Playing AK Becomes an 'Interesting' Problem

We know how difficult it can be to play this hand in Texas Hold’em, both pre-flop and post-flop, so how about in Six Plus?

Well, first off, we will be dealt AK about 2.5% of our hands – which is quite a lot of the time, maybe once every five or six rounds at a full ring table, so it’s important enough to learn its worth in Six Plus Hold’em.

If we accept that suited versions become a lot more valuable - flushes beat full houses in our new version - then it can also make sense to play AKs slower than usual. Mixing our game up with AKs hides our play better, while AKo is still a very strong hand which we can 3-bet and even consider stacking off with.



Small Pairs

Of course 66 now becomes the smallest pocket pair. In Texas Hold’em we could consider calling pre-flop raises with this hand if the price was right – flopping a set and cracking a higher pair is our main goal – but now we have to consider that we are essentially playing 22 in a game where set-over-set sees our 6’s screwed, although on the plus side they do now beat straights!


Relative Hand Values

We need to be aware that these change a fair bit from Texas Hold’em, since stronger hands in general are being played across the board. Top pair, top kicker is nowhere near as strong – in fact it is very unlikely to win on its own as a best hand at showdown in 6-max or full-ring when we play Six Plus Hold’em.

There is also the ‘alternative river version’ of the game to consider, when receiving an extra hole card means that hand strengths can become stronger still.

So, in general two pair would be a median winning hand at full-ring – a useful thing to know when planning your hand strategy!


We will look at the change in Pot Odds in part 3, but a casual glance at things like ‘drawing hands’ shows that we are more likely to his many of them, as we have fewer cards left containing the same number of outs. For example, a gutshot – where any of four cards hits for us – now gives us 4/31 chances to hit after the flop, as opposed to 4/47 in Texas Hold’em – a significant difference indeed!

So, we’ve now seen the basics of the game – Hand Rankings, how starting hands differ – and next up are the ‘Pot Odds’ calculations, which will affect our strategy considerably…

  • Lowest Rake 6+ Games Online
  • Mobile & Desktop Six Plus Action
  • PLO & NLHE Variants
Sponsored Content



More Top Rated Content

Articles

Coaching Videos

    Follow

    Author

    PokerVIP Coaching

    At PokerVIP we pride ourselves in recruiting top poker talent from around the World to help our users improve their game. With over 350 original training videos from over 30 renowned poker coaches, PokerVIP is one of the best resources in the World for learning not ... Read More

    Comments

    You need to be logged in to post a new comment

    No comments to display

    Sign Up To Watch More

    It only takes 1 minute to register and unlock access to unlimited poker videos.

    OR

    Take Part In This Promotion

    Its easy, simply register with one of the rooms below and add your username to your PokerVIP account

    Its easy, simply register with one of the rooms below and add your username to your PokerVIP account.
    Add your "Room Name" username and register with PokerVIPEarn 250 VIP Points Instantly & 10 VIP Points for Every $1 in Rake.

    "Room Name" Screename:

    Register
    Login

    PokerVIP Credentials:

    PokerVIP Credentials: