Winning Strategy for Shorthanded Poker Games
There are two main reasons why you should try your skills at the no limit shorthanded poker. First of all, short handed poker provides a lot of fast action, as more hands are being played. And second, short handed poker attracts a lot of newbies for the same very reason – they are anxious for fast card-games action. You should take advantage of both reasons and use the correct no limit shorthanded strategy.
A common misconception about short handed poker is that fewer players mean you can play with smaller Hold em starting hands. In reality, the no limit shorthanded poker game must be even tighter than usual. Compared to 9/10 player Hold-em, there is less money in the pot. So in a short handed poker game, the hands you play with must be justified by the pot odds. For instance, let's pretend that you are playing short handed poker and you have 10-9. You call, hoping to receive a straight. Since the odds for a straight are slim, the pot size before the flop should be at least 4-5 times your bet to compensate your hope for the straight. But in no limit shorthanded poker you will probably have only one or two more players competing for the pot. One of them will beat your hand with a bigger pair. Therefore, the no limit shorthanded strategy demands different hold em starting hands.
In short handed poker, you must raise from almost any position with a pocket pair ranging from two aces to two sevens, ace with any card from king to ten, ace and nine suited or king and queens suited. If you have mediocre hold em starting hands (like jack-ten suited or 9-8 suited) and you are sitting at a later position, call if there was a caller before you. If you are on the button, the shorthanded strategy suggests that you steal the blinds even with hold em starting hands like queen-two suited. Blinds are in a tougher spot because of the possible blind steals. Small blind should fold if there is a steal-raise from the button, unless you have at least ace and ten suited. Big blind position will have to fight to defend his blind. So if you have a strong hold em starting hands, try to re-raise and see how the button responds.
What happens if you miss the flop? Since this is a short handed poker, you will probably be only heads up. Your shorthanded strategy should depend on what you did preflop or what your opponent is about to do. If you raised before the flop and you believe that your opponent will fold, then make a strong bet. If you are sitting behind him, and your opponent showed a weakness by checking – again, bet strongly. If he made a modest bet – scare him away by raising three or four times his bet.
Playing short handed poker can be tricky at times. You pay the blinds 1.5 times more often than at the larger table. Therefore, be more decisive with your cards and never miss the chance to steal the blinds. Use your shorthanded strategy wisely, and we will see you at the short handed poker game!