Chapter 1: The Action Game
(You are reading Chapter 1: The Action Game from “How to Beat No-Limit Hold ‘Em 6-max Cash Games” by Bill ‘Billyjex’ Vosti. This book, which once cost $50, is being released for free in weekly blog posts. You can also download the book from Amazon in Kindle format for under five bucks by clicking here.)
The days when the only game of poker you could find was in a casino are long gone. The internet revolution has spread through the poker world like wildfire, and the game of poker will never be the same.
The game of no-limit hold ‘em in particular has been greatly changed. The style of play has evolved rapidly over the past few years, with many young players learning the game at breakneck speed through as they play hundreds of thousands of hands a year on their computers.
The most popular online games for no-limit hold ‘em are 6-max cash games. These tables have a maximum limit of six players per table, which leads to more action and bigger pots. Hundreds of these games are running online at any moment. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being won or lost every day at 6-max.
This relatively new game has mostly been ignored by the major poker books. Many of the authors of poker books are older, come from the casino background and haven’t paid their dues online like I have.
I’ve built my bankroll from playing these 6-max cash games and I’m here to tell you everything you need to know to beat not only the lower limits, but the higher ones as well.
If you spend the time reading and understanding every concept presented in this book, along with putting in the experience of actually playing hands online, you will excel at poker.
What can you expect from 6-max games?
The action. The 6-max games have a lot more aggression than the game at your local casino or even a full-ring game online. The fact is you’re dealing with only five other hands, so you need to make more plays with weaker hands than other hold ‘em games. Learning how to play these marginal hands is tough, but that’s what the rest of this book is for.
You get to play more hands with the fish. Given the fact the table is six-handed, you’ll be able to get into a lot more pots with the bad players than you would at a full-ring table. These are the players we make the most money off of and we want to play hands with them as much as possible.
You get to play more hands, period. At a 6-max table online, you can get in 75 to 100 hands an hour, per table. I usually play six tables, so I’m playing 450 to 600 hands of poker an hour! I have a calculated edge where over the long run I win around 40 cents per hand I play. So, the more hands I play the more money I make. At a casino, you only get 30 hands an hour. You can see how playing online leads to a lot more money!
You’ll be in the blinds a lot more. Learning to play well in the big and small blind can be extremely tricky. You’re going to be in these two spots often and if you play them poorly you’ll be a long-term loser at 6-max. It’s the whole dynamic of being out-of-position, which leads to…
The button and the cutoff (CO) are king in 6-max. The real big winners at 6-max are masters of positional play and that means playing a lot more hands on the button and CO. I emphasize this often throughout this book and for good reasons.
A quick note on the formats used in this book
- There will be some terms used in the online poker world throughout this book that you might not recognize. You can check the glossary for a word.
In this book, if a specific suit of the hole cards is needed to understand the hand, the symbols for the suit are displayed to the right of the card. Sometimes, they are written in the format of text. For the text examples, when the hand is listed such as 98s, the “s” means suited, in which both the 9 and the 8 are of the same suit. When the hand is listed like that, it does not matter what exact suit they are, just that they are suited. When the hand is listed such as 98o, the “o” means they are offsuit and the 9 and 8 are not of the same suit. Again, in these instances it does not matter what the suit is.
When a card followed by a “d”, the suit of the card is a diamond. When a card is followed by a “h”, the suit of the card is a heart.
When a card is followed by a “s”, the suit of the card is a spade. When a card followed by a “c”, the suit of the card is a club.
The following card abbreviations mean:
An “A” means an ace.
A “K” means a king.
A “Q” means a queen.
A “J” means a jack.
A “T” means a ten.