“How to Beat No-Limit Hold ‘Em 6-max Cash Games” is eight years old - What has changed?

As the book “How to Beat No-Limit Hold ‘Em 6-max Cash Games” nears eight years in age, I’ll quickly reflect on how different 6-max no-limit hold ‘em games are today and how your should adjust from the style recommended in my book. I took four years off after Black Friday to get my graduate degree, but I’ve started playing online again. When my book was written, you could play a more straight forward style of playing your hands for value, with some bluffs mixed in against players with a fold button, and profit. Here’s some quick points I’ve noticed:

1) The style recommended in the book is unbalanced with regards to bluffs. I don’t advocate bluffing enough to balance out my value hands. This won’t matter against fish at micro/small stakes on Bovada, but regulars are much better at recognizing these kind of tendencies today, especially if you’re playing on a site where they can get sizable samples on your turn/river aggression. Be prepared to barrel better scare cards or any sort of equity pickup on the turn, and follow through on the river, just like you’d do with your strong hands.

2) I don’t recognize stealing enough on the button and cutoff. My preflop hand charts folds hands such as small suited kings on the button, which is just crazy! I think back in the day, there was a tendency to be afraid of playing dominated hands postflop (hence why I was ok with playing something like 65o on the button and folding K4s). However, having the stronger showdown value of a high pair or king high has become valuable in today’s games where people defend their blinds more aggressively. Additionally, the semibluff power of the 2nd nut flush draw is great. I’d open more suited queens and jacks and fold the weaker connectors like 65o, unless the blinds were fairly nitty — then I’d steal a ton.

3) GTO was barely a thing then, now it’s always talked about. Again, playing against Bovada fish, trying to play GTO is going to be misguided as you’ll want to play exploitably to maximally profit off their exploitable play. But understanding what GTO is, what that kind of sttyle is like, will help you recognize the exploitable aspects of your opponent’s play, TAG and fish alike. I’d recommend watching some of the excellent GTO theory videos at DeucesCracked to get started.


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04. November 2015 by Skilled Online Poker
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