By the way, overplaying 98s is one of the biggest leaks in my SH game... wouldn't be surprised if this is true for others. There's some literature out there about 98 being superior to T9, but nonetheless, its still not a profitable play for me.
Quote: By the way, overplaying 98s is one of the biggest leaks in my SH game... wouldn't be surprised if this is true for others. There's some literature out there about 98 being superior to T9, but nonetheless, its still not a profitable play for me.
Interesting... I seem to play 98s about the same as you do. Once or twice in a session I'll raise first in on the button or CU with semi-trash like this. Statistically, it is worse than JT or T9, but the potential psychological benefits are fantastic. People HATE being beaten with 98s when they are holding big cards, and if they are beaten in a showdown, they will stop giving you the respect you deserve as a selective aggressive 2+2er . If you miss you can try to outplay the opponent or easily fold to any aggression. I agree, though: if you do this too much, you deserve everything you get.
By the way, if the SB or BB 3-bets and it's HU, I cap every time. For only 1 small bet, you create a lot of fear in your opponent.
Interesting that in only a few responses we already have wide divergence.
If I put two answers, the first one is what I'm more likely to do, the second what I'll do in special circumstances, like when against too tight players or on a blind steal.
A3s fold, player dependent but call or raise, fold KT call, raise or call, raise or call Q9 fold, fold almost always, fold JT call, call or raise, call 98s fold, fold, usually fold
I at least call with any two cards that total 20, and sometimes with K-9 suited. I don't like J9 and I don't like Q9. If I have my doubts because some stronger opposition has called, I'm much more likely to throw away QT and possibly JT. If they're suited I'm very unlikely to throw them away for a single bet.
If the blinds can be stolen I might raise with any of these, and I often raise with any King-broadway or K-Ts. QJs I raise with if I'm un the button or the cut-off sometimes. KTo and any Q's I raise with very dependent on who's in the hand with me and my position. I'm not that fond of the hands that I don't want something advantageous going for me before I commit much money to them.
Stealable blinds make me raise with these hands much more, but one of my weaknesses is not stealing enough and just not raising enough preflop generally.
I play Party $1/2 6-max, and the players are extremely loose.
A lot of people around here are saying that you can play 6-max much like regular games minus the first four positions. Ed Miller's SSHE starting chart for tight full ring games says that in late position you can play "any two offsuit cards ten or higher)." If you can do it for tight full ring games, am I wrong in thinking it's applicable to loose short-handed games?
It seems to me you have to loosen up in short-handed games, not tighten up. And in the $1/2 6-max games I'm in, I see people calling with any ace, any king, even any queen sometimes. My standards are a lot higher than theirs. The ones I consider the better players I still see calling with any suited connectors or even any two suited. What am I doing wrong here?
Seriously, please tell me, as I'm dying to learn how to play 6-max well, and I'm not just trying to argue to argue, I'm seriously trying to learn. I actually play tighter than Ed's chart for tight full-ring play in many ways. I don't play nearly as many suited cards, for instance(87s, etc.).
Oh the humanity. Did I read advice to CALL back there? Under the gun??? I believe I did.
Look, ladies & gents. I'm no poker nostradamus, and I don't have 150K 6-max hands in my PT database, but I'll throw this little tidbit out for consideration: calling in 6-max is death.
Sure, there are a few places to do it, like on the button with JTs after several tight limpers (looking for a fit-or-fold flop, since you're clearly not ahead PF). And of course postflop there are some calling situations as well. But more often than not, calling is crying out to lose money in shorthanded play.
It has been mentioned that 6-max is basically a lot like full ring with 4 leading folds. I guess that's true. In this sense its not all that "shorthanded," and adjustments to your full ring game seem (by 2+2 consensus) not to be necessarily too large.
But if seat(s) are empty, or someone is sitting out, things change. Pure and simple.
Either way, limping UTG is verboten. Group 1 hands might be an exception, and doing so with a maniac to your left might be ok too if you're planning to limp-reraise. But otherwise, don't do it. Flat calling with A3s or 98s on the button either with or without limpers seems suicidal to me. You gain no equity from potential folds, and you have nowhere near the pot odds to rely solely on your draws to beat out a superior Ace while holding A3s. If they've got an overpair to your kicker(starting with a whopping pair of 4's) you're drawing relatively thin.
Limping with 98s at a loose, passive table might be more defensible, if its a truly family pot and you can expect to be paid off on a made hand, otherwise chuck it. There just aren't enough opponents to pay you off on draws in 5-max and 6-max, in all but the rarest of circumstances. Suited connectors go down somewhat in value, and unsuited hands with solid showdown value go up a little (i.e. AT). This does not mean you completely turn your world upside down as far as hand selection, but adjustments are necessary.
Yes, you do need to loosen up a little from full ring. For me, this means lowering my steal requirements a little and moving hands like ATo and SPTK into the playable realm. You asked what you're doing wrong by not playing any ace, king, and sometimes queen. My answer: nothing. Keep your requirements high, and increase your aggression while doing so. This will have the dual effect of punishing the Ax/Kx limpers when you have dominating hands, and value-building the pot for when you do occasionally hit something even bigger.
Also, try to examine how much money you're leaking in the blinds. This is a huge transition from full ring, where you pay the blinds less often and are forced to defend against steals less often as well. Folding to a steal in the SB about 80-85% of the time sounds ok, and folding in the BB to a steal about 60% of the time likewise**. Sklansky advocates re-raising about 1/4 of the time you intend to play against a steal, and this has worked out for me so far (small sample).
**I'm less sure about this. In a steal situation where the SB folds and you're the BB, its heads up and new rules do apply. Check out the heads-up posts here to look deeper into this. Some people advocate a fold to steal in BB % much, much lower than 60. Until you're very comfortable with postflop HU play, I wouldn't stray far from this mark, however. Too many marginal situations where you could be losing money for only minimal gains in pre-flop expectation.