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Looking for advice for short-handed games.

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  • Looking for advice for short-handed games.

    Does anyone have any advice for playing short-handed, like when a table gets down to 3-4 players? What kind of hands should I be playing? Or if anyone had any links to articles about this that would be great too!

  • #2

    Dave has a whole series on final tables in our video archive. In the search at the top of the page, search for Final Table.

    John (JWK24)

    6 Time Bracelet Winner

    Online Poker League
    Can you win the leaderboard?


    • #3
      In general your ranges should be much wider on a short handed table. Hands that would be an easy fold at a full 9 handed table are raises 3 handed. I found playing 1 table sit and go games were good practice for short handed situations, since you get there more often.

      Definitely study the videos that John suggested, there's some great information there.
      Bracelet Winner


      • #4
        It's funny when I played poker several years ago I really liked playing short and heads up. It was one of the few areas of poker in which I actually did quite well at low stakes. Not so much now. I keep wondering why - more conservative now? Anywho, you need to realise that Axs and Kxs have some very good equity against 2 or 3 random hands, and especially good equity heads up. If you hit any part of the flop you are often a favourite. Hitting the flop is key. I also like to slow play monsters more often (~ 25%) than I would in a full ring. As always, aggressive use of betting is a required, but sometimes I like to play a rope-a-dope strategy, if deep stacked, just to wear down opponent's will power or let them become distracted.

        I also have started using the play money heads-up games to get a better feel of the ranges of hands that tend to do well.

        As the mod said, there are some excellent vids, and learning is key. Use the resources.


        • #5
          Try to think of short-handed play as very similar to just always being in either the CO, the BU, the SB, or the BB. The ranges of the player's ahead of you will be slightly weaker than usual, but not by much. This is due to there being less folds before you which would tend to eliminate less small cards, leaving less of a concentration of big cards for the players who act after you. In general though, your CO opening range will work pretty well as first to act on a 4-handed table and your BU range will work fine as first to act in a 3-handed game. Maybe just open these two ranges up ever so slightly.

          One other point is that player's tend to overreact to a table going 4-handed. Look out for this and look to punnish it.
          Head Live Trainer
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