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Why 6-Max rather than Full Ring?

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  • Why 6-Max rather than Full Ring?

    I play Full Ring Zoom. Yet, every day I notice that there are more players on the 6-Max tables than on the full ring tables, especially at higher stakes. Why 6-Max rather than Full Ring?

    I can understand how a casual player might like the allure of being more active at 6-Max. You play a higher percentage of hands. This might be more fun than folding 90% of your hands. But, is it more profitable? From the stats I have seen, most players lose money from the blinds. At 6-Max the blinds are hitting you 2 out of 6 hands, whereas they are only hitting you 2 out of 9 hands at full ring.

    Perhaps the winnings from being more often in position offset these losses? I can see a good regular having a postflop advantage over the casual players at lower stakes allowing them more situations to win pots. Yet, does this skill advantage exist at 50NL and up levels? Are there enough weak players to offset the number of good players at these stakes?

    Or is this simply a question of generating VPPs for Supernovas? Before you could let the other players generate VPPs for you, but now you actually have to get involved in the hands. One does play more hands at 6-Max.

    Personally, I like to minimize my losses. The fewer blinds I am stuck with the better. I also like to keep it simple. At full ring I can rely on playable cards in playable spots, not just my reading skills.

    So, what is the big secret that I am missing? Why 6-Max rather than Full Ring?

    I would love to hear your thoughts!

    Roland GTX

  • #2
    Like you, I'm a full ring specialist. Those games suit me best, because they are relatively low variance, I play an ABC style, and I'm fairly patient, not an "action junkie".
    I also recommend total beginners play full ring, because it allows them to sit back and WATCH lots of hands while taking notes. There's little need to play marginal hands, so you can concentrate on playing "value hands"; the type that make TPGK, nut flushes/straights and sets. In effect, full ring 2NL is about nut-peddling, and avoiding tricky spots.

    In a 6 max game, you have to play hands more often in order not to get blinded down. This forces you into spots where villains are harder to put on a range, and you make bets and calls with hands that are far from the nuts.

    One benefit of 6-max is that since you won't be folding as often, you'll get more experience of post-flop play in the same time period as a full ring player. This is fine if you're making a profit, but not so good if you're a beginner that is losing money.

    And here lies the rub: An analysis by an external website of millions of hand histories found that the best players of 6-max typically had higher winrates than the best full ring players, but the worst players of 6-max had much higher losses than the worst full ring players. In short, if you're a losing player, you'll lose more money, more quickly if you play 6-max. If you stick to full ring, you usually won't be playing so many hands, or paying so many blinds, so you won't go busto so quickly.

    There's a good reason why the majority of pros play 6-max. It's about exploiting the fish at the table. On a 9-handed table, there are 7 other players all trying to win the fish's stack. On a 6-max table, you only have competition from 4 other regs. When you want to get heads up with a "donator", it's a lot easier to do it if the table is short-handed. I'm sure you're well aware of the problem in full ring games: There's a massive whale at your table, who you want to isolate, but you just can't get a hand. By the time you've get a hand, the fish is likely to have donated his chips to one of the other 8 players.
    Bracelet Winner


    • #3
      Hi Roland, This is only my opinion. I play 6 max, because I play more hands and to do so, I need to increase my range at every position. I use to play FR, but was getting bored of waiting for the hand to finish playing, therefore I would be less patient and play way to many hands. As for VPP's, I play Zoom, so FR or 6 max, it doesn't affect as much. Hope this makes sense umbup:


      • #4
        Thanks for your input! I feel somewhat reassured that sticking to full ring is best for me with my current skill level and tight style. I don't want to be the 6-max fish everyone is targeting!

        Multitabling zoom keeps me from getting bored

        GL and have fun at the tables!

        Roland GTX


        • #5
          I think two things are different between 6 max and full ring.

          1. Assuming we talk about micro stakes, 6 max has more fish, fish comes for action and 6 max simply offers more of it. Also, if there are fish at your table, you can interact with them more in 6 max rather than full ring.

          2. You play wider hand ranges and will get into marginal spots more often, so as far as skill set goes, you will need better hand reading.


          • #6
            Before I made that Time Vault resolution to try and learn how to range, and fold, and hand plan, and +++, my graph looked really different lol.



            I've seen some people at 2+2 with full ring graphs with big red lines, but do they seem more common at 6-max?

            So funny how things changed so much once I learned how to play lol

            I'm not even sure I'd know how to get my redline to go back up like that any more, not that I'd want to.

            PS These hand samples are TINY - my winrate is NOT that good!!!


            • #7
              Well, in my opinion it's also about your opinion. Sounds strange, right? Well, some people love the agressive nature of 6-Max tables. There is more action, you can play more hands and therefore (IMHO) you can make better profit too. That's why I love 6-Max tables. I feel that I have a lot of space when playing there (I don't know how to say it better). I can watch my opponents much better, I have more time for every on of them than at the FR table. It's easier to watch their style, easier to predict their next turns (because there are only 6 players). And my experience shows, that players at the 6-Max tables limp a lot. They see "only" 6 players at the table, so they think: "Yeah, I have (for example) suited connectors! I can win..2 players have folded and the others probably don't have better hand than me. But I'm not going to risk, so I only call." They tend to play wider range of cards due to less players at the table. These are two things why I love 6-Max. When I tried FR tables, I felt kind of...compressed. There were suddenly too many players I had to watch. I am sure that 6-Max suits me much better. As I said, it's also about the opinion of each person. Somebody likes also Badugi...I hate it. I think everybody should play tables where he feels better, where he thinks he can win more hands. Just try it and then...go for it! umbup:


              • #8
                I have been playing sit & gos before.
                Now I checked out all of the cash game lessons in PSO. I made a 20% rise in my bankroll during one session of 0.02 /0.05$ tables yesterday.
                I preferred 6-max SNG's, but for the cash game I like to play full ring. That is simply because I try to keep my style tight and aggressive. Play only the good hands and avoid trouble. In 6-max I would have to play a lot more hands, which I think would be a problem in a long run.
                So for me 6-max for SNG's and FR in cash.

                I just got to say that I really enjoyed yesterday when I noticed this one guy playing with really marginal hands and making big raises with absolutely nothing. So a true bluffing machine. He sat out from that table after I doubled my stack with his help. I made a note of him and that really paid off.
                He sat down in another table where I was sitting a little later.
                I got A9 and I raised preflop. He was the only one to call. The flop came something like J74 and we both checked. Turn was an A. He shoved and I snap called. And there it was. He had absolutely nothing again.
                I wish I will find him again today


                • #9
                  Hello SuuriPotifar,

                  Welcome to PokerSchoolOnline. Here's a short video about PSO and what it has to offer you. Also check out >>This Page<< for more info.

                  We're here to help you so please feel free to ask any questions you may have.

                  Thanks for being part of PSO, and Best of Luck at the Tables 


                  7 Time Bracelet Winner


                  • #10
                    I had always wondered the same thing. It was great to get everyone's thought on this. I feel that 6max is more popular for the fact that you are able to better analyze your opponents. This is due to the fact that there are going to be a maximum of only 5 other players. I have also noted that there is more action at the micro stakes, and part of the reason is that you are able to isolate fish and weaker players more often. I really enjoy 6max for these reasons.


                    • #11
                      I currently play 6-max 10NL as I feel I have a skill advantage over most of the opponents at this level. Therefore I want to be involved in more hands.

                      Also I want to be able to isolate the complete fish more easily which can be frustratingly hard to do in full ring.

                      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


                      • #12
                        More chances to play with the fish I find in 6 max. And Also I find the Hands in 6 max cash way more interesting than full ring. Personally I find full ring cash a little like Mtt's.


                        • #13
                          Well do keep in mind that yes the blinds will hit you more often in 6-max but they'll also hit every other player equally as often too! 6-max has more interaction with all of the players too which is more "fun". You can also think that in full ring, if someone has direct position on you, he's just going to profit from you on that fact alone whereas in 6-max he'll have less spots to be in position on you, etc.

                          I will say that, it's probably more advantageous to learn how to play 6-max because I think 6-max players can transition easier to 9-max than vice versa. 6-max players will be more use to the aggression and postflop situations with wider ranges so probably better hand reading ability.

                          Last point is that if you ever play tournaments for fun, you definitely need to eventually get more comfortable with aggression to actually win the final table since players won't be replaced when they bust so there's another perk to playing 6-max.

                          Hope that gives you some insight!
                          Last edited by nanonoko; Fri Apr 11, 2014, 03:52 AM.


                          • #14
                            Talking about popularity of CG formats, I don’t understand why doesn’t the same apply for MTT’s? Why are FR MTT’s preferred over 6-max MTT’s, which is quite the opposite in CG’s.


                            • #15
                              A couple of quick thoughts on the last comment about CG's vs MTT's:
                              Ring tables are about PROFIT, more hands, more action, more aggression. 6-max tables meet these criteria better than FR.
                              Tournaments are about SURVIVAL, picking your spots, waiting for premiums to double through, and not going bust in marginal situations. FR MTT's force you in as a blind less often, so are generally preferred by MTT players. 6-max experience is definitely VERY useful when you run very deep and many tables have 1 or 2 empty seats.

                              Considering CG's alone, 6-max is better suited to aggressive players, where the biggest risk is running into a better hand when you mash the loud pedal through the floor. Less opponents = less risk. It also means less playing styles & ranges to analyse, and faster stats gathering if you're using a HUD.
                              FR CG's are better suited to NITs & Grinders, if for no other reason than the blinds coming through less frequently.
                              4 Time Bracelet Winner



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