Six Plus Hold´em
Six Plus Hold´em is a new arrival on the online poker scene – having been developed from the high stakes cash game played in Macau for several years. In Six Plus Hold´em, all the cards with a face value of Two, Three, Four and Five are removed from the deck, making it more likely that players will be dealt premium starting hands.
Because of the smaller pack, the odds of making specific hands are different. For example, with only nine cards of each suit in the deck, it is much harder to complete a flush draw. Consequently Six Plus Hold´em has a different hand rankings system than other games of online poker:
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of a Kind
- Full House
- Three of a Kind
- Two Pairs
- One Pair
- High Card
Players should also note that Ace counts as both High and Low – replacing a Five in a Nine-high Straight.
Where to Play 6 Plus Holdem Online
Currently you can only play Six Plus Holdem online at a limited number of sites. Underneath you find a list of the best Six Plus Holdem sites.
How to Play Six Plus Hold´em Poker
There are several versions of Six Plus Hold´em Poker played in live poker venues but, for the purpose of this guide, I am going to focus on the version that is played online. The online version of Six Plus Hold´em is played “No Limit”, with players being able to bet up to the maximum number of chips they have in front of them.
The format of the online game is very similar to the format of Texas Hold´em Poker in that each player starts with two cards and has to make the best five-card hand from their two cards and the five community cards that are dealt on the Flop, Turn and River. Please read my P.O.K.E.R. ADVICE at the bottom of this page for information about some of the game´s nuances.
Starting Each Hand
Each hand of Six Plus Hold´em begins with the players to the left of the dealer paying the “Small Blind” and “Big Blind”. The blinds ensure that there is some money in the pot before the cards are dealt and are based on the stake levels at the table. For example, in a game of $0.50/$1.00 Six Plus Hold´em, the Small Blind would be $0.50 and the Big Blind $1.00.
Players then receive two hole cards “face down” and a round of pre-flop betting takes place. The action begins with the player to the left of the Big Blind in the position known as “Under the Gun” or “UTG”. He or she has the option of calling the Big Blind (which, in a game of $0.50/$1.00 Six Plus Hold´em would be $1.00), folding their cards or raising the pot by a minimum of $1.00.
The pre-flop betting continues around the table in a clockwise direction; with each player having the option of calling the Big Blind (or any raises that have already been made), folding their cards or raising the pot with a bet of their own. The round of pre-flop betting concludes when all bets have been matched, or when one player makes a bet that is not called (he or she then winning the pot uncontested).
Once the round of pre-flop betting is over, three community cards – “the Flop” – are dealt. These cards are dealt “face up” so that all the players can see them, after which there is a second round of betting – again in a clockwise order. Unlike the first round of betting, there are no forced bets and the action starts with the first active player to the left of the “dealer”.
Players have the options of “checking” if no bets have yet been made, “calling” any bet made before their turn to act, folding their cards, or “raising” the pot – in this case by a minimum of $1.00. If a bet is made that is not called, the player making the bet wins the pot. It is up to the player whether or not they want to show their hole cards to the rest of the table or “muck” them.
If there are still active players in the game after the post-flop round of betting, a fourth community card is dealt – “the Turn”. A further round of betting takes – again starting with the first active player to the left of the “dealer”, and with the same betting options as before – check, call, fold or raise.
Unlike in some variants of online poker, there is no increase in the minimum amount a player may bet when he or she wants to raise the pot. So, after the Turn in a game of $0.50/$1.00 Six Plus Hold´em, the minimum bet a player can make remains at $1.00.
The last of the five community cards to be dealt is known as the “River”. Once this card has been dealt, a final round of betting takes place between the players still active in the hand. If there are still active players in the hand once the round of betting has concluded, the players go to showdown.
The last player to bet or raise is the first to reveal their hole cards. Thereafter – going in a clockwise direction – each player takes it in turn to reveal their hole cards or muck them if they do not beat the cards seen so far. The player with the best five-card combination of cards takes down the pot. If one or more players have hands of identical value, then the pot is shared between them.
My P.O.K.E.R. advice for playing Six Plus Hold´em is significantly different from other variants of poker because of the nature of the games. As more players will be dealt premium starting hands, and the strength of their hands is likely to vary significantly during the four rounds of betting, the approach to Six Plus Hold´em should be more aggressive than in other formats of online poker.
Premium Hands – You are more than twice as likely to be dealt a premium starting hand in Six Plus Hold´em than in Texas Hold´em – and so is everybody else. Don´t get over-excited with pocket Aces and select your betting actions on your table position and what you know about your opponents´ betting actions.
Odds – With fewer cards in the pack, the odds of improving a good hand to an amazing hand are substantially better. For example, the odds of completing an open-ended straight after the flop are 48%, rather than the 31% that exists in full-pack games. Bear in mind that your opponents will also be benefitting from these enhanced odds.
Knowledge – When new variants of online poker hit the scene, it is the players with the most knowledge of the game that make the most money. Be quick to learn the rules of Six Plus Hold´em and get some hands behind you to take advantage of players newer to the game. Then, as I say elsewhere on this site, never stop learning!
Equity – Equity in this instance relates to your odds of winning a hand with the best hand of cards at a certain point. In games of Six Plus Hold´em, you are going to be lower percentage favorite to win a hand with pocket Aces during the pre-flop action than you are in a game of Texas Hold´em. Bear this in mind when bet-sizing.
Ranking – The hierarchy of hands in Six Plus Hold´em takes some getting used to. From speaking with players who have already played the game, a lot of new players get caught out on the relative weakness of a straight – especially on a paired board. Make sure you are familiar of the hand ranking for Six Plus Hold´em before putting any money on the tables.