Short Handed Texas Holdem – Behind The Scenes Tips

One of my readers emailed me through a question about short handed Texas Holdem games. He asked me to recommend some good tips regarding one table short handed sit N goes.

Short Handed Texas Holdem

I thought I’d take a slight tanget from my usual hard-core teachings and share with you a few stories of my previous poker days.

I got to practice a lot of short handed Texas Holdem back when I was a teenager. I used to live in this danky share house with a bunch of uni students (what you call a college we call a university). These ‘college’ students loved to play Texas Holdem, which was great because I loved to play it too.

Short Handed Texas Holdem – Stuck In Reverse Gear

Before I moved to that house I used to play Holdem with my next door neighbour. That’s how I got about a year of pure heads up practice – but that’s another story for another time. Just email me and let me know if you need heads up advice.

It’s funny, because my poker career kinda got started in reverse. First I played heads up, then I played short handed games, and finally I played full table games. Once I started playing full table I would always lose a lot of money. Why? Because I was used to playing short handed games where you could play to the showdown with marginal hands like middle pairs and aces with low kickers.

You must play different cards depending on how many people are at the table. The less people the looser you have to be.

Short Handed Texas Holdem Games Funded My Adolescence

Back to my roomies. We used to play poker every single night – it was like a ritual. First, cook up a massive pot of chicken and rice soup (we were all poor, they were asian). Next, cartons of beer and cigarettes. Throw in an overused kettle non-stop boiling litres of water for tea and a $3 chinese made plastic card shuffler and we had ourselves a night.

Buyin was $5 – cash game Holdem. On a good night we’d have 6 or 7 but usually just 4 or 5. We’d play until the wee hours of the morning until the last man was standing, which (un)fortunately was often me. My strong heads up play always pulled me through.

Short Handed Texas Holdem – How I Always Won

I used a few nasty little strategies to always take the cake. First was to target the weak players. I had the advantage of knowing every single play style of all my mates. I knew who would take risks, who was risk averse, who would go all in often, who wouldn’t. I had figured out how everyone played and I used it to my advantage.

Another thing I discovered was that aces were good. If you could get an ace on the flop to make a pair you were pretty much in it. And pocket pairs were even better, that way you didn’t even have to hit.

I also learnt that once you got ahead – say I got up to 10 dollars – I could start making $1 bets and no one would want to play. I could practically force them out of the game and let the blinds eat them up. Then, when they did in fact call me, I knew they had something really good so would proceed with caution.

My Short Handed Texas Holdem Tips Straight Up

As much as I am trying to resist, here’s the cold hard facts on how to win at short handed Texas holdem:

  • Short Handed Texas Holdem Tip #1
    - You have to play looser than you normally would
  • Short Handed Texas Holdem Tip #2
    - Profile people and play to their weaknesses.
  • Short Handed Texas Holdem Tip #3
    - Any ace is a pretty good hand
  • Short Handed Texas Holdem Tip #4
    - Middle pairs are more useful than at full tables
  • Short Handed Texas Holdem Tip #5
    - Hard aggression is required
  • Short Handed Texas Holdem Tip #6
    - Bully when you have a better stack

Short Handed Texas Holdem Can Be Very Profitable

I used to make a lot of money playing short handed Texas Holdem. $30 a night stacks up over time and it means a lot when it practically doubles your weekly income. However, I was always buying my mate’s cigarettes and sharing them beers because they never had any money. They lost it all playing me. We had a bit of a joke. When they would ask me for a smoke or a beer, i’d say ‘Sure mate… hell, you paid for it!’

The short handed practice definitely helps with tournaments. Heads up and short handed games are often the hardest to play for people because they don’t get enough practice. I suggest go hitting some short handed Sit N Go’s and working through them until you getting consistent wins.

If you’re still hungry go and check out these 33 Of My Best Texas Hold Em Poker Tips. And as always, if you want to grab my free My Top 7 Texas Hold Em Poker Tips ebook simply enter your name and email address in the form below.

To Your Luck And Skill,

Alex Bannon

P.S. If you’re wondering how to get super good at short handed Texas Holdem very fast this is the learning material I recommend.

P.P.S If you enjoyed this short handed Texas Holdem article please leave a comment below. Actually, I really want to hear what you think about the style of this post no matter if you liked it or not, so please enter your comments in the box below now.

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