Are you tired of losing all the money playing the classic texas holdem poker? Are you ready to quit the game? Oh! No! Wait! Six-Plus Hold’em just hit Bet365 and the iPoker Network on Feb. 22. Now you can play the latest game type now, with fewer cards in the deck that offer a new level of action – that’s because in Six Plus Hold’em, the lowest value cards are no longer in play; this means strong starting hands come up more often and it’s easier to make a powerful five-card hand.
Sounds cool enough to come back to the tables?
Six Plus Holdem is already being enjoyed by several top-tier poker pros, including Phil “Polarizing” Ivey and Tom “durrrr” Dwan. The two have undertaken the task of promoting the new poker variant, which both are still in the process of mastering.
“That’s one of the interesting things about new games,” Dwan states, answering an interviewer’s question while seated next to Ivey, presumably in Macau where both have been known to favor the high stakes cash games. “You got to figure out, OK, straights are a little more important here.”
Also more important is the likelihood of increased action, which may draw more recreational players to the game. NLHE is often viewed by casual players as requiring a bit too much patience while waiting for good cards.
“It’s a little bit more exciting than playing regular No Limit Hold’em because you get to play more hands and there’s a lot more luck involved,” Ivey stated, providing his take on Six Plus Hold’em. “So I think it’s a lot more exciting for a new player.”
Now, this exciting variant is no longer being confined to select poker rooms of casinos, because as of Feb. 22, 2016, it will be available to play on sites hosted on the iPoker Network, the second-largest poker network in the online poker world.
Six Plus Holdem is played much like the traditional game of No Limit Texas Holdem, but with some interesting twists. The name “Six Plus” eludes to a lack of low value cards. All of the 2‘s through 5’shave been removed from the deck, resulting in just 36 cards in play. To make things a bit more exciting, the Ace is considered a high or low card. It produces the highest pairs, sets and quads, and is still the crown jewel of the Royal Straight (A-K-Q-K-10), but also helps to produce the lowest possible straight of A-6-7-8-9.
Other than that, six-plus hold’em is played similarly to regular hold’em with two hole cards, five community cards, and four streets of betting — preflop, flop, turn, and river. However, there are some other differences in rules often used in six-plus hold’em which you should know about before playing.
Six-plus hold’em can be played according to the exact same rules as regular Texas Hold’em. But, the notable difference between six-plus hold’em and the regular version of the game are the hand rankings, and this is where some players new to the game may be confused. In six-plus hold’em, three-of-a-kind beats a straight and a full house is beaten by a flush. That’s right, it’s different. The full six-plus hold’em hand rankings can be seen below, in order of weakest to the strongest holdings:
- High card
- One pair
- Two pair
- Three of a kind
- Full house
- Four of a kind
- Straight flush
- Royal flush
As you can see, following these alternate hand rankings three of a kind actually beats a straight (instead of vice-versa), and a flush beats a full house (instead of vice-versa). These changes were introduced because of the because the removal of cards from the standard deck alter the probabilities of making certain hands. For example, with only nine suited cards (instead of 13), a flush is harder to make in six-plus hold’em than in regular hold’em.
That also means players should adjust their thinking about relative hand values from what they are used to in regular hold’em. For instance, the smaller deck makes it easier to make two-pair hands, which means a hand like top pair-top kicker is no longer as strong in six-plus hold’em as it is in regular hold’em. Straights and full houses are also easier to make in six-plus hold’em than in the regular version of the game (a reason for the alternate hand rankings).
The odds of hitting certain draws change, too, in six-plus hold’em. Just to highlight one example, filling an open-ended straight draw becomes more likely in six-plus hold’em, because while you’re still looking for the same eight outs there are fewer total cards in the deck, thus increasing the percentage you’ll make your straight. The modification in draw hitting percentage and flush strength make the game more action-packed and people will get it in a lot more often on flops, making it a very exciting variation to play.
The smaller deck also affects the likelihood of being dealt certain hands. For example, you’re more than twice as likely to get pocket aces in six-plus hold’em than you are in regular hold’em. Also, the percentage of hitting a flush is a bit smaller than in regular Hold’em, so you’re almost never beat when you do make your hand, because you’re not afraid of sets or paired boards anymore.
In conclusion, six-plus hold’em introduces several exciting twists to traditional Texas hold’em, creating an action-filled alternative that many players are finding especially enjoyable to play. Furthermore, the changes from regular hold’em aren’t terribly complicated, making it easy to new players to learn and play right away.