Maximize Your Potential: Dominating a 6-Max Poker Game

In a six-max poker game, the stakes are even higher as you face off against a smaller number of opponents, each with its unique style of play. To succeed in this fast-paced and highly competitive environment, you must be at the top of your game, maximizing your potential at every turn.

From mastering the fundamentals to developing advanced techniques, dominating a six-max poker game requires dedication, discipline, and constant improvement. The strategies from this guide will help you take your game to the next level. So, let’s dive in and learn how to dominate a six-max poker game and maximize your potential as a player.

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Expand Your Opening Ranges

Generally speaking, you should expand your opening ranges when playing six-handed poker. This is due to how early positions are effectively eliminated in six-handed play.

Under-the-Gun, UTG+1, and UTG+2 are the first three positions to act on a nine-handed table and are regarded as early positions. From these positions, players should only open with strong hands.

There are fewer opportunities for great opening hands when there are initially only six players. That happens with premium hands only 2.1% of the time. Around one of every eight dealt hands in six-max poker will be one of these strong hands. If you are waiting for a strong hand, you’ll wait for a long time.

Aces and middle pocket pairs are substantially more valuable when six players are at the poker table. The top 8.6% of hands, which is still cautious in six-max, can be covered by expanding your opening range to include all pocket pairs to 6s, each ace down to A-7, any Broadway combination, and all suited aces A-6 and lower. This will give you 228 total beginning hands. Add one-gappers or suitable connectors, especially from later positions.

Use 3-Betting Strategy

When appropriately used, 3-betting is one of the most profitable moves you can make in a 6-max game. There are two reasons to 3-bet in a 6-handed table: to increase the pot and prevent your opponent(s) from attaining their equity.

Building the pot with your best hands is crucial when you play poker. Avoid slow-playing your pre-flop monsters unless there is a highly compelling reason to do so.

You must also include a few semi-bluffing hands in your 3-betting ranges to maintain a balanced range. With these hands, you want to keep your competitors from understanding their equity and knowing whether to call or fold in response to your 3-bets.

When you 3-bet against weaker players, you might isolate them for post-flop play, where they are more prone to commit costly errors when playing against you.

The positions and tendencies of the open raise significantly impact the 3-betting ranges. This makes sticking to static hand charts for 3-betting a bad strategy. Instead, you should check to determine what poker hands the raiser will likely open from their current position and 3-bet in the top third of that range.

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Small Blinds Against a Raise

Unless the raise is small, you should lean toward 3-betting your entire range while you’re in the small blind facing a raise. Your pot odds and hand can merit a call in response to a modest raise from a player with a wide range.

To lessen your positional disadvantage, you should 3-bet most of the time. If your opponent calls, you will have the initiative and a range edge going to the flop, simplifying out-of-position play.

Big Blinds Against a Raise

Since the player has already put 1BB into the pot, the large blind is in a special situation. This gives them cheap pricing to demand in the event of an increase. This is why, in contrast to other positions, you can call from the large blind with a fairly broad range of hands.

As you will have a positional advantage post-flop, you might be extra careless when responding to raises from players in the small blind. Because so many players will frequently try to steal (or limp) from the small blind, you will have a wide range of opponents to play against, which increases your chances.

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Post-flop Strategy

Post-flop Opener

When you’re the first player to act after the flop in a 6-max game, your opponents’ post-flop ranges are usually weaker on all streets. To adjust to this, you should bet more frequently on all streets, a strategy known as barrelling.

The first bet you make is called a continuation bet, or c-bet, while a second bet on the turn is known as a double barrel. If you continue with a third bet on the river, it’s called a third barrel.

In a full-ring game, tight players can often wait for the best possible hand to come along, but in a 6-max game, the blinds come around more frequently, so you need to expand your range to stay competitive. If you don’t adjust your play, observant opponents will pick up on your strategy and won’t pay off your strong hands.

Check-Raise as the Big Blind

As a caller from the big blind, you should play fairly conservative post-flop, although one of your usual tactics in heads-up pots should be to check-raise the flop and barrel on advantageous turn and river cards. If your hand strength enables you to proceed against a c-bet from the player in position, there are two options available:

The second option is significant, especially when playing against the modest flop c-bets prevalent in six-max poker.

Value Bet in Low Stakes

In 6-max games, winning heavily with strong holdings is best accomplished by using value bets, as the most common flaw in weaker games is players’ tendency to call. Betting for value is more profitable in such scenarios, and slow-playing is less effective. It’s acceptable to bet a larger amount, as unskilled players often decide to call a bet before even seeing the size of it. However, sizing up bets is more challenging in tougher games because players notice size tells.


With the strategies offered in this article, you should now be armed with the knowledge necessary to dominate a 6-max poker game. Remember to apply the integral approach instead of using everything stated here. Consider your opponent’s position hand, hand range, and stack when deciding whether to 3-bet, fold, check-raise, or use any move.