What is Six-Plus Hold’em?



Visit Poker Site

Last week, the iPoker Network, which is composed of such online poker rooms as TitanPoker, William Hill, and Ladbrokes Poker, rolled out a new poker variant called Six-Plus Hold’em. Unlike other new poker games that have come along over the last few years, this isn’t another “fast fold” game or “lottery sit-and-go” format, but rather a nearly standard hold’em game with one exception: a smaller deck. I wasn’t familiar with it until recently, and I would guess many readers are not, either, so let’s take a look at what, exactly, Six-Plus Hold’em entails.

At first glance, the name might make one think that this is six “card” hold’em, but that’s not the case, as that would essentially be Omaha. In Six-Plus Hold’em the twos, threes, fours, and fives are all removed from the deck, creating a new deck of 36 cards. All cards have a value of six or greater, hence “Six-Plus.”

Because the deck is now smaller, the probabilities of hitting certain hands has changed. Therefore, the hand rankings have been adjusted. Flushes are now rarer and stronger because there are only nine cards of a suit instead of thirteen and straights have become more common and are weaker. The hand rankings have shifted from this:

Royal Flush
Straight Flush
Four of a Kind
Full House
Flush
Straight
Three of a Kind
Two Pair
Pair
High Card

To this:

Royal Flush
Straight Flush
Four of a Kind
Flush
Full House
Three of a Kind
Straight
Two Pair
Pair
High Card

As you can see, the flush has jumped up past the full house because of its rarity, while a straight has dipped below three of a kind. With the elimination of deuces through fives, the cards that players will be dealt will be packed closer together in value, thus making straights more frequent and weakening that hand’s relative strength.

To illustrate, imagine you are playing in a heads-up Six-Plus Hold’em match and have 8-9 as hole cards on a board of T-J-A, giving you an open-ended straight draw. In normal hold’em game, you would have eight outs to hit your straight out of 47 unknown cards. You have about a 17 percent chance to make that straight. In Six-Plus Hold’em, you still have the same number of outs as in a normal hold’em game, but now there are only 31 unknown cards, as 16 cards are no longer in the deck. Therefore, your chances of making the straight have jumped to around 26 percent.

In Six-Plus Hold’em, the Ace can still complete the low or high end of a straight, so the lowest straight possible is A-6-7-8-9.

Six-Plus Hold’em has been particularly popular in some of the high stakes games in Macau, as it is a much higher action game that requires players to participate in many more hands than they normally would. And that is likely the goal for the iPoker Network here: introduce a heavy action game in which both recreational players and skilled pros can become more engaged as they get involved in more pots. Players will play longer, pots will grow bigger, and rake will increase.

Want the latest poker news in your twitter feed? Follow PokerNewsDaily on Twitter.

Leave a Comment