The 6bet In Poker – Gotta Love It!

The 6bet is one of the most underated moves in deep stacked poker (both cash and tournament). For players who aggressively use the 4bet they will find some players begin to pick up on this. In particular, if you have some kind of a history with a player the 6bet can be a valuable move. Of course, it is also a costly move when it doesn’t work out ;). I have found the play to be highly valuable if you pick your places carefully!

What is a Preflop 6bet?

After a 2bet and 3bet comes a 4bet, and after a 4bet comes a 5bet, and after a 5bet comes a 6bet. It is the 5th time that a person has raised the pot preflop, and the 4th time a player has re-raised the pot preflop. Years ago the 6bet wasn’t even a thing. Today, you see it more and more frequently at deep stacked games in both cash and tournament environments.

Should you 6bet In Poker

Well, in today’s hyper aggressive poker games where 3bets are often light and so are 4bets the 5bet has become a fairly standard move. With that being the case it becomes increasingly important to have the ability to pull the 6bet out where appropriate against hyper aggressive 5bettors. We previously wrote about the “5bet Shove – The last bet“, but that was so 2014, haha.

Actually, the key isn’t really what year it was the key is what stack size you are playing. 100BB poker doesn’t really allow for 6bets to take place unless they are shoves. However, deep stacked tournament poker and deep stacked cash game poker certainly does.

Why Should you be 6betting?

If you are an aggressive 4bettor who is frequently 5bet, you will need the 6bet. Most of the time when a 6bet is appropriate is when the 4bet and 5bet have both been small. Increasingly, you will see small 3bets, 4bets, and ultimately 5bets. In tournament poker at the WSOP it is common to see min or close to min reraise bet sizing. As a result this leaves room for outsmarting your opponent a bit and playing Exploitive NLHE, which as you all know from my book is the strategy I find works extremely well. I shared a little graph here just to brag for a minute, which I rarely do :).

Crushing Mid Stakes NLHE

WSOP 6bet Politano & Stephenson

The 2014 World Series of Poker was an incredible example of a leveling war that occurred between two highly aggressive players. The beauty of Politano’s play is that he forced Stephenson to put his tournament life at risk with an A5s shove, which is tough to do under pressure. You can check out the play on Youtube if you want. I love seeing what some of the best players in the world are doing under pressure. Frankly, it makes crushing low stakes games seem pretty easy.

How do you 6bet?

Here are some points to consider before going ahead with this risky maneuver.

  1. In the WSOP example above Politano had a clearly defined purpose. Politano was convinced Stephenson was weak and by putting in a 6bet he could force his opponent to fold or be a super sicko and shove.
  2. Bet sizing is very important. Sizing of a 6bet bluff should not be significantly over a min 6bet sizing unless you are 6bet bluff shoving. The reason for this is an oversized 6bet can leave you pot committed based on the equity you have and the amount remaining to cal if your opponent 7bet shoves.
  3. Having a deep understanding of your opponents playing habits is massively beneficial. Most of the time when you see this kind of situation arise it is from a history of frustration where a player is expecting the Villian to 5bet even before he does.
  4. Generally, you need to be a highly aggressive player to ever consider doing this. If you aren’t the ranges will not be side enough to make it profitable.

Levelling Poker Wars Are Fun 

That is effectively what we are talking about in this post. When aggression is extreme and nobody is willing to back down the 6bet can become an essential tool. 6bets are effective in tournament poker and in deep stacked cash games. I was at a 10/25 NLHE game three or four years back that only runs during the BC Poker Championships and a highly skilled regular at the table pulled off a solid 6bet and showed the bluff. Needless to say the guy who did the 5bet became very visibly frustrated. He said, “what the heck am I supposed to do” and then went back to being a nit, haha.

Exercising Caution 6Betting Light At Low Stakes Games

Whatever you do after reading this article please don’t run around 6betting like a maniac and then complain that it doesn’t work. Generally, at lower stakes games, ranges are not be wide enough and players are not be good enough to justify this kind of super sicko play. However, this is a fun article to write and I thought it might interest some of you anyhow. When it comes to playing winning solid poker online at low to even mid-stakes games the 6bet should be largely unnecessary.

Anyhow, hope you enjoyed this post and good luck out there at the tables. Online cash games are difficult, and its important to be creative and aggressive when playing. Grab my book Exploitive No Limit Holdem too if you haven’t already!

-Paul

 

 

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