The variant, which became popularized in Macau card rooms before making its way to Russian-focused site Pokerdom, is an action inducing form of Hold’em where the low cards (2-5) are removed from the deck.
Six Plus bears a strong structural resemblance to traditional Hold’em. Blinds are paid in the same fashion, community cards are dealt as normal and there are the same number of betting rounds.
However the removal of the deuce through five cards is significant enough to warrant slightly different hand rankings:
Going further, the prevalence of premium hands is much higher in Six Plus:
Here’s a video tutorial outlining some of the more common differences between the two formats:
The augmented rate at which players are dealt premiums will undoubtedly have a profound impact on gameplay, with players willing to see more flops and often having better pot odds to suck out on their opponents.
In other words, Six Plus is a more action-oriented game, and by extension, one that may appeal to gambling minded players who find the pace of classic Hold’em too tedious for their liking.
It may also find a home with new players, as the smaller deck increases the chances of players making a hand, therefore rendering them less reliant on some of the more skillful nuances of poker, most notably bluffing.
That being said, success at Six Plus will depend on far more than just blind luck.
To illustrate, it’s easy to see players overvaluing hands that are considered strong at the hold’em tables, but relatively weaker when playing Six Plus – bottom sets and low suited connectors are good examples.
Players that exploit those who treat Six Plus holdings the same as Hold’em hands should quickly gain a decisive edge.
Last October, Pokerdom became the first major online site to support the format. At the time the operator was already on the upswing, thanks in part to a very successful Open Faced Chinese rollout.
However, Six Plus did little to increase liquidity on the site, and today the Six Plus lobby is practically a barren wasteland, despite its prominent placement in the client.
There’s reason to believe that the format will fare better on iPoker:
As of the time of this writing, Six Plus is only live in a limited capacity. From a quick observation of the Bet365 cash game lobby, it appears the game is only available at the €.02/€.04 level.
At peak playing time, about 35 players were mixing it up at the Six Plus tables, less than 2% of all cash game players on the network. While this number is expected to grow once the format becomes available at more stakes and is tied to promotional events, it’s probably safe to say that it won’t be a windfall for the dot-com industry’s third most popular operator.