Sixth Street Strategy


When you (and your opponents) have pair for a sixth card, you have generally committed yourself to the end.  Therefore, you should have either a good hand already made, or a draw to a good hand.

You can now become more aggressive with a completed hand. Your opponents have more of a commitment to the pot, and will probably be going all the way.

Now let’s look at three types of sixth-street hands: super-powerful, weak, and middle-good.

Super-Powerful Hands.  If you have a super-powerful hand (such as a straight flush, four of a kind, or a big full house), and you are first to act, try to determine from your opponents’ upcards and from your knowledge of poker opponents, whether checking or betting will make you the most money.

Many players always check in this spot; others always bet. Don’t do anything automatically. Bet if you have only one opponent and you think he will call. But if you believe that your bet will cause him to fold, check.  You don’t want to lose your only customer.  Give him a chance to catch up.

Give more consideration to checking if you have several opponents, especially if you believe that another early-position player will do the betting if you check.  If the player to your left bets and several players call before the action gets back to you, you can now put in a raise.

Your opponents have further committed themselves to the pot, and have made it that much more difficult to get away from their hands, whether they are still drawing or already have made a hand. The advantage to a check-raise here on sixth street is that there is one more card to come and your opponents are still hoping to make their hands.

You have a good chance of getting a call from a four-flush on sixth street, but (obviously) you have no chance of getting a call from that hand on seventh street if he doesn’t complete it. If everyone checks along, you have missed a bet, yes, but if no one can bet here at sixth street, they probably don’t have enough to call with their.

You’ve given them a chance to make something at poker seventh street, and give you a play so that you can win a few more bets.

Weak Hands.  If you hold a weak hand you have not improved your starting hand (except for trips or the highest pair) you should be gone, unless you have been able to play this far for free.  If your opponents, with slightly stronger hands, have been giving you free cards, they have been making mistakes.

If you have been giving free cards with the best hand because it wasn’t a strong hand you have been making the mistakes.  With the best hand, get your chips into the pot.  Do not give free cards.

Middle-Good Hand. If you have a middle-good hand, such as a flush, a straight, trips, or two big pair, evaluate your opponents’ hands. If you think that your hand is the best, push it hard.  If you have a good hand that you suspect might not be the best hand, and you are reluctant to throw it away, try to reach the showdown as cheaply as possible.

A raising war between two other opponents who are each showing pairs could very well mean that at least one of them has a full house.  You might have to toss your middle-good hand.  Use your best judgment-gather information to make a decision.

And remember to take knowledge of your opponents into account. If you have four-to-a-flush or four-to-a-straight with live cards, you’ll want to play to the end, unless it is obvious that you’ll be beaten even if you do make the hand.

A player showing four-to-a-flush here at sixth street with higher cards than yours either has you beaten already, or has a draw to a hand that will beat you if he makes it.  Have you been watching the board so that you know how many of his cards, and how many of your cards, are still available?

The farther along you progress with a hand, the more important a study of the board becomes. You should know which cards have shown and which have been turned over.

The only three ways  to acquire this poker skill are: Practice, practice, practice! The very best time to practice is when you are not involved in a hand.  Instead of watching whatever sporting event is on TV or checking out your keno ticket, stay into the game.

When it’s obvious from your first three cards at third street that you are not going to play the hand, start putting intense concentration into remembering the exposed cards as your opponent fold them.  This process will soon become automatic.

(There’s more on remembering cards)  And remain alert: You cannot remember a card you have not seen. A two-pair hand is unlikely to improve on the seventh card, yet it has a fair chance to win an a average pot, but not usually a big pot, at these limits.

A big pot got big because big hands have been competing for it.  A raise probably will no longer protect your hand at this point.  Strong betting action from an opponent showing a pair higher than either of your pairs makes even a call a doubtful proposition.

If you have been playing all along with one pair, two pair, or trips against one opponent who has just been calling-and now he gets a third suited card here at sixth street and either bets or raises-look to see if his doorcard is the same suit as the one he has just caught.

If so, he probably has made a flush. A player who makes a flush usually makes it in the suit of his doorcard.  If he hasn’t made a flush, he probably has made two pair or tips and is trying to win the pot right now.  Call if you have a good live draw to a hand that will beat him. Raise if you figure that you have the best hand.

If you find yourself throwing away a lot of hands on sixth street, you are doing something wrong at both fifth and sixth streets.

You aren’t really strong enough to stay at fifth street strategy, but you are probably telling yourself, “I’ll see just one more card, and if I don’t make this hand, I’ll fold.” But then if you don’t make it at sixth street.

It’s easy to tell yourself the same thing again, because there is only one more card to come-so you might as well see it, too (“I’ve come this far. Might as well go all the way”). Then you will usually find yourself paying off a better hand at seventh street.

It should be a rare occurrence for you to throw away a hand on sixth street.  The pot will most likely be offering good enough odds for you to play, even if you are a slight dog.  An exception would be if you are now beaten strongly in sight, or sf your needed cards are now showing all over the board. Get money from it !!!

For example, you have a straight or a flush, or a draw to one of those hands, but two players, each showing pairs, have started a raising war. The probability is high that one of them has a full house.  Or suppose you have two pair but an opponent has now made open trips, especially if they are higher than both of your pairs.

If you don’t make a full house at seventh street, you lose.  And if you both make full houses, his will be higher than yours. Your sixth-street hand is more than likely going to be your seventh-street hand, too. So play it that way, unless it’s a monster and you’re trying to keep your customers in the hand to the end.


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