Shorthanded & longhanded

Eight of diamondsWith shorthanded means a table where 5-6 players sit and concerning longhanded, it’s a table with 7-10 players. 

In the latter case, you need to play tighter. Not at least in pre flop: even if only three players have checked before your turn the quality of their hands are likely better than three random players hands on a shorthanded table. The obvious reason is that the more contenders there are, the bigger are the chances of some having excellent hole cards.

One of the most significant differences between short- and longhanded tables is that the value of starting hands is shifting. Some starting hands win and loose attraction depending on the numbers of opponents. Some of these categories shall here be mentioned.

On a table with about nine contenders, you aren't going for knock outs. If you still try there's a big risk that you will be swinging against several opponents on the same time and no hand can give you 90% in a pre flop all in-situation against three players! This doesn't mean that you should play defensive with power hands, but be more conscious about the decreasing of the hands value per player.

Categories well-suited for longhanded games are speculative hands like connected and suited cards. That's true since this kind of hands can beat many players. Now you say: "Yes, but I think these hands can beat a few players in a shorthanded game also". Yes, that is of course true, but the whole thing is: the size of your win on a straight or a flush hand is depending on how many players you beat. Because of this it's more motivated to play speculative hands often in longhanded games, since the times when you win it will pay back more non-success attempts then it does in shorthanded games.

This doesn't mean you should throw away an 8-9 suited then playing shorthanded, but you shouldn't always call a raise with it. One more thing: if cards are playable or not according to amounts of players it's just one of many circumstances that inflect the outcomes. You will get familiar with more circumstances in other articles on this site.

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