6+ Hold'em Now Live Across PokerStars' Global Online Poker Network 6+ Hold'em Now Live Across PokerStars' Global Online Poker Network

PokerStars’ new game, 6+ Hold’em, its version of the popular Short Deck Poker game, has now seen a full international rollout.

Players will find it available across the dot-com and dot-EU networks, which means players across Canada, Asia, much of Europe and South America will now see the “6+” tab in the PokerStars client once they update.

It has also gone live in the regulated markets of the UK, Sweden, Denmark and Estonia, making it one of the biggest co-ordinated launches of a new PokerStars online poker product to date.

PokerStars has also deployed the game across a huge number of different cash game buy-in levels. The game is spread right now across an unprecedented 13 buy-in levels, from the nano-stakes ($4 buy-in, equivalent of 2c/4c NL), all the way up to the nosebleeds stakes with a $40,000 buy-in (equivalent to $200/$400).

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This is the biggest game that PokerStars spreads for any big bet (no limit or pot limit) game. It really underscores the online poker room’s confidence that this game will prove a hit.

How to Sit at the Table

As pokerfuse exclusively reported yesterday, the game is played via the “blind lobby” or “seat me” system, which means players cannot choose their table or seat. They cannot even choose how much of a stack they bring to the table.

Instead, they simply select their buy-in, and they are automatically taken to a seat at the most-full table. If no seats are available, they join a global waiting list; as soon as enough players are on the waiting list, a new table is started.

The game is played with antes and button blinds, exclusively at six handed tables. Everyone at the table posts an ante, and then the player on the button posts another, which acts as the only live money in the pot.

Action then starts to the left of the dealer as normal. If it folds around to the button, he collects the pot (which is 7 antes at a full table), and the hand is over. If it is a limped pot (not entirely uncommon—possibly strategically correct—at Short Deck), the button has the option to check or place a bet before heading to the Flop. Betting action from the Flop onwards plays just like other big bet games.

As noted, there is no option of choosing how much to sit with—this is automatically set to 200 antes for the stakes chosen. This means no short stacking.

So a blind and ante of 50 cents means everyone sits at the table with $50. The $200 blind and ante game requires $40,000 to sit at the table.

The Global Rollout

There is no word yet whether PokerStars will roll out 6+ to more poker rooms. As it stands, all the big online poker markets in the international player pool have access to the game, although some of the smaller regulated sites—Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania, and Greece—are currently left out.

It has also not yet deployed in any segregated markets. This includes New Jersey, India, Italy and the Southern European player pool of Spain, France and Portugal.

It may well deploy to these sites in the future, particularly if the game proves a success and the operator plans to keep it permanently. We have seen this with the run-away successful hits like Zoom and Spin & Go, which are today deployed in practically every market.

Often getting authorization of new games can take a while in regulated markets, so it is common for them to lag behind.

Whether the game proves to be a permanent addition remains to be seen, and it will likely depend on how successful it is with players. The operator has launched four other games in the last year, and each lasted around 60 days before being removed. So we can assume 6+ will have a run until at least mid-March before the operator decides on whether to make it a permanent addition.

If it does, expect it to expand everywhere it can. We could even see 6+ events in time for SCOOP this spring. Watch this space.