KYIV, UKRAINE - NOVEMBER 7, 2019: Glass of brandy with cigar and playing cards on wooden table

Short Deck Poker Rules: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Short deck , also known as Six Plus Hold'em, has recently gained popularity among enthusiasts. It offers an exciting twist to traditional Texas Hold'em (sponsored link) by playing with a smaller deck that removes cards valued 2 through 5. This not only increases the probability of making stronger hands, but also adds a new dimension to the strategy required for success in this dynamic game.

The rules of short deck poker are relatively similar to those of classic poker, however, the absence of low value cards significantly impact gameplay.

Players familiar with Texas Hold'em will quickly adapt to these unique aspects, making short deck poker an accessible variation for both novices and experienced players.

Key Takeaways

  • Short deck poker is a popular variant that uses a 36-card deck, removing cards 2-5 from play
  • It offers a faster-paced game with increased probabilities of powerful hands
  • Adaptation of strategy is necessary due to differences in hand rankings and gameplay dynamics.

Origins of Short Deck Poker

People playing poker
Photo by Javon Swaby on Pexels

Short Deck Poker, also known as Six Plus Hold'em, is a relatively new variation of the popular poker game Texas Hold'em. It originated in Asia and gained popularity in , where high-stakes poker games are prevalent. This innovative poker variant has since spread globally, captivating the attention of both professional and recreational players.

The primary difference between Short Deck Poker and traditional Texas Hold'em is the removal of the 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s from the standard 52-card deck. This leaves players with a total of 36 cards, altering the hand rankings and strategies required to excel in the game. Aces still play both high and low, making the new lowest straight “A-6-7-8-9.” Flushes also become more challenging to hit due to the reduced number of cards in each suit.

Two well-known Asian businessmen and poker enthusiasts, Richard Yong and Paul Phua, are often credited with the creation and popularization of Short Deck Poker. They introduced the game to the high-stakes poker community, thereby garnering the attention of the poker elite. As a result, Short Deck Poker started to feature in prominent poker tournaments and cash games worldwide.

This poker variation has attracted numerous fans due to its action-packed nature and the increased potential for big hands. The reduced deck size impacts the probabilities of specific card combinations, leading to more aggressive gameplay and unexpected outcomes. For players looking for an exciting and refreshing change from traditional poker variations, Short Deck Poker offers a unique and thrilling challenge.

Short Deck Poker versus Regular Poker

One of the primary differences between Short Deck Poker and traditional Texas Hold'em is the number of cards in the deck, leading to unique gameplay elements and strategic considerations.

In Short Deck Poker, the deck consists of only 36 cards, with all the 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s removed. This reduction in card quantity significantly impacts hand probabilities and alters the dynamics of the game. Players need to adjust their strategies to account for the higher likelihood of high-ranked hands, as well as the absence of certain card combinations.

Apart from the difference in the deck composition, Short Deck Poker also has a few unique rules. One key divergence is the A6789 straight, which is possible due to the absence of the lower cards in the deck. In this scenario, the ace can function as both a high and low card, giving of increased versatility to players when forming straights.

Furthermore, the hand rankings are also altered in Short Deck Poker. For instance, a flush is considered stronger than a full house in this variation, as it becomes rarer due to the reduced number of cards suited cards.

The structure of the game largely remains the same as classic Texas Hold'em, with players being dealt two cards followed by the standard flop, turn, and river betting rounds.

However, Short Deck Poker often employs an ante-based betting system, where antes are posted by all players before each hand, combining with the button to form the pot.

In summary, Short Deck Poker differs from traditional Texas Hold'em in terms of deck size, hand rankings, and specific gameplay rules. Players familiar with classic Hold'em games should adjust their strategies and consider the impact of these differences when competing in Short Deck games.

Key Concepts in Short Deck Poker

The Deck and Cards Used

Short Deck Poker is played with a 36-card deck, which includes a removal of all 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s from the standard deck. Aces can still be played as both high and low cards in the game, making it versatile and unique.

Ranking of Hands

The hand rankings in Short Deck Poker slightly differ from traditional poker. A flush is ranked higher than a full house, while a set and a straight swap places. Here is the ranking of poker hands in Short Deck:

  1. Royal flush
  2. Straight flush
  3. Four of a kind
  4. Flush
  5. Full house
  6. Straight
  7. Three of a kind (trips)
  8. Two pair
  9. One pair
  10. High card

Terminologies

Familiarizing yourself with poker terms such as blinds, ante, preflop, flop, turn, river, showdown, action, raise, limping, and more is crucial to understanding and enjoying the game.

Stages of Play

Short Deck Poker follows the same stages of play as Texas Hold'em: preflop, flop, turn, and river. In each stage, players have the option to fold, call, or raise based on the strength of their hands and strategy.

Action in the Game

The action in Short Deck Poker is fast-paced and requires players to make decisions quickly. The removal of low cards from the deck increases the odds for strong hands, making it a more action-packed game. Players need to adjust their strategies accordingly to account for the increased equities in the game.

Variants

Short Deck Hold'em and 6+ Hold'em are popular variants of Short Deck Poker. Pot-limit Omaha has also gained popularity with the introduction of the Short Deck format.

Strategy and Tactics

Short Deck Poker strategy varies from traditional poker due to the reduced deck size and altered hand rankings. Pocket pairs and connected cards see an increase in value, while starting hands containing flush and straight draws become more advantageous. Adjusting to these unique odds and equities is crucial for successful Short Deck play.

Popularity and Influence

The popularity of Short Deck Poker has risen in recent years, with prestigious events such as the WSOP, ARIA High Rollers, and Triton Poker Series incorporating this format. Many influential players, including Tom Dwan, Richard Yong, and Paul Phua, have helped popularize the game.

Online and Home Games

Short Deck Poker is widely available on online poker sites and can also be played in home games, making it more accessible for players at different skill levels.

Influential Players and High Roller Events

High-stakes poker players like Tom Dwan, Richard Yong, and Paul Phua have greatly influenced the rise of Short Deck Poker. High roller events showcasing the game have also drawn significant attention from the poker community, increasing its overall popularity. So, understanding and mastering the key concepts of Short Deck Poker can enhance your skills and make you a more formidable player in this exciting version of the game.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the hand ranking in Short Deck poker?

In Short Deck poker, the hand rankings differ slightly from traditional Texas Hold'em due to the removal of the 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s from the deck. The most notable change is that a flush ranks higher than a full house, and a set (three of a kind) ranks higher than a straight. The full rankings are:

  1. Royal Flush
  2. Straight Flush
  3. Four of a Kind
  4. Flush
  5. Full House
  6. Three of a Kind (Set)
  7. Straight
  8. Two Pair
  9. One Pair
  10. High Card

How does the removal of cards affect game strategy?

With fewer cards in the deck, hand values increase, and drawing hands become more valuable. Players will generally play a higher percentage of hands due to the increased odds of connecting with the board. Additionally, the probability of hitting specific hands changes, requiring players to adjust their hand reading and decision-making accordingly.

How do pot odds and implied odds differ in Short Deck?

are still calculated the same way in Short Deck poker as in traditional Hold'em. However, implied odds can be more significant due to the increased likelihood of making strong hands. As a result, players may be more willing to chase draws, even with less favorable immediate pot odds, because the potential payoff can be substantially larger.

Are there any differences in betting rules compared to regular Hold'em?

Short Deck poker typically uses the same betting structure as traditional Hold'em, with players having the option to call, raise, or fold during each betting round. However, in some variations of Short Deck, antes may be used instead of or in addition to blinds, adding a new strategic element to the game.

What are the common beginner mistakes to avoid?

New players to Short Deck poker often make mistakes such as overvaluing or undervaluing specific hands. For example, they may not adjust their hand rankings properly or may fail to consider the increased likelihood of opponents holding strong hands. Additionally, misjudging pot odds and implied odds can lead to suboptimal decision-making. Beginners should study the game, practice, and learn from more experienced players to avoid these mistakes.

Are there any specific tools or resources for improving Short Deck skills?

There are several tools and resources available to help players improve their Short Deck poker skills. These include online poker forums, articles, and video tutorials that discuss strategies and concepts specific to the game. Additionally, watching high-level players and analyzing their plays can provide valuable insights into the nuances of Short Deck poker.

In Short Deck poker, the hand rankings differ slightly from traditional due to the removal of the 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s from the deck. The most notable change is that a flush ranks higher than a full house, and a set (three of a kind) ranks higher than a straight. The full rankings are:

\n

    \n
  1. Royal Flush
  2. \n

  3. Straight Flush
  4. \n

  5. Four of a Kind
  6. \n

  7. Flush
  8. \n

  9. Full House
  10. \n

  11. Three of a Kind (Set)
  12. \n

  13. Straight
  14. \n

  15. Two Pair
  16. \n

  17. One Pair
  18. \n

  19. High Card
  20. \n

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"How does the removal of cards affect game strategy?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

With fewer cards in the deck, hand values increase, and drawing hands become more valuable. Players will generally play a higher percentage of hands due to the increased odds of connecting with the board. Additionally, the probability of hitting specific hands changes, requiring players to adjust their hand reading and decision-making accordingly.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"How do pot odds and implied odds differ in Short Deck?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

Pot odds are still calculated the same way in Short Deck poker as in traditional Hold'em. However, implied odds can be more significant due to the increased likelihood of making strong hands. As a result, players may be more willing to chase draws, even with less favorable immediate pot odds, because the potential payoff can be substantially larger.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Are there any differences in betting rules compared to regular Hold'em?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

Short Deck poker typically uses the same betting structure as traditional Hold'em, with players having the option to call, raise, or fold during each betting round. However, in some variations of Short Deck, antes may be used instead of or in addition to blinds, adding a new strategic element to the game.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"What are the common beginner mistakes to avoid?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

New players to Short Deck poker often make mistakes such as overvaluing or undervaluing specific hands. For example, they may not adjust their hand rankings properly or may fail to consider the increased likelihood of opponents holding strong hands. Additionally, misjudging pot odds and implied odds can lead to suboptimal decision-making. Beginners should study the game, practice, and learn from more experienced players to avoid these mistakes.

"}},{"@type":"Question","name":"Are there any specific tools or resources for improving Short Deck skills?","acceptedAnswer":{"@type":"Answer","text":"

There are several tools and resources available to help players improve their Short Deck poker skills. These include online poker forums, articles, and video tutorials that discuss strategies and concepts specific to the game. Additionally, watching high-level players and analyzing their plays can provide valuable insights into the nuances of Short Deck poker.

"}}]}