How To Play Short Deck Poker

Poker's increasing popularity can be attributed to the many game types it offers. With just the addition or subtraction of a few cards, you have yourself a different variation, a one that is simpler and fun-driven, which aptly fits beginners. One such poker variation is Short Deck Hold’em, also known as six plus poker. For those wondering how to play short deck Hold’em, the chances are that you won’t find it to be complicated at all because the gameplay in this variation is very similar to that of Texas Hold’em. Online poker has seen the rise of many previously unannounced game types, and short deck poker is one such variation that has been hugely accepted by players on the internet platforms since 2018.

Short deck Hold’em first originated in Asia but is now a popular form of poker played around the world. The biggest difference between this variation and the regular Hold’em is that it is played with a smaller deck as the name suggests. In a usual game of Texas Hold’em, a French deck is used, which consists of 52 cards. In the cast of short deck Hold’em, that number is reduced to only 36 cards in the pack. The reduced number of cards is a direct result of the elimination of all cards from the range of 2-5.

How to play Short Deck Hold’em

Now, we will dive into more depth about how to play Texas six plus poker by covering its fundamental rules, hand rankings, and some important tips and strategies that you can incorporate in your first game online. You will realize that most of the rules of short deck Hold’em are exactly the same as no limit Hold’em.

Basic Rules:

  • Every player is dealt with two hole cards
  • A total of three rounds are played involving community cards, namely: the flop, the turn and the river with a betting round to follow each.
  • Players are allowed to bet any amount as per their stack at any time.

About the Blinds:

Short deck Hold’em poker games are played with the ‘button blind’ structure wherein each player is obligated to post an ante with the player on the button posting a blind. This takes the traditional Hold’em rules of having a small and a big blind out of the picture with only one blind involved per hand. The blind here is generally seen to be 2-4 times the amount of the ante. If you wish to call preflop, you must complete your ante to match with the size of the blind.

Poker Hand Rankings:

A major change in hand rankings can be seen between short deck and regular Hold’em. With the absences of all cards from the rank of 2-5, a flush can now beat a full house. With only nine cards present from each suit, this deck makes flushes rare. This is why in all forms of the short deck game; flushes are ranked above the full house. In fact, in some of the more rarely played short deck games, there is an additional shuffle in the poker hand rankings table with the three of a kind being able to beat a straight. Given the deck size, the three of a kind is a rarer hand combination making it stronger than the straight in these versions of the game.

Straight draws won’t do you much good in these situations as you’d end up drawing dead if at all your opponent holds a set or trips. Aces are still in play with short deck games to form the low and high ends of a straight. The difference here is that the lowest straight possible now changes to A-6-7-8-9 instead of the usual A-2-3-4-5. Generally, straights are ranked ahead of the three of a kind for most short deck poker games even though straights are more common to make. But because of the possibility that you could get the hand rankings mixed up, it is always better to know enough about the game you are signing up for.

Basic Short Deck Strategies and Tips

The shorter deck creates a difference with how you tactically approach the game in comparison to your regular poker outings. These are some important tips for you to incorporate during your short deck Hold’em games to get the most off the table.

  • While learning how to play short deck Hold’em, you will have to learn to play suited hands over pocket pairs and do so more aggressively. Flushes and trips rise in value which leads to suited hands and pocket pairs also to see an increase in their value.
  • Make use of the 6 and 3 rule to estimate your odds. Depending on the street, you can calculate your chances of making a draw by multiplying your outs by 6 or 3. Multiply by outs by 6 on the flop and by 3 on the turn.
  • Don’t leave your regular Hold’em knowledge aside. If you’re familiar with no-limit Hold’em and you’re used to that style of gameplay, then don’t change much and go with your instincts because short deck Hold’em isn’t all that different after all.
  • Think differently in terms of starting hands. Short deck poker is still a new concept for most players, and so there is confusion in the community regarding the best opening and closing hands. One thing for certain is that the reduced cards change the dynamics in favor of starting hands that were previously not so acceptable.

It is unlikely that short deck poker will take over the world. However, its Texas Hold’em similarities when combined with some of the aspects it shares in common with Pot Limit Omaha makes it an enjoyable experience. If you’re someone who’s used to playing usual poker games, you might have to undergo a little change to accommodate within the short deck poker table. However, once you settle in, then the varied and hand rankings and missing cards won’t be much of a challenge. We hope you learned how to play short deck poker today, and you’re ready to get started with it. There is a lot more available for you on the official Spartan Poker app, which you can use to access and play your favorite poker games from anywhere and around the clock.

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