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What Is Short Deck Poker?

Short Deck poker, also known as 6+ Hold’Em, is an increasingly popular version of poker. It’s a fairly new poker game and has only been around a few years. It has gained noticeable popularity with the televised high stakes cash games in China, notably the Triton Poker Series.

Short Deck used to be unavailable to play both live and online. However, due to the increasing popularity, more live venues and online sites are now offering short deck poker.


Rules of Short Deck Poker

There are some major differences between Short Deck Hold’Em and traditional No-Limit Hold’Em. For starters, all the deuces through fives are removed from the deck.

Because of this, the probability to make certain hands changes. It is now much more difficult to hit a flush, but easier to hit straights and 3 of a kind.

A flush beats a full house.

This is due to less cards of any suit being available with all the deuces through fives being removed. This makes it statistically less probable to hit a Flush.

Even though it is easier to make 3 of a kind than in normal Texas Hold’Em, it is also much easier to hit a straight. The ace makes a straight with A6789 for the Short Deck wheel. It doesn’t loop around, just like traditional Texas Hold’Em. JQKA6 does not make a straight!

3 of a kind beats a straight in some versions of Short Deck, but in other versions, a straight still beats 3 of a kind.

Short Deck Hold’Em is generally played with 6 players. However, there are enough cards for up to 10 handed play. Short Deck Poker was invented to be an action-packed Texas Hold’Em game to move away from the nitty full ring style of play.

There is also a difference in pre-flop action with the blinds. While some Short Deck games will have antes and some games won’t, the big blind rule will stay the same. The button is the only player to pay any blinds. Because the Button is paying the blinds, the button will act last both before and after the flop.

Not all Short Deck games will have the exact same rules. So, it’s always a good idea to check them out first, just in case they have any slight variations.


Strategy for Short Deck Poker

Because of the different hand rankings, it’s important not to overvalue certain hands. Most noteworthy are straights.

Your strategy with playing straights and straight draws will be very different depending on which Short Deck rules you are playing with.

If straights beat 3 of a kind, then you are much happier to chase straight draws and get the money in.

If you are playing with the Short Deck rules where this is not the case, straights are not the best hand to stack off with. Even chasing straight draws becomes undesirable, as you are drawing dead if your opponent already has 3 of a kind.

You are almost twice as likely to get dealt pocket pairs pre-flop, including QQ-AA. So, stacking off a bit on the tighter end pre-flop will not be a bad idea.

Playing aggressively is going to be key in these games. Almost all Short Deck poker games have antes. Taking down as many of these antes as possible is going to be optimal. You will bleed less money from losing your own ante and take other people’s antes in the process.


To Wrap It Up

Short Deck poker is becoming increasingly popular every day. Some say it may even replace traditional Texas Hold’Em! However, those same people have been saying the same about Pot-Limit Omaha. While Pot-Limit Omaha keeps getting more popular, it hasn’t replaced old fashioned Texas Hold’Em and it’s not even close.

Short Deck is running on PKC and the games are very soft! There are low to high stakes games most hours of the day and the traffic is better than most other sites offering Short Deck. If you want a change from Texas Hold’Em and want a game with a lot of action, come check out the games on PKC today!