Short Deck Holdem – Where Did The Idea Come From?

If you’re an accomplished Short Deck Holdem poker player, you know how exciting the various poker types are. Although Omaha, for example, offers players plenty of outs, making the game one of the most favored high stake rollers, Texas Hold’em remains the staple of all variants and is still the most played poker in the world. There were also televised poker shows with excellent high stakes action which, sadly, were not enough to persuade some players of the thrill Texas Hold’em offers. And why don’t the stakes be even higher? This is where  (also known as Six Plus Hold’em) will really unravel its full potential!

Short Deck Poker Is Quite popular in Macau

Short Deck Poker Rules – What’s the Difference?

As we think about this variability, you should bear in mind that it’s not wide spread across the top online poker sites, but you’ll see that it can definitely change. As you can tell by the name of this poker game, we’re talking about a tweaked card deck that’s shorter than your usual 52 card set. For this case, all 2 do 5 cards have been withdrawn, which means that the chances of obtaining high cards or even large pocket pairs have improved significantly. In fact, one big distinction worth remembering is that the flush is a higher combination than the full house. Thanks to the smaller number of cards, which means a lower probability for a flush, this combination can be deemed much more desirable, whereas the potential for a full house remains equal to Texas Hold’em.

Short Deck Poker Is More Intense Than Regular Hold'em

One thing worth noting would be that in some  combinations three-of – a-kind may be a better hand than a straight as the odds of having a set or a trip are lower than those of having five consecutive cards. Last but not least, there is also a disparity between blind systems. The tiny blind does not exist and is now replaced by an ante paid by all. The player on the “press” sends a blind, which can normally be 2 to 4 times the size of the ante. Occasionally even the best poker players can be confused by a strategic strategy, keeping in mind this particular set of rules.

Short Deck Poker Strategy – Tips and Tricks

Poker is probably one of the few games where a strategic strategy will potentially produce long-term results. Therefore, all serious players who play this game not only for fun but also to earn a living have various strategies depending on the goals they have set. Needless to say, Short Deck Hold’em is no exception to that statute. That’s why, in the following pages, we’ve gathered some of the most useful tips to aid in your own games.

Tip #1 – Don’t Rely on Flush Draws Too Much

Since the deck is shorter, flushes are much more important, but waiting for the right card is often more difficult than you would expect. With 16 cards fewer, the chances of reaching a flush are getting slimmer. Let’s presume you’ve got two hearts in your pocket, and there are two hearts on the flop. With 5 cards left available and possibly other players who also participate in the game, often paying or betting on a flush draw is not the most rational option!

Tip #2 – Open-Ended Straight Draws Can Be Very Profitable

The more outs you’ve got, the better! Since the deck has only 36 cards and the open-ended draws send you 8 outs, this means that, technically, almost 1 out of every 4 cards is the one you’re waiting for. A 25% theoretical chance in poker, whatever the circumstances and without understanding the opponent’s hands, will certainly be worth your consideration!

Tip #3 – Always Consider the Percentages of Having a Combination

Although getting better chances to make a winning hand is fantastic, you can not forget that it applies equally to other players as well. Therefore, when we talk about major changes in chances, being more cautious and deductive in the estimation would be more desirable when playing. Understanding who says the best poker is also a significant advantage, particularly when you’re playing live. However, if we’re talking about online gaming, numbers are still of significant significance, so here’s the table below with percentages contrasting variations between Texas Hold’em and regular Short Deck poker:

CombinationShort Deck Hold’EmTexas Hold’Em
Royal Flush0.00019%0.00015%
Straight Flush0.00017%0.00013%
Four of a Kind0.031%0.024%
Full House0.18%0.14%
Two Pair5.84%4.75%


Tip #4 – Strong Hole Cards Aren’t Always the Best!

Although having high hole cards in your hand can be most recommended in Texas Hold’em, this does not extend with full force to Six Plus Hold’em. The explanation for this is the lack of small cards that will inevitably make middle hands like Jack-Ten almost equal to the Ace-King. This way, you’ve got a chance to connect to smaller and higher cards. In fact, by making more outs, you have a greater chance of winning the pot and growing your stack.

The Future for the Texas Hold’em Short Deck Variation

While the need for a new and exciting poker variant has been the driving force behind the development of Short Deck Hold’em, the game has rapidly begun to spread through casinos and is expected to gain even greater popularity. Even one of the top poker pros in the presence of Tom Dwan has dropped Texas Hold’em spotlight and welcomed Short Deck’s play. ‘Durrrr’ was a fantastic ambassador of the game and spent much of his time playing casino games around Macau.

Due to that popularity, even some of the UK’s best poker sites sell Six Plus Hold’em to their players, making it much more available, solidifying the variety as a world-class form of poker. However, if you’re still not caught in the excitement of this game and prefer to better your classic Hold’em skills, the Phil Ivey Masterclass may be of more interest to you. Another page that could stimulate your interest is packed with new casino sites that have been launched over the past few months. Make sure you try it out, and next time we’ll see you!


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