Short Deck Poker Rules and Strategy

Short Deck Poker Rules and Strategy

0 comments 15 January 2019, 08:54

There are several poker variations developing recently, and today it’s time to talk about Short Deck Poker and why to play it online. As the name suggests, this game has less cards. All the 2s, 3s, 4s and 5s are removed, so the deck is left with just 36 cards. This creates a more interesting and action packed game.

The game gained a lot of popularity lately, and there are plenty of major tournaments all over the world that attract plenty of players, including some of the pros. There are also more and more casinos that are integrating Short Deck Poker into their offer of games.

Among the popular pro players that are playing this game (also known as Six Plus Poker) we can find Nick Schulman, Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey.  

Now let’s have a look at the differences between Texas Hold’em and Short Deck Poker. As mentioned before, the first and most important difference lies in the cards found in the deck (there are no 2s, 3s, 4s and 5s). The game then takes place just as usual, with 2 cards given to each player and bets placed on the flop, the turn and the river.

But another major difference lies in the rankings of the hands. With those small cards missing, the math of the game changes a lot and some hands are now more difficult to make, while others are easier.

The ranking of the hands in Texas hold’em is: Royal Flush – Straight Flush – Four of a kind – Full House – Flush – Straight – Three of a kind – Two pairs – Pair – High Card

But in Short Deck poker, the ranking is slightly different: Royal Flush – Straight Flush – Four of a kind – Flush – Full House – Three of a kind – Straight – Two pairs – Pair – High Card

So as you can see, now “three of a kind” is better than a “straight”, and a “flush” beats a “full house”. With so many high cards in the game, you have more chances of creating strong hands, there is more action, but also more gambling according to some people.

Since the odds of the game are now different, so should be your strategy. In Six Plus poker it’s much easier to hit a draw, and the chances of improving your hand increase both in the flop and the river, compared to Texas hold’em.

As mentioned before, a flush is now a stronger hand because it’s more difficult to make. There are now 6 cards of each suit, compared to 13 in Texas hold’em. So in case you have a draw, you have 30 % chances to make the flush by the river and 15 % after the turn (compared to 36 % and 18 % in Texas hold’em).

Straight draws are more common in Short Deck Poker and so are the chances to make that straight. You now have 8 outs on the flop to complete the straight out of 31 cards left in the deck (compared to 47 in Texas hold’em). So straight draws are good hands and worth to be played more aggressively compared to flush draws for example.

Another thing to keep in mind when doing your Short Deck strategy is that if you have a top pair and a top kick you have just as many chances of winning as someone with a straight draw. This is because top pairs are not as strong because of the straight draws that can occur more often.

Since there are few cards in the deck, you have more chances of seeing high cards pre-flop. In this game you will get pocket aces once every 100 hands, as opposed to Texas hold’em where you can have 2 aces right from the start only once every 221 hands.

In the Six Plus poker game, odds are 8.6 % that you get a pocket pair, compared to just 5.9 % in Texas Hold’em. Here you also have 12.7 % chances to hit trips by the river and 33 % chances to receive premier hands such as A-K.

Don’t get too excited that you have high cards, as your opponents have just the same odds as you. They are also likely to have high cards, straight draws and other good hands. So you must be very careful when deciding to call or to raise. In this game you have to be willing to fold great hands more often than in Texas hold’em.

Several players tried the game and felt that it’s a really unique and interesting experience, quite different than a classic game of poker. According to poker player Parker “Tonkaaaap” Talbot, he considers Short Deck Poker variant bringing more fun to the game and being much more different than other poker games, but he is skeptical it can overpass popular variants like Texas Holdem or Omaha on the long run.

It is a quick, fun and dynamic game where more players get involve in the pot. It’s fairly new to the market and it caters to a certain type of player. While not everyone will like to play Short Deck Poker, there are still many who will love this game and maybe will switch to it completely.

While some players are solely focused on Pot Limit Omaha or Razz, we might see players who are world-class experts in Short Deck. Others are skeptical, saying that this game relies more on good luck than on skills, but they might be wrong. If major professional poker players like Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey are playing it, you should definitely consider giving it a try as well. 

No Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first one to write a comment

Leave a comment