How to Play Short Deck Poker?

How to Play Short Deck Poker?

The most common variants of poker are No-Limit Texas Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha. In recent years, 6+ Hold’em, also known as Short Deck Poker, has been on the rise. This relatively new game is not played with a deck of 52 cards, but with 36 cards. The cards 2, 3, 4 and 5 do not play in 6+ Hold’em. Most tournaments and cash poker games in non GamStop casinos are still played in No-Limit Texas Hold’em, check some on But nowadays there are also a number of new game variants that have gained a lot of popularity. More and more action is taking place on the Pot-Limit Omaha tables, but the relatively new game of 6+ Hold’em / Short Deck Poker is also coming into the picture.

Most tournament series, including the World Series of Poker, now host tournaments in this new game variant. Also the necessary cash games nowadays are 6+ Hold’em, because there seems to be more action than in Texas Hold’em. This is mainly because there are fewer cards in the deck: 52 to 36.

Game Rules

6+ Hold’em, or Short Deck Poker, is like Texas Hold’em a card game that you play against one or more opponents. You can also sit at a table here with up to ten players. In the casino there is also a dealer at the table who deals the cards.

The big difference with Texas Hold’em is the number of cards played with. In 6+ Hold’em they don’t play twos, threes, fours and fives. That means that in 6+ Hold’em there are only 36 cards involved, as opposed to the 52 cards in Texas Hold’em.

As with Texas Hold’em, you can still use the ace as the lowest card to make a straight. So in 6+ Hold’em ace-six-seven-eight-nine is a straight, just as it is a straight in Texas Hold’em if you’re dealt ace-two-three-four-five.

There is one difference in the hand values, because in 6+ Hold’em a flush is better than a full house. This is because you are less likely to make a flush, because four of the thirteen cards of one suit (hearts, clubs, spades, diamonds) are missing.

Another big difference is that this game of poker has no blinds. It is played in a variant where each player only pays an ante. This means that each player already bets an amount, depending on the playing limit, before the cards are dealt. The player on the button pays a double ante.

Since there is no small blind and big blind, the player to the dealer’s left starts the action.

Poker Combinations (Poker Hand Ranking)

name Description example other name
Royal Flush Five cards of the same suit from ten to ace    
Straight Flush Five cards of the same suit consecutively    
Four of a kind Four cards of the same rank   quads
flush Five cards of the same suit   Color (French)
Full House Three cards of the same value and two cards of the same value   Boat, full boat
straight Five cards ascending but of different suits   Street
Three-of-a-kind Three of the same cards plus two of the same cards   Trips, Set
Two Pair Twice two cards of the same rank with one random card   Two pairs
One Pair Two cards of the same rank with any three cards   A few
High Card Five unequal cards    

The height of the cards is different from that of other card games, as sixteen cards are not involved. In 6+ Hold’em, the ace is the highest, but it can also be used as a “five” for a straight. The ace is also the highest card in 6+ Hold’em. So, increasing from low to high it is as follows:.

The Royal Flush is the highest possible combination in poker, but it is rare. The chance of hitting a Royal Flush is higher in this variant than in Texas Hold’em, because only 36 cards are involved. However, it is not for everyone, because some players wait years before making a Royal Flush.

As mentioned, in 6+ Hold’em, a flush is higher than a full house. This is because they are rarer and difficult to make. Furthermore, the hand values ​​are still the same. Two pairs (e.g. kings and eights) thus beats one pair (e.g. two queens). This in turn is defeated by three-of-a-kind (e.g. three aces), which is also known as “trips”.

Ethan Miller
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