Short-Deck Poker, also known simply as Six-Plus Hold’em, is a meld-making comparison game in the Poker family. More granularly, Short Deck Hold’em is a variation of No-Limit Hold’em. In Short Deck, the deck is reduced from its usual 52 cards to 36 instead.
Short Deck has gotten particularly popular in the online Poker market, with most online venus also offering it on their website.
How to Play Short-Deck Poker?
Shor-Deck Poker is played using a modified version of the Standard Anglo-American 52-card deck. In order to form the 36-card Short Deck, Players simply remove the 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s from the whole deck.
Even though Short Deck Hold’em uses a smaller deck than normal, the same number of Players may participate as in regular Texas Hold’em (2-10). The rules, aside from the card hierarchy and by consequence the Short Deck, are all the same as in Texas Hold’em.
As in most Poker games, Players must pay up an ante after they are dealt their initial two cards if they intend to play in that particular round. The Ante is not compulsory, but Players may not continue to wager and play in the round without paying their Ante.
An Ante is an agreed-upon minimum amount that Players must wager in order to participate in the game.
The Ante is required by two Players, the Big and Small Blinds. The Small Blind sits to the immediate clockwise of the Dealer, and the Big Blind to the immediate clockwise of the Small Blind. The position of the Dealer, and both Blinds, will move one position clockwise at the end of the round where they held that title. This means the round after being the Dealer, a Player will then be in the Small Blind position.
Players are free to bet more than the minimum required Ante or fold before paying the Ante, if they so wish.
Once all requisite Antes have been paid in and each Player has been dealt their cards, the game may begin.
|0.95% (1 in 100)
The Dealer will deal three face-up community cards, known as the Flop. As in the Ante round, also known as the pre-Flop, Players have three possible betting positions once these cards have been revealed.
Players may either Bet, Check, or Fold.
A Bet is the name of the first wager made by a Player at a table. All subsequent Players must at least match the previously highest bet. This is known as a call. For example, Player 1 Bets $15, and Player 2 calls $15.
Players may also Raise. Raising is an increase upon the previously highest bet, forcing all other Players to at least Call on the newest wager in order to continue participating in the game. For example, Player 1 bets $15, Player 2 raises $5 for a total wager of $20, therefore Player 3 must pay $20, while Player 1 must pay an additional $5 to match the previously highest wager.
If no Bet has been made at the current stage of the game (Pre-Flop, Flop, Turn, River) then a Player is allowed to “Check.” Checking is essentially a bet of $0. Players may Check so long as no other Players have wagered in the current game stage.
Players may also Fold, if they do not feel confident in their cards. Folding does not compel the Player to match the previously highest bet for the remainder of the round, however, Players may also not receive any pay-out, even if their cards would have won.
Turn and River
This process all repeats in the next two stages of the game, the Turn and River. The only difference between those stages of the game, and the Flop, is the number of community cards dealt at the beginning of the stage. The Turn and River both only deal out a single community card.
The final stage of the game, the Showdown, occurs after the betting positions of the River are settled. Once all final wagers have been made, Players will then reveal their cards and begin the comparison portion of the game.
Players will use the two cards in their hand, as well as the 5 community cards in the center of the table, to form the best possible 5-card Poker hand.
The Player that forms the highest possible 5-card meld will win the whole pot. In the case of a tie, or an otherwise split pot, the pot will be distributed as necessary.
To otherwise split the pot, Players have a special Raise that they may make. Known as the “All-In” Players may wager the entirety of their chips. Other Players who possess more chips than the Player declaring All-In will simply make a side pot, a pot separate from the main pot where each Player that wishes to continue playing pays in the value of the Player’s All-in.
For example, Player 1 goes all in for $50, so a side pot is formed where the previously highest bet was $50.
Short Deck Poker Rules
The regular rules are as follows:
- The deck in Short Hand is only supposed to be 36 cards.
- The standard mechanics of Poker apply, such as betting, Antes, and the concept of Players comparing their hands against each other. However, the actual hierarchy of hands in 6+ Hold’em is slightly modified.
- A short-hand way to say Check is simply by tapping one’s knuckles against the table, or knocking. As such, some Players refer to checks as “Knocks” or “Knocking.”
Short Hand Poker, as with most gambling games, is scored utilizing Chips. These Chips are tokens with monetary value, usually $1, $5, $10, $20, etc.
Players use their chips in order to bet, implementing the psychological element of Poker games. Players can bet a large amount of money when they have bad cards, known as bluffing. Otherwise, they might bet in smaller amounts at the start of the game, only to bet larger amounts near the end in order to give their opponents a false sense of security in their ability to win the game.
Hand Rankings in Six-Plus Holdem
|A♥ K♥ Q♥ J♥ 10♥
|8♠ 9♠ 10♠ J♠ Q♠
|7♥ 7♣ 7♦ 7♠ 8♣
|6♠ 6♣ 6♥ 8♠ 8♥
|8♦ 6♦ K♦ 7♦ 10♦
|7♠ 8♦ 9♥ 10♣ J♠
|8♦ 8♠ 8♥ 7♦ 10♠
|6♥ 6♦ 8♠ 8♣ 10♣
|6♦ 6♣ 8♠ 9♦ 10♣
The hierarchy of Short Deck Hold’em is actually somewhat different from the normal hierarchy Poker players might be familiar with. The list provided below will hopefully explain this:
- Royal Flush – The best 5 cards including the Royal/Face-cards in immediate ascending or descending order, all of the same Suit (♥♦♣♠).
- Straight Flush – The same as the Royal Flush, but without the full cadre of Royalty cards.
- Four-of-a-Kind – A set of four cards that are all the same rank, but different suits.
- Flush – A set of 5 cards that are all the same suit.
- Full House – A set of two cards of the same rank, and three different cards of the same rank.
- Straight – A set of five cards that are in immediate ascending or descending order, but not necessarily the same suit.
- Three-of-a-Kind – A set of three cards that are all the same rank.
- Two-Pair – A set of two different pairs.
- Pair – A set of two cards that are the same rank.
This hierarchy is slightly changed from conventional Poker, as the Flush is above a Full House, and the Three-of-a-Kind is above a Straight.
If a Player cannot form a meld, they will play what is known as the “High-card”, essentially the highest-ranking card that they can possibly play.
Imagine the following scenario, in a game of four Players.
The community cards are:
7♦, K♦, 8♥, 9♠, 9♦
- Player 1 has 7♥, K♣
- Player 2 has 7♣, Q♣
- Player 3 has 6♥, 10♦
- Player 4 has 6♦, J♠.
In such a game, Player 1’s highest meld is Two Pair. Player 2’s is Pair. Player 3’s is a Straight, and Player 4’s is Jack High-card. Therefore, Player 3 would win the pot due to their highest-ranking meld.
What is the difference between Short Deck and No-Limit Hold’em?
As Short Deck is a variation of No Limit Holdem, the game mechanics are all practically the same. The key difference between the two games is the “Short Deck” or Short Deck Hold’em. That is to say, the 36-card deck is what makes the difference. Due to this 36-card deck, there is also another difference, the card hierarchy in Short Deck is actually slightly different from that of normal Poker games. Read the “Hands Rankings” section above.
What cards are missing in Short Deck Poker?
To make the 36-card deck, Players should remove all 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s. This is similar to some German card games, which also remove the same cards from the deck in order to create a 36-card deck.
Is Ace low in Short Deck?
Aces are high-low, as they are in most Poker games. As the 6 is now the lowest ranking card, with the 2s removed from the deck, Aces may now form a straight from Ace, 6, 7, 8, 9. Aces may also still be high, in the case of a 10, J, Q, K, Ace straight.
Does 3 of a kind beat a Straight in Short Deck?
Yes, in Short Deck Hold’em, a 3-of-a-kind will beat a straight. This is because it is less likely to form a three-kind than it is to form a straight due to the limited number of cards. Straights are more likely to form because a greater number of cards in the Short Deck are within 5 cards of each other.
Does a flush beat a Full House in Short Deck?
Yes, as in the above question, Flushes beat Full Houses in Short Deck. This is because the probability of getting a flush is significantly reduced from a pool of 13 possible cards to a pool of 9 possible cards.
This may seem unconventional, but it is important for Poker hand hierarchies to be determined by their probability of occurrence. As it is more likely to pull a Full House than it is a Flush, Flushes must be worth more than a Full House.
What is the best hand in Short Deck Poker?
The best hand in Short Deck Poker is the same as in other Poker Games. This means a Royal Flush is still the highest-value meld in this game.