What is Short Deck Poker, how and where to play it in 2021 04 Jun

Short Deck poker appeared a couple of years ago and originates from Asia (most likely from China specifically). It has gained in popularity lately around the world and also in Europe, mostly thanks to High Roller events, featuring famous poker players like Phil Ivey, Tom “durrrr” Dwan, Dan “Jungleman” Cates and alike.
Short Deck poker was mostly played in live events but nowadays players can play it online in many poker rooms.

What is Short Deck Poker

Short Deck Hold’em - also known as Six Plus (6+) Hold’em - is a version of the popular No-Limit Hold’em poker game but with the reduced number of cards.
Short Deck poker uses a standard poker playset of 52 cards, but with all twos, threes, fours and fives taken out. Therefore the playset contains 36 cards, with six being the lowest card (unless there is a combination where an ace counts as a low card). This means that the chances of hitting certain card combinations increase tremendously (and also lowers for other combinations), game dynamic changes and therefore a bit different set of rules are needed.

Short Deck Poker rules

Given the fact that there is now only 36 cards in play, the value of certain combinations changes. Therefore these two set of rules apply for Short Deck poker:

  • Flush beats Full House
  • Three of a kind beats Straight

Even though at first it might feel unreasonable, it makes perfect sense mathematically. Since the bottom 5 cards of the deck are taken out at Short Deck poker, there is immediately a much smaller chance of hitting a flush (in regular Hold’em games, holding two cards of the same suit in hand means there is still 9 cards of that suit in the deck, whereas at Short Deck poker there is only 5 remaining cards of the same suit in the deck). Therefore it is a mathematical fact, that it is harder to complete a flush than a full house!
Given the missing cards, it is mathematically also much easier to complete a straight combination and the likelihood of completing it is now also higher than getting three of a kind. Yet, it is still easier to get three of a kind at Short Deck poker than at normal Hold’em poker game.
It is also important to keep in mind that ace can count as a low card. So the highest possible straight combination remains T-J-Q-K-A straight, whereas the lowest straight is no A-6-7-8-9 (where ace replaces the 5 in the combination).
A short video of Tom Dwan explaining the rules of Short Deck poker:

The official Short Deck Hold’em Hand ranking:

Short Deck Hold'em Regular Hold'em
Royal Flush Royal Flush
Straight Flush Straight Flush
Quads Quads
Flush Full House
Full House Flush
3 of a Kind Straight
Straight 3 of a Kind
Two Pair Two Pair
One Pair One Pair
High Card High Card

ATTENTION: in some poker rooms at Short Deck it still stands that straight beats three of a kind, so be careful on the specific poker room rules!

And just as an interesting fact: Short Deck poker is played on a regular basis in the extremely popular Triton Poker Super High Roller series. It features the best poker players in the world playing tournaments with huge buy-ins, starting at $25,000 and all the way up to $125,000. All the events are streamed live, which gives you a great chance to learn the game from the best.

You can check all the previous streams in our video section.
Triton Series rules for Short Deck Poker are also applied at Partypoker.

Where to play Short Deck Poker?


Partypoker has implemented Short Deck poker relatively late, but since the traffic on the site is amazing, you can be sure there will always be plenty of Short Deck action! On top of the Short Deck poker availability, PokerPro players on partypoker will also receive:

  • $30 Free Tickets Welcome Bonus
  • Up to 60% Rakeback
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BestPoker (iPoker network)

You can also played Short Deck poker (named Six Plus Hold’em here) on iPoker network, namely on BestPoker, where you will be able to enjoy additional benefits through PokerPro:

  • 200% up to €2,000 Welcome BOnus
  • PokerPro VIP 35% Rakeback
  • €12,500 Weekly Twister Race

PokerKing and Americas Cardroom (Winning Poker Network)

Players can also enjoy Short Deck poker games on WPN network - on PokerKing or Americas Cardroom. It is called 6+ No-Limit Hold’em here.

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  • Contact us for a VIP Deal.