How to play Short Deck Poker?

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What is Short Deck Poker?

Short deck poker is one of the variations of the traditional and popular poker game - Texas Hold’em. It is also known as six-plus Hold’em or 6+ Hold’em in some parts of the world.  This pretty much follows the same rules of Texas Hold’em but has one major difference. Short deck uses just 36 cards instead of the whole deck of 52 cards, and this has a huge say in the odds, draws and strategies. Ever since poker short deck was introduced in Macau casinos for the cash-rich poker games, it has become a huge hit in the world of poker. You need not pack your bags to play as you can do the same on the online gaming platform of GetMega.

Here, we take you through the short deck poker rules, variations, hand rankings and strategies to help you get started with the game.

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What are the Short Deck Poker Rules?

To start with, poker 6 only uses 36 cards, out of which the players are dealt the cards. It is done by removing all the 2s, 3s, 4s and 5s, which means the new deck is short of 16 cards. This means, you now have cards from 6 and above, till King, along with the Aces.

Speaking of Aces, they play the same role in short deck poker rules, just like in Texas Hold’em. You can either use it as the lowest value or the highest value. To give a simple example, the lowest possible straight you can have according to short deck poker rules is that of Ace, 6, 7, 8 and 9, where Ace pretty much works as a regular 5.

Coming to the gameplay, it is played the same way as Texas Hold’em with every player getting two Hole cards and then using the Community cards to make the best possible hand. A regular game of short deck has four streets – Pre-flop, Flop, Turn and River. Post this, the hands are made the usual way and the winning hand at the end takes home the riches.

Are there any other popular versions of the short deck poker?

Yes, there is one popular version of short deck that is used more than others. In this, the short deck rules change a little, as the River is dealt in a different manner. While the regular short deck poker follows the route of 3 cards in Flop, 1 in Turn and 1 in River, this version skips the part of River. Instead, the players get one more Hole card, making it a total of 3 Hole cards. Now the players need to make a hand of 5 by using the combination of 4 Community cards and 3 Hole cards.

If you have played Omaha poker, then this version of short deck poker must have rung a bell in your head. In Omaha, the players have 4 Hole cards and 3 Community cards to make a hand of 5.

Note that you can only use 2 Hole cards to make your hand of 5 in both these poker games.

How are the short deck poker hand rankings different from Texas Hold’em?

The players can choose the kind of hand rankings they want to follow in a short deck poker game. You can either play it the regular way or use the alternative method where the short deck poker rules for hand rankings change. Also, you can play the game in the no-limit format or the fixed-limit format, even though the preferable style for short deck is the former one.

Here are the regular hand rankings that need to be followed while playing the regular version of short deck poker, which is similar to Texas Hold’em.

Hand Ranking Hand Name Poker Hand
Lowest High Card Kx, 6x, 9x, 8x, Qx
One Pair K◊, K◊, 5x, 8x, Qx
Two Pair K◊, K◊, 6◊, 6◊, Qx
Three-of-a-kind K◊, K◊, K◊, 6x, Qx
Straight Ax, 6x, 7x, 8x, 9x
Flush K◊, J◊, 10◊, 6x, 9x
Full House K◊, K◊, K◊, 6◊, 6◊
Four-of-a-kind K◊, K◊, K◊, K◊, 6x
Straight Flush A◊, 6◊, 7◊, 8◊, 9◊
Highest Royal Flush 10◊, J◊, Q◊, K◊, A◊

Here are the hand rankings that need to be followed while playing the alternate version of short deck poker.

Hand Ranking Hand Name Poker Hand
Lowest High Card Kx, 6x, 9x, 8x, Qx
One Pair K◊, K◊, 5x, 8x, Qx
Two Pair K◊, K◊, 6◊, 6◊, Qx
Straight Ax, 6x, 7x, 8x, 9x
Three-of-a-kind K◊, K◊, K◊, 6x, Qx
Full House K◊, K◊, K◊, 6◊, 6◊
Flush K◊, J◊, 10◊, 6x, 9x
Four-of-a-kind K◊, K◊, K◊, K◊, 6x
Straight Flush A◊, 6◊, 7◊, 8◊, 9◊
Highest Royal Flush 10◊, J◊, Q◊, K◊, A◊

You can note the differences in the ranking system. A three-of-a-kind overpowers a straight, and a flush has more power than a full house.

Now, one can ask why there is a difference in rankings in this version of short deck. The answer is quite simple – because it has less number of cards and the change in the ranking system makes the game fairer. Since there are only 36 cards in short deck poker, the possibility of making a flush with just 9 suited cards is much less than making a full house. Therefore, it has more precedence over a full house. A lot of online games follow this set of short deck poker rules.

Is there any short deck poker strategy that one needs to follow?

Now that you know all the short deck poker rules, it is time to apply them and win big money. So, what kind of strategies can you follow to win at this game?

To start with, you need to change the mindset that you use for regular Texas Hold’em games, as a good hand in that is an average hand here. It is mainly because of the ease with which good hands can be made in short deck poker, thanks to the removal of low value cards. For example, it is quite easy to make straights and full houses in this, thus making it a low-value hand while playing the alternate version of poker short deck, which is not the case in Texas Hold’em.

The odds of getting certain draws too change because of the less number of cards in the total deck. Similarly, it affects the possibility of getting certain hands. The chances of getting pocket aces (a pair of Aces) are double than that of a regular Texas Hold’em game. Therefore, you must consider such odds while playing out your hands in the end.

Furthermore, you need to think of a different game plan if you are playing the version of poker 6 that does not involve the use of River, and instead have a third Hole card. In such times, the need for having an excellent hand becomes much more apparent. This is the reason why you need to be well-versed with the short deck poker rules and the hand rankings, so that you can make a winning hand more often than not.

Now that you know all the short deck poker rules and how the less number of cards can affect the ranking system of hands, you should be ready to give it a go. Download GetMega Poker App now and enjoy playing short deck poker and more to win big money.

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