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What Is Short Deck Poker?

Short deck poker/short deck meaning 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 follows the same rules as Texas Hold’em but has one major difference.

The 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. 

Since the short poker deck was introduced in Macau casinos for cash-rich poker games, it has become a huge hit in the poker world. You do not need to pack your bags to play, as you can do the same on the online gaming platform GetMega.

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

What Are The Short Deck Poker Rules?

Poker 6 only uses 36 cards, which the players are dealt. This is done by removing all the 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s, which means the new deck is short of 16 cards. This means a short poker deck, meaning you now have cards from 6 and above until 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, according to short deck poker rules, the lowest possible straight you can have is that of Ace, 6, 7, 8, and 9, where Ace pretty much works as a regular 5. Dive into the world of OFC (Open-Face Chinese) poker with our comprehensive guide, covering rules, strategies, and tips for this exciting variant.

The gameplay is like Texas Hold’em, with every player getting two Hole cards and then using the Community cards to make the best possible hand. A regular short deck game 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.

Short Deck In Poker Odds

The short deck in poker odds holds the capacity to change the game. It may challenge the ancient intuitive knowledge about the maths used in poker.

You can play more starting hands in the short deck. Hold’em because two hole cards are connected more often. The players more frequently draw ace cards. You will hit your outs more often as fewer cards are available in the deck. A straight hand occurs more often than a three-of-a-kind hand. You will flop fewer flush draws and hit them even less often. Explore the elegance of French playing cards with their unique designs and suits, adding sophistication to your card games.

Explore the elegance of French playing cards with their unique designs and suits, adding sophistication to your card games.

Are there Any Other Popular Versions of The Short Deck Poker?

Yes, one popular version of the short deck is used more than others. The short deck rules change slightly as the River is dealt with differently. 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. Now, the players need to make a hand of 5 by combining 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.

OFC Poker, short for Open-Face Chinese Poker, has gained popularity among card game enthusiasts worldwide. In OFC Poker, players aim to create three separate hands using 13 cards dealt over multiple rounds. The game involves strategic decision-making as players must carefully arrange their cards to maximize their points while adhering to specific hand rankings.

How are The Short Deck Poker Hand Rankings Different From Texas Hold’em?

In a short-deck poker game, players can choose the hand rankings they want to follow. You can play it the traditional way or use the alternative method, where the hand rankings rules change. Also, you can play the game in the no-limit or fixed-limit format, even though the preferred style for short-deck/short-deck rankings is the former.

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


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

Lowest

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 must be followed while playing the alternate version of short-deck poker:

Hand Ranking

Hand Name

Poker Hand


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

Lowest

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◊

The differences in the ranking system are obvious. A three-of-a-kind overpowers a straight, and a flush has more power than a full house.

Now, why is there a difference in rankings in this version of the short deck? The answer is quite simple – because it has fewer 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 this game?

First, you need to change the mindset 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 removing 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 a short poker deck, which is not true in Texas Hold’em.

The odds of getting certain draws change because of the 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 that of a regular Texas Hold’em game. Therefore, you must consider such odds while playing out your hands.

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 has a third Hole card. In such times, the need for having an excellent hand becomes much more apparent. This is why you need to be well-versed in short deck poker rules and hand rankings so that you can win more often than not.

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

Frequently Asked Questions About Short Deck Poker

How do you play poker?

  • Poker is a card game typically played with a standard 52-card deck. Players make bets based on the strength of their hand, with the objective of either having the best hand at showdown or convincing others to fold.

Is short-deck poker better?

  • Whether short-deck poker is better depends on personal preference and playstyle. Short-deck poker has its unique dynamics, with fewer cards in the deck and different hand rankings, which some players may find more exciting or challenging.

What is the short deck theory in poker?

  • Short-deck theory in poker refers to strategies and concepts specific to playing short-deck poker. This includes adjustments to starting hand requirements, understanding the impact of card removal, and adapting to the different probabilities and dynamics of the game.

What beats what in short deck poker?

  • In short deck poker, hand rankings differ slightly from traditional poker. A flush beats a full house, and three-of-a-kind beats a straight. This is because the reduced deck changes the probability of making certain hands.

What is the 4 2 rule in poker?

  • The 4 2 rule in poker is a simplified way to estimate the likelihood of completing a drawing hand on the next card. With one card to come, you multiply the number of outs (cards that improve your hand) by 4 to get an approximate percentage chance of making your hand by the River and by 2 to approximate your chances by the turn.

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