Online poker players can now play high stakes games of Short Deck Hold'em, but let's first study the rules and strategies.
Short Deck Hold'em history
Macau is known as the birthplace of 6+ Hold'em. The first information about it appeared in 2014. Quickly, the game became popular in Asia. The Short Deck Hold'em rules are simple and the tables offer more action compared to regular Texas Hold'em.
In 2015, Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey posted a video talking about Short Deck. "Durrr" mentioned that he was bored of playing regular hold'em. After these comments, the term 6+ was now known in the West.
Some rooms added this variant to their lobbies, but only the iPoker network maintained it. Right now during peak time maybe 10 tables of 6+ Hold'em can be found in stakes from NL10 to NL100. But generally speaking, Short Deck Hold'em remained just as a purely Asian fun.
Short Deck Hold'em rules
There are three main differences between with Texas Hold'em (which is played with a 52-card deck):
- The cards from 2 to 5 are removed from the deck, for a total of 36 cards in the game.
- The hand ranking changes: set beats straight, and a flush is better than a full house.
- The A can be used for any straight both as a low or high card (as a 5 for example)
Strategy for Short Deck Hold'em
Even though the game became popular about 4 years ago, there has been not much development of theory or strategy of Six Plus Hold'em. As a matter of fact, no support software has been released for it. Therefore, even regulars have to play "old school style," relying on general experience and knowledge of poker mathematics.
The basis for building a strategy for Short Deck Hold'em is keeping in mind that because there are fewer cards in the deck, many probabilities change with the same number of outs. One out equals 3%:
Tips for playing Short Deck Hold'em
- No need to overplay top pair / top kicker - in Six Plus Hold'em the draws probability is significantly higher, so TPTK is actually not a very good hand here, especially in the last streets;
- Be aggressive with strong projects - this as a result of the previous paragraph. Semi-bluffs with a strong draw are more effective in Short Deck. You either immediately win the pot, or you will find yourself playing with excellent odds of improving your hand;
- Be careful with weak kickers - hands like top pair, two pairs and straight are not that strong in Short Deck. You should adjust your pre-flop ranges according to this. In comparison to traditional Texas Hold'em, you should be looking for 2 strong cards as kicker instead of one. That is if A8o is a good hand to raise pre-flop in a 52-card deck game, in Six Plus hold'em it's better to raise minimum with ATo;
- Call 3-bets with any pocket pair - since a set is now stronger than a straight and the probability to get one in the flop is 18%, any pocket pair is reasonable to defend against a 3-bet;
- Keep in mind the new hand rankings - play carefully with suited boards, and also straight draws. For example, if you have a set, you should only be afraid of flushes so straight draws must not concern you.
Odds table for Short Deck Hold'em
Where can I play high stakes Short Deck Hold'em games online?
Recently we added a new room that answers this question - PokerKing Asia. This new Asian poker application has Short Deck hold'em tables from $80 to $300. If you want to know more information about this room, please read our room review and FAQ.
We must mention that the action at the 6+ tables include very weak lineups. Is not common to see regular players at Short Deck, and in PokerKing Asia they are even rarer.
Any general questions about PokerKing Asia, please contact our team:
To request a test account or gaming account, make a deposit or have more information - write to Juan: