Short Deck Holdem

  1. Texas Hold'em Short Deck
  2. Short Deck Tournament
  3. Short Deck Holdem Hand Rankings
  4. Short Deck Holdem Odds
  5. Short Deck Hold'em Hand Ranks Chart
  6. Short Deck Hold'em Hand Rankings

The world’s leading online poker site, PokerStars has finally launched its own version of the exciting new variant 6+ Hold’em (also known as Short Deck Poker)—a game that has taken the poker industry by storm.

The game of short-deck poker, os six-plus hold'em became famous at the high-stakes games in Macau. Due to the smaller deck, the game makes it more probably for players to hit high-value.

  • The Rule of 2 and 4 in standard Texas Hold'em means you can find your 'equity' (odds of hitting a winning hand) on the flop and turn by multiplying the outs you have by 2 or 4, respectively. In Short Deck Holdem this changes to 3 and 6. So on the flop if you multiply your out by 3 you'll find your rough odds of hitting your hand on the turn.
  • 'Short deck hold'em' is much like No Limit Texas Hold'em but with one key difference - all of the 2s, 3s, 4s and 5s are removed from the deck. This leaves: Aces Kings Queens Jacks 10s 9s 8s 7s 6s In total, the size of the deck is reduced from 52 cards to just 36 cards. There are a couple of key hand rankings changes in short deck hold'em.

6+ is the operator’s fifth new cash game variant since 2018 and the first this year. It follows PokerStars Fusion, an innovative variant that blended the elements of Texas Hold’em and Omaha into a single variant. Fusion was recently withdrawn from the client after running for more than two months.

PokerStars’ 6+ Hold’em rolled out in Denmark, Estonia and in the play-money client (on the dot-net site) on January 15. It launched in the UK, Sweden, and on the global dot-com and dot-EU player pools on January 16.

How is PokerStars 6+ Holdem Played?

6+ is quite easy to learn as the game is played quite similarly to traditional Texas Hold’em except with a stripped down deck. All the cards lower than Six are removed from the deck to make it a 36-card deck instead of the usual 52. Because the low cards are removed, players are more likely to get dealt premium hands and hence this makes the game more of an action-oriented game.

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Rules of 6+ Hold’em

In PokerStars’ version of Six Plus Hold’em, instead of the traditional “small blind” and “big blind”, the game uses a “button blind” structure meaning every player on the table pays an ante while the player on the Button not only pays the ante but also pays a blind equivalent to the size of the ante. The same structure is also followed in the high stakes Triton Poker Series.

As in Hold’em, the action starts with the player seated to the left of the button. Each round then plays out according to standard Texas Hold’em rules, with pre-flop, flop, turn and river betting rounds.

Aces are played both low and high just like in traditional Hold’em, but in 6+ Aces can also play as Fives when making a straight. The lowest straight is A6789 and the highest straight is TJQKA.

Hand Rankings

What makes the game more interesting is the differences in the hand rankings compared with the Traditional Hold’em. Since the game is played with a deck of 36 cards, Flushes are harder to hit because there are only 9 cards of each suit instead of 13. As a result, Flushes are ranked higher than Full Houses—which in this game is easier to hit than a Flush.

Mathematically speaking, it is also easier to hit Straights than Sets or Trips in Six Plus Hold’em. However, in the PokerStars version, Straights are still ranked higher than Three-of-a-Kind.

To conclude:

  • Flushes rank higher than Full Houses.
  • Straights are ranked higher than Trips or Three-of-a-Kind
  • A6789 is a low Straight while TJQKA is a high Straight.
  • The game is played with an ante. All the players post an ante while the Button posts an additional ante that acts as the only blind.
  • The player to the left of the Button is the first to act.

Is the Game Available in Tournaments or Other Format?

At launch, 6+ Hold’em is available only as cash game format. There has been no official announcement by the operator whether the game would be available in Sit & Go or tournament formats.

What are the Minimum and Maximum Buy-ins or Table Stakes Available?

The game is currently offered with buy-ins starting from $3-$4 with Button and Ante at $0.02 to a table with buy-ins as high as $30,000-$40,000 with Button and Ante at $200.

What is the Rake Structure of 6+ Hold’em?

Rake is charged at 3.50% at the lowest buy-in ($3-$4), 5% on Mid-stakes, and 4.50% on Higher-Stakes.

Caps on the rake depend on the table stakes and buy-ins which is shown below.

PokerStars 6+ Hold’em Rake Info

Buy-inAnte% Rake2 Player Cap3-4 Player Cap5+ Player Cap
$2 -$3$0.023.50%$0.30$0.30$0.30

Can Players Choose Their Own Table or Seat in 6+ Hold’em?

No. Just like in the previous cash game novelties, 6+ Hold’em too has adopted “Seat Me” (also called blind-lobby functionality). Under this system, players choose the game and stake and the software automatically finds a seat for the players. If no seat is immediately available, players join a waiting list.

Is the Game Available in My Region?

6+ Hold’em is available for real money in global dot-com, European Union (EU), United Kingdom (UK), Sweden (SE) client, Denmark (DK) client and the Estonian (EE) client. The game is not yet available in Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, European shared network (France, Portugal, and Spain), Greece, India, Italy, and New Jersey.

However, players from all these regions (including the United States) can play the game for play-money in NET client.

Are there any strategies on 6+ Hold’em available?

Yes, we have written two strategy articles on this game.

Short Deck Holdem

1) Six Plus Hold’em/Short Deck Poker Odds and Probabilities
2) Beginners Strategy/Five Tips about Six Plus Hold’em


Will it be a Temporary Offering or Permanent?

There is no mention by PokerStars whether 6+ Hold’em will be available indefinitely or if it will be available for a limited time offering. However, if history is of any indicator, it seems that 6+ will also be a temporary offering like the previous cash game novelties.

But given the fact that the game has turned out to be very popular across both live and online field, 6+ could well be made available permanently, much like Fast Fold format (aka Zoom) or Jackpot based Sit & Go’s (aka Spin & Gos).

Latest News on Six Plus Hold'em:

PokerStars Launches 6+ Hold’em Spin & Gos

Games are spread at five buy-ins from $1 to $100.

GG Network Will “Probably” Launch Short Deck Poker in 2019

The stripped deck version of Texas Hold’em continues to surge in popularity as GGNetwork is set to add this action-packed variant to its game offering.

6+ Hold’em MTTs to Debut on PokerStars as SCOOP Side Events

Starting May 17, Short Deck tournaments will become available at PokerStars in both tournaments and Sit & Go formats.

PokerStars and partypoker Continue to Emphasize the Importance of Twitch

The competition between the two online poker giants intensifies as both look to expand their reach via the popular live-streaming platform with new signings.

Exclusive: 6+ Hold’em, Showtime and Fusion to Return to PokerStars in Tournament Format

Both Hold’em and Omaha versions of Showtime are among the games that will soon make their debut as MTTs.

Seating Scripts Now Completely Banned on PokerStars

Unexpected consequences of previous restrictions caused increased difficulties for players looking to get a seat.

Partypoker Launches Short Deck Hold’em

Two months after PokerStars launched Six Plus Hold’em, partypoker has joined the short deck craze with its own stripped deck cash game.

PokerStars Rolls Out 6+ Hold’em in Italy, 6+ Tournaments Set to Debut

The Short Deck variant will be the first new novelty poker game by PokerStars to be offered in a tournament format.

Exclusive: PokerStars Readies Split Omaha

In its continued attempt to keep poker fresh, PokerStars is planning to launch yet another new novelty variant based on the game Double Board Omaha.

6+ Hold’em to Debut in Italy and it Could be Permanent

6+ will be the only variant in the recent wave of new games from PokerStars to go live in a segregated market.

Read more on Six Plus Hold'em »

Short Deck Hold’em, also known as Six Plus Hold’em, is similar to traditional Texas Hold’em. Players are dealt two hole cards and the hand proceeds with four betting rounds and five community cards (a three-card flop, turn and river) just like Hold’em. The main difference, as the name implies, is that Six Plus Hold’em is played with only the cards that are six or higher in value.

All of the 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s, are removed from the deck (hence the nickname six plus or Short Deck), so instead of playing poker with a 52-card deck, it is played with a 36-card deck. With the deuces through fives removed, the sixes are the lowest cards in the deck.

Despite its similarities to Texas Hold’em, there are some significant differences in the hand rankings, strategy and rules of the game.

Short Deck Hand Rankings

Perhaps the biggest difference between Six Plus Hold’em and Texas Hold’em (besides the number of cards in the deck) is the hand rankings. Because the total number of cards in the deck is reduced, the mathematical odds of being able to make certain poker hands changes. It is this change in odds that dictates the change in hand rankings.

While there can be some variance in hand ranking depending on where the game is spread, for the most part, there are two important hand ranking to note:

Three-of-a-kind Beats a Straight

One might think that removing the deuces through fives would make it harder to make Straights, but the card removal means that all of the cards left in the deck are closer in rank than in a 52-card deck, meaning Straights are actually easier to make.

Also, just like in traditional Hold’em, the ace can be used as high or low when making straights. In the case of Six Plus Hold’em, the ace still acts as the highest card and can makes the highest straight AKQJ10, but it also can be used in place of the five making the smallest straight A6789.

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A Flush Beats a Full House

Texas Hold'em Short Deck

Card removal makes it harder to hit a flush than in traditional Hold’em, as there are four less cards of each suit. As a result, flushes are moved up in the hand ranking above full houses.

You can see all of the hand rankings for Six Plus Hold’em side by side with those of regular Hold’em in the table below (ranked from the highest hand to the lowest).

Six Plus Hold’em (36-Card Deck)Texas Hold’em (52-Card Deck)
Royal FlushRoyal Flush
Straight FlushStraight Flush
FlushFull House
Full HouseFlush
Two Pair Two Pair
One Pair One Pair
High Card High Card

Where to Play Six Plus Hold’em

Short Deck Tournament

With the recent boom in popularity of Six Plus Hold’em, there are now several places to play the game online.

iPoker Network

One of the more popular places that players gather to play Six Plus Hold’em is at Red Kings which is on the iPoker network and offers a large international player pool that provides the liquidity needed to ensure that more games go off at the times you want and at the stakes you want to play.

Americas Cardroom

Short Deck was recently added to the offshore US facing poker room, Americas Cardroom on the Winning Poker Network (WPN). Another room on the network that offers Six Plus Hold’em is Black Chip Poker.

Soon be Available on PokerStars

Last month, pokerfuse discovered that PokerStars may be planning on adding Six Plus Hold’em to his game offering. When that happens, the game is likely to be added to its dot-com player pool first (although PokerStars is known to test games out in segregated European markets such as Italy).

Adding a new game to all of the regulated markets that PokerStars operates in will likely require additional testing and cutting through plenty of red tape to get approval from gaming regulators in those markets.

Latest News on Short Deck Poker:

GGPoker to Award $7 Million in Promotions This January

Once again, GGPoker raises the amount it will award in monthly promotions.

GGPoker Giving Away $5 Million Via Promotions This October

This is the biggest promotional giveaway that GGPoker has run to date.

Fresh Off the Record-Shattering WSOP 2020, GGPoker Announces $6.5 Million GTD Good Game Series of Poker

The GGSOP “recreates the full WSOP experience” for low-stakes players with 54 low buy-in events starting Saturday.

Short Deck Holdem Hand Rankings

GGPoker’s First Week of the WSOP Bracelet Series Generates $21 Million in Prize Money, Nine Bracelets Awarded

The first-ever Short Deck online bracelet event takes place today.

Short Deck Holdem Odds

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Short Deck Hold'em Hand Ranks Chart

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GGPoker Raises the GGMasters Guarantee Again

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Here you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) asked by players about the GGPoker network.

Short Deck Hold'em Hand Rankings

This Week in Poker Podcasts

The latest poker podcasts from the pokerfuse podcast directory.

PokerStars Launches 6+ Hold’em Spin & Gos

Games are spread at five buy-ins from $1 to $100.

Read more on Short Deck Poker »