GGPoker has the biggest Short Deck Action

Short Deck Hold’em, also known as 6+ Hold’em or Short Deck, is a poker variation of choice in the highest stakes tournaments and cash games. Even though it is extremely similar to classic Texas Hold’em, there are some crucial differences that make this game choice as action-packed as it is. Short Deck is offered in many poker rooms, however, GGPoker offers the largest amount of tables in this poker variation out of any other operator. Hundreds of players are grinding Short Deck Hold’em at GGPoker around the clock. In this article, we will discuss all the necessary things you need to know before joining a Short Deck Hold’em table.

Short Deck Rules

As mentioned previously, Short Deck Hold’em is extremely similar to the traditional Hold’em. For example, in both variations, players receive two cards, and five community cards are put on the board. The main difference, which changes the rest of the game, is that Short Deck is played with a deck of 36-cards, hence the name. All cards from deuces through fives are removed from the deck. Due to this, the hand rankings are altered. It is generally accepted that flushes rank above the full house, while three of a kind is above straight. However, hand rankings may be different in different poker rooms. For example, at PokerStars, straight ranks higher than three of a kind. This kind of Short Deck is called Triton. But today we will focus on GGPoker, where an original hand ranking is used. 

The game also lacks the Small Blind position, and everyone pays an ante before receiving their cards. The player at the button pays a double ante. All players have three options: call, raise or fold. These rules make the game much more dynamic by forcing players to play weak hands much more often. In general, the ante-only format allows for much larger pots at preflop than in traditional hold’em, which makes the game more entertaining to play and spectate. 

You can find even more action on the GGPoker Short Deck tables as they are all player five-handed.

Despite its popularity, there is not much guiding literature and assisting software in Short Deck Hold’em. On one hand, lack of information attracts many players to this mysterious format. On the other hand, it requires more preparation and more research into potential strategies. 

Preflop Play Specifics

Preflop charts in Short Deck Hold’em will be different from the traditional variant due to the different hand rankings. Preflop charts also vary in Hold’em 6+ and Triton. It is also important to understand that aces can be high or low in Short Deck. This means that A-6-7-8-9  is the lowest straight possible. Therefore, if your opponent has 10-9 and there is 6-7-8 on the flop, then your A-9 will be weaker. 

In a standard Hold’em game, there are 1,326 possible starting hands, but in Short Deck, this number is reduced to only 630, which is less than half. There are 169 starting hand options in standard Hold’em and just 81 in Short Deck if we neglect the different suits.

It is not hard to guess that you will be dealt a powerhouse hand in Short Deck twice as often than in regular Hold’em. To be more accurate, once in every 105 hands. You will also receive broadway cards much more often in Short Deck. Hand equities are closer in Short Deck than in traditional poker as well. For example, A-A will beat J-10 78% of the time in normal Hold’em, however, in Short Deck, this number is between 63% and 67%. This makes the game more competitive. 

Postflop Specifics

Postflop game in Short Deck is practically the same as in traditional Hold’em, due to the fact that there is less continuation betting, as fewer pots see a preflop raise (there will be more limped pots). After the flop, your major concern is recalculating the various odds and probabilities, as well as properly determining your opponent’s hands, or at least their range of hands. 

It is also crucial to pay attention to multi-way pots, as they will be quite common in Short Deck. Don’t forget to take notes on hands that players reveal during the showdown. This will allow you to analyze their limping habits and predict their hands more accurately. Having more information and knowing who has a stronger limping range in a three-way pot will drastically increase your chances of winning.

Short Deck Hold’em at GGPoker

GGPoker is probably one of the few rooms where Short Deck Hold’em is actually popular among the players. It has a variety of stakes and around 60-70 tables are available at all times with over 300 players. You also have the option of removing additional chips if your stack reaches 100 big blinds. Only GGPoker and partypoker have this feature, which is known as “going south”. 

Pros and Cons of Short Deck Hold’em


  • Lots of action
  • Many soft games (due to lack of knowledge regarding this format)
  • Special daily leaderboards with $5,000 in prize money for the best players
  • Players with additional software will not be able to use it in this format


  • Lack of guides/educational literature
  • Showdown outcome is harder to predict

Final Thoughts

Of course, there is much more depth and specifics when it comes to Short Deck Hold’em than what was described in this article. However, it should give you a general overview of what to expect at these tables and how you can become a better player in this variation of poker. It is fair to say that Short Deck is quickly gaining popularity and many PRO poker players have already proclaimed it as the “future of online poker”.

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Hello, my name is Georgy and I like to write about all of the latest poker news and events. I have always found the game of poker fascinating due to its complexity and action. I also enjoy covering the business side of the pokerworld such as different networks, rooms, and promotions!

· Published 22.08.2021 · last updated 22.08.2021

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