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Short Deck Hold’em/ Six Plus Hold’em Rules & Strategy

Short Deck Hold’em or Six Plus Hold’em as it is called in the ipoker network is an exciting brand new variation of Hold’em game, played with a deck of 36 cards (instead of 52) and with different hand rankings.

These changes logically have influence on the odds, hand values, probabilities and of course on the strategy too, that’s why we prepared the review of rules and prepared some tips for you to get faster into this new game, which is becoming so extremely popular now!

Six Plus Hold’em came to us from the high-staked Macau cash tables and was introduced to the public by Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey – two very famous cash game poker pros.

The game looks very cool and exciting, that’s why it has a huge potential to get a crazy traffic and enter the mainstream poker like a permanent game.

How to play Short Deck Hold’em/Six Plus Hold’em?

So, let’s see the rules of this new variation of Traditional Hold’em!

As we were mentioning before, the main difference between Six Plus and regular Hold’em is that you need to take out from the deck the cards from 2 to 5, so you have 36 cards instead of 52. The Ace is still low, A6789 is the lowest straight or the wheel and TJQKA is still high making.

holdem vs holdem1

Hand strength also has some differences: 3-of-a-kind in Six Plus beats a straight and a flush beats a full house .

Six Plus Hold’em as well is for the most part played as the traditional Hold’em in terms of streets, the main difference comes in some kinds of the game, on the river when, every player get one additional card instead of dealing a community card.

In the final round of betting, players will need to make a 5 card combination using 2 of their 3 hole cards and 3 of the 4 community cards. In other cases the game is played with the regular river.

holdem vs holdem 2

Hand Ranking in Short Deck Hold’em/Six Plus Hold’em

Traditional Hold’em

  • High card (lowest)
  • One pair
  • Two pair
  • Three of a kind
  • Straight
  • Flush
  • Full House
  • Four of a kind (quads)
  • Straight flush
  • Royal flush (highest)

Six plus Hold’em

  • Royal flush (highest)
  •  Straight flush
  • Four of a kind (quads)
  • Flush
  • Full House
  • Straight
  • Three of a kind
  • Two pair
  • A pair
  • High card (lowest)

Strategy Tips

It is obvious that having less cards, using the 36-card deck for playing, makes the chance to get better hands more higher, providing more action and fun for players and making this game extremely attractive.

That also means that the players have to adapt their way of thinking about the hand values, which is now different from the regular hold’em.

You need to put attention on the following changings:  

  • The odds of hitting certain draws change.
  • The smaller deck also affects the probability to get certain hands. For example, you’re more than twice as likely to get pocket aces in six-plus hold’em than you are in regular hold’em!

Finally, players being dealt a third hole card instead of there being a fifth community card obviously affects hand values as well, making it even more possible that the players will improve their hands — one more factor that you should take into account when you will calculate odds and consider your final-round betting strategy!

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Daniel Berger

Hi Guys, I am Daniel the chief content manager of YourPokerDream.
I have been working in the poker industry for almost 10 years now.
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Latest changes

The last changes of the page “Short Deck Hold’em/ Six Plus Hold’em” was made by Daniel Berger on December 01, 2019