Short-deck hold 'em (also known as six-plus hold 'em) is a community card poker game variant of Texas hold 'em, where the 2 through 5 cards are removed from the deck. Each player is dealt two cards face down and seeks to make the best five card poker hand from any combination of the seven cards (five community cards and their own two hole cards)
How to play short-deck holdem
The rules in terms of betting structures, play of the hand, and showdown are the same as in Texas hold 'em. Each player receive two hole cards and use them in combination with five community cards to create the best possible hand.
A game of short-deck poker features four streets of betting:
However before play begins all cards 2 through 5 are removed (16 cards), thus the total number of cards in the deck is 36. As in traditional Hold’em the Ace can be used as either a High or Low, but in the Short Deck version of the game it can also make up the low and high ends of a straight. As in:
There are a few but highly significant differences in the values of certain poker hands when playing Short Deck Hold’em. In the Short Deck Hold'em hand rankings:
If you have suited hole cards in regular Hold’em with two more on the board, there are nine cards in the deck that will make you a flush. In short deck Hold’em this number is reduced to five, so the flush is much harder to hit.
In fact, it’s mathematically harder to make a flush than a full house.
Also, as there are four cards missing of every suit this means straight draws happen a lot more often. There are simply less blanks and smaller gaps between the remaining cards.
Thus, it is easier to make a straight than to find a set or trips.
Short-Deck Hold'em Hand Rankings