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Short Deck Hold ’em Strategy

Short deck hold ’em has been increasing in popularity among poker players. For players familiar with regular play of hold ’em, they will be surprised to know the game has a slight difference in rules and play.

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Five Popular Quick Tips For Short Deck Hold ’em Strategy

A quick glance at this game, and you will notice similar betting styles and pace.

The five most popular quick tips for short deck hold ’em are:

  1. Understand the rules
  2. Know the hand rankings
  3. Evaluating your hand
  4. How to bet
  5. Flush or sets

Understand The Rules

Short deck hold ’em, as the name implies, means there are fewer cards that are played with in the deck. The deck has been reduced to 36 cards by taking away all of the twos, threes, fours and fives.

Make sure you have the correct variation of this game. Sometimes this game is referred to as “six plus poker.” The reason behind the nickname is because sixes are now your low cards due to the rest of those other cards being removed from the deck.

Know The Hand Rankings

Since this game has removed all cards five and below, the rankings of this game have also been changed. Most of the usual ones are the same, except for a flush and full house. The rankings are as follows:

  1. Royal Flush
  2. Straight Flush
  3. Four of a Kind
  4. Flush*
  5. Full House
  6. Straight
  7. Three of a Kind
  8. Two Pair
  9. One Pair
  10. High card

As you can see, a flush is now able to beat a full house. Since there are fewer cards in the game, the hand is now considered more difficult to make. Aces are interesting as well since they can either be high or low cards.

For example, an ace can be used in the place of a five to make your hand into a straight (A, 6, 7, 8, 9). You will sometimes hear this hand referred to as the “wheel.”

Evaluate Your Hand Value

One thing you will notice when playing short deck hold ’em is that your hands are going to be better more often than not. You may also find yourself receiving pocket aces or kings more often than you did in regular hold ’em.

Keep in mind, however, that everyone at the table will have better hands as well. Do not get discouraged if you have not won a hand in a while because odds are, you will eventually win multiple hands since this game usually runs streaks.

How To Bet

For new players, it is easy to get excited at the power hands you are able to make. If you have a stone-cold hand, then do not be afraid to play it. Remember to keep an open mind to your opponents because their hands could be strong like yours.

Flush Or Sets

As noted above, flushes have increased in betting value for this game. By having fewer cards in this game, you are also less likely to lose to a higher flush. This, in turn, makes your flush hands more appealing and should be sought after.

These hands have the power to take the whole pot. So if dealt suited cards and some on the flop, you are in great shape. Keep in mind if you see suited cards on the flop, then your opponents could have the same.

For sets, a shorter deck has made pocket pairs of queens and jacks not have the same appeal as they did in a regular game of hold ’em. Your aces and kings are still somewhat valuable, but only if you can get a set of three or four of a kind.