Poker Variants: Short Deck Poker vs. No Limit Holdem

Poker is a global phenomenon. Millions of casual players around the world play poker, either with friends or at low-stakes games. It also has a gigantic competitive scene, with million-dollar poker tournaments like the World Series of Poker being streamed worldwide. Poker has constantly adapted even to the modern day, as online poker is quickly becoming the most popular way to play poker, with a staggering 100 million players worldwide.

There are many reasons why poker is as popular as it is. It is easy to learn and quick to set up, making it popular among casuals as a fun game with friends. Despite its straightforward rules, optimal poker strategy has a surprising depth since you must consider many factors like the board state, position, the other players, and more. This makes practicing the game relevant at all levels of play since there is always something new to learn. One of the more underappreciated things about poker is its number of variants. Modern-day poker focuses mainly on Texas Holdem, but everywhere you look, you can find a new poker variant with different rules. This helps everyone find a kind of poker they enjoy while also providing variety to those bored of one style. This poker guide will cover a variant of Texas Holdem known as Short Deck poker. It will give everything you need to know, from how Short Deck differs from Holdem to tips and strategy.

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Short deck poker rules vs. Texas Holdem

Short deck poker, also known as six-plus poker, is essentially Texas Holdem with four main differences. The main difference is in the name, short deck. The deck is trimmed down from 52 to 36 cards, removing all twos, threes, fours, and fives, hence the other name six-plus. Another difference between the two games is the betting structure. No Limit Holdem is traditionally played with blinds, two players who are forced to commit money to the pot before seeing their cards. Short Deck, on the other hand, uses antes, which are also forced bets. Every player at the table is required to post an ante, and the player on the button must also post an additional one.

Along with those gameplay changes, there are two card and hand ranking adjustments. Aces can now be used not just as a high card but also as a low card in straights. A 6 7 8 9 is a straight, with the ace acting as a five. The final difference is that flushes are ranked above full houses since, in Short Deck, you are mathematically more likely to make a full house than a flush. However, that house rule can vary from place to place. People originally played short deck with three-of-a-kinds ranked higher than straights, but that rule has become much less common, primarily online.

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Short deck strategy vs. Holdem

With these differences in mind, it is easy to see why short deck strategy significantly differs from regular Holdem. Here are some critical differences in approach that you must remember:

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Where to play short deck poker

We hope this article taught you poker rules and strategy for Short Deck. The best way to learn this variant is on sites like GGPoker, the world’s largest poker room. GGPoker offers online poker games in many varieties, including Short Deck, so you can play anytime and anywhere. It even offers a free poker tracker plus a heads-up display to all its users, so sign up at GGPoker today!