Poker is a popular game of cards between two or more players. It has been around for centuries, gaining popularity worldwide. As a game, poker involves betting and exchanging money based on the strength of your hand (the value of your dealt cards). It can be broken down into various categories, from Texas Hold ’em to Omaha, but all variants are rooted in basic poker rules such as dealing, betting, and bluffing.
The newest form of poker is Short Deck Poker, also known as Six Plus Poker. This exciting variation was first seen in Macau’s high-stakes cash games and has since become popular among professionals worldwide. Unlike traditional versions of poker, Short Deck rules are slightly different and should be studied carefully before beginning play.
In Short Deck Poker, the deck is shortened to just 36 cards, and all six cards are removed from traditional decks of 52 cards. The additional card changes the probability of sure hands, such as flushes becoming more common.
Top tips for playing Short Deck Poker
To begin playing short deck poker, first, it’s best to become familiar with the rules. Here are some essential steps to playing this exciting variation:
Know the basics
The basics of poker remain in Short Deck, such as the ability to call and raise, the blind structure (in which players place mandatory bets at certain intervals), and how hands are ranked from highest to lowest.
Understand Short Deck rules
As previously mentioned, Short Deck changes some rules regarding straights and three-of-a-kind. Also, all sixes and lower cards have been removed from play, which means fours are now the fourth-highest card instead of twos, a necessary rule change for any player to remember.
Learn betting strategies
With fewer cards in play, the betting strategies change in Short Deck. For example, some low-limit players may be more inclined to play hands such as A-K or pocket pairs than traditional poker versions. Additionally, players must be aware of the presented odds and adjust their strategies appropriately.
Familiarize yourself with bluffing
Bluffing is a crucial part of any poker game and can still be utilized in Short Deck Poker. However, with fewer cards available, bluffers should always consider the number of combinations that could beat their hand before acting on their strategy. Keeping track of other players’ tendencies during each round will help predict how they might react at showdown time.
Understand the primary hand rankings
In Short Deck Poker, the Ace is considered low and flushes beat full houses, so it’s essential to understand these changes to be successful in this game.
Look for higher equity hands
In Short Deck Poker, the probability of hitting a solid hand increases due to the lower number of cards in play. As such, players should look for higher equity hands that are played with more frequency than regular Texas Hold ’em. Examples include top-pair hands (with an Ace kicker or better), middle-pair with two overcards, suited connectors, and small pocket pairs.
Pay attention to board texture
Board texture is significant in Short Deck Poker since only 36 cards are used instead of 52. Players should know how many boards are drawn and which combinations can help strengthen their range. This information can help players determine how to play their hands in certain situations.
Be aware of pot odds
Pot odds are also crucial in Short Deck Poker, as they can give players an idea of whether it is profitable to call or fold a particular hand. Pot odds should be calculated before making any decisions, as this will help ensure that the proper action is taken in each situation.
Employ advanced tactics
Short Deck Poker is a relatively new game, so plenty of strategies and tactics still need to be discovered. Advanced poker players should take advantage of this by experimenting with different strategies and playing styles, which will help them gain an edge over their opponents and maximize their profits in the long run.
What are the drawbacks of playing Short Deck Poker?
As with any other poker variant, there are certain drawbacks to playing Short Deck Poker. For example, it is much more difficult to bluff in this game than in regular Texas Hold’em since the number of combinations that can beat your hand is significantly higher. Additionally, players have less time to assess their opponents’ hands and make decisions based on the board’s texture.
The bottom line
Short Deck Poker is an exciting variation of Texas Hold ’em that offers players the chance to win big and build their bankrolls quickly. With the right strategy and tactics, even novice poker players can succeed in this game. Keeping these tips in mind will help ensure that you can maximize your success when playing Short Deck Poker.