Five Quick Tips—How to Play Short Deck Poker

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FIVE QUICK TIPS

HOW TO PLAY SHORT DECK POKER

Sometimes called Six Plus Hold’em, Short Deck Poker is similar to Texas Hold’em, but a few key differences set them apart. Aside from a few variations on the rules, all the cards between two and five have been removed in Short Deck Poker, stripping the deck down from 52 to 36 cards.

Relatively new on the poker scene, Short Deck Poker originated in Asia and has been played in Macau, Hong Kong and Manila since at least 2014. While still mainly played in Macau, the game is steadily gaining a following in casinos in other countries. You might not ever come across this poker variant, but on the off chance you do, here are five quick tips to help you play short deck poker.

1. CHECK THE RULES AND ODDS FIRST

Some versions of Short Deck Poker eliminate the blinds and only use antes. The hand rankings also differ from most other poker variants; in short deck, a flush beats a full house and three of a kind beats a straight. Because of the shortened deck, winning percentages and odds have changed as well. The rules and odds in Short Deck Poker are not vastly different to Texas Hold’em, but it's still worth checking before you sit down at the tables so there are no surprises.

2. CHASE HIGHER VALUE HANDS

Typically, chasing cards should be done sparingly; however, in Short Deck Poker, it can sometimes pay to chase more often. With fewer cards in the deck it's easier to create higher ranked hands. If you have pockets or at least one pair, go for three of a kind. If you have two suited cards pre-flop, then try and make a flush.

3. DISCOURAGE LIMPERS

Limpers are the bane of every poker player's existence; nothing is more annoying than getting a pair of aces and then losing to someone who has gone to the river with a pair of 3’s. Because it's easier to create higher ranked hands in Short Deck Poker, it's even more critical to discourage limpers so they don't sneak in to steal the pot. Raise at least eight times the big blind before the flop and scare these weak hands away before they have a chance to hit the cards they need.

4. PLAY TEXAS HOLD’EM FIRST

Playing Texas Hold’em first will make your transition to Short Deck Poker much easier. Hold’em is a perfect entry game for new players to learn the basics of poker. It's easy to learn, and because Hold’em is the most popular poker variant in the world, there are a wide variety of games in all price ranges and skill levels available virtually 24 hours a day. There are also a lot more guides, tips and other support.

5. PLAY IN POSITION AND STEAL THE BLINDS

Waiting for position is always a good strategy; only play when you're first or last to act. If the action is low when you are last to act, make a massive play to scare everyone out of the pot; alternatively, do the same thing when you are first to act and set an aggressive tone. There will always be weaker poker players or beginners at the table who will fold every single time the play gets too intense. Bully them out of pots with a solid play and score some easy chips.