Short Deck Poker - A Variant with Fewer Cards but More Action!

Natural8 Short Deck Poker

This exciting poker variant is enjoyed by both recreational players and high rollers alike, and perfect for players who love thrilling games of chance. Our very own “Team Hot” members Danny Tang and Thai Ha are undoubtedly fans of Short Deck poker, frequently seen battling it out in the Triton Poker Series tournaments.


You’ll also earn Fish Buffet points as you pay rake when playing Short Deck Poker on Natural8, so go ahead and hit the tables now. Read on to find out why this game has been dubbed the "next big thing in poker"!

What is Short Deck Poker

Short Deck (also known as 6+ Hold’em) is a variant of Hold’em where players are dealt two hole cards with five community cards on the table. The object of the game is to make the best five card hand. The name Short Deck is given because the game uses a 36 card deck with only cards ranked 6 and above remaining.

This game which originated in Asia has gained much popularity in the last few years and is popular amongst the high stakes players due to its high variance. With the deck stripped down, the game becomes quicker in pace and more brutal. Some would even argue that Short Deck is a more fun variation compared to regular Hold’em.

Short Deck Poker Rules & Gameplay

How to Play Short Deck Poker


Cartas Ocultas del Jugador A

Cartas Ocultas del Jugador B

Todos obtienen sus dos primeras cartas (Cartas de Inicio)

En lugar de ciegas, todos los jugadores deben publicar un ante.

Para comenzar, el repartidor (botón) debe publicar un botón ciego adicional.

El jugador a la izquierda del repartidor es el primero en actuar.

La subida mínima de pre-flop es el doble del ante.

El Flop

Cartas Ocultas del Jugador A

Cartas Comunitarias

Cartas Ocultas del Jugador B

Se reparten 3 cartas comunitarias (de todos)

Se reparten tres cartas comunitarias boca arriba, comenzando la próxima ronda de apuestas.

Al igual que con el pre-flop, el jugador a la izquierda del repartidor es el primero en actuar.

El Turn

Cartas Ocultas del Jugador A

Cartas Comunitarias

Cartas Ocultas del Jugador B

Se reparte una cuarta carta comunitaria

Se agrega una cuarta carta compartida, seguida de una nueva ronda de apuestas.

El River

Cartas Ocultas del Jugador A

Cartas Comunitarias

Cartas Ocultas del Jugador B

Se reparte una quinta carta comunitaria final

Se reparte la carta comunal final, comenzando la ronda final de apuestas.


Cartas Ocultas del Jugador A

Cartas Comunitarias

Cartas Ocultas del Jugador B

Si quedan 2 o más jugadores activos, irán al Showdown.

Los jugadores hacen manos usando una o ambas cartas de inicio y las cinco cartas comunitarias para hacer la mejor mano, en Short Deck,

El color vence al full house

A-6-7-8-9 es una escalera (el As juega arriba o abajo, entonces 10-J-Q-K-A también es una escalera)

A-6-7-8-9 del mismo palo es una escalera de color

Remoción de fichas

Al igual que All in o Fold, los jugadores pueden retirar fichas de la mesa una vez que crean un stack lo suficientemente grande. En Short Deck, las fichas que superan el botón de 100 ciegas pueden eliminarse

Ejemplo de Ante:

En un juego ante de $1, el ante es de $1 y el botón ciego adicional es de $1:

Los jugadores tienen la opción de retirarse, igualar $1 o hacer un aumento pre-flop (mínimo $2).

Texas Hold’em vs Short Deck Hold’em

The rules of the game are very similar to Texas Hold’em with just a few key differences. So it’s safe to say that it’s an easy game to pick up if you haven’t tried it but are familiar with the classic Texas Hold’em.

Clasificación de Manos Short Deck

1) Hay menos cartas.

All the 2's, 3's, 4's and 5's cards are removed, so the deck only has 36 cards instead of the usual 52. Since there are fewer cards in the deck, the chances of being dealt pocket Aces, or any pocket pairs for that matter, are twice as high. This also means that hands such as top pair and top kicker have a much lower value.

2) La clasificación de las manos cambia.

With the smaller deck comes different odds and possibilities and the hand rankings in Short Deck poker are different because of the removal of every card two through five. Unlike in a traditional poker game, players will find it harder to flop flush draws in this variant, and the chances of hitting one are even lesser. Therefore, a Flush beats a Full House in Short Deck.

Another odd difference that might take a bit of getting used to is the Ace card. Similar to Texas Hold’em, the Ace card plays both high and low but in Short Deck it would look slight different. A low straight would be A-6-7-8-9.

Clasificación de Manos Short Deck

Nombre Descripción Ejemplo

Escalera Real

La mejor mano posible en Texas Hold'em es la escalera real. Consiste en cinco cartas del mismo palo clasificadas del as al diez.

Escalera de Color

El siguiente en la lista es la escalera de color, que consiste en cinco cartas consecutivas del mismo palo, por ejemplo, 5-6-7-8-9 todas en corazones.

Cuatro del mismo tipo

Una mano de cuatro iguales significa cuatro cartas del mismo valor, por ejemplo, cuatro ases.


Un color significa cinco cartas del mismo palo sin ningún orden en particular.

Casa Llena

Un full consiste en tres cartas del mismo valor con la adición de un par. Un ejemplo: tres ases y dos treses.


Una escalera en el póker consta de cinco cartas consecutivas que no son del mismo palo. La variación más alta posible es del as al diez.

Tres del mismo tipo

Funciona como un póker solo que con tres cartas del mismo valor en lugar de cuatro.

Dos Pares

Dos pares de diferentes rangos.

Un Par

Dos cartas del mismo valor.

Carta Alta

La mano más baja posible es una carta alta. Básicamente, ocurre cuando las cartas de mano y las cartas comunitarias no producen ninguna combinación y gana la carta más alta.

3) The betting structure is different.

While Texas Hold’em is played with blinds, Short Deck (6+) Hold’em is mostly played using antes. At each round, everybody at the table posts one ante, while the player in the Dealer position posts an additional ante (so two antes in total).

Short Deck Hold’em Odds

Short Deck Poker 36 card deck

The short deck has changed the game of Hold’em and may be challenging as it may test your knowledge on Hold’em Poker odds.

Players will have more playable starting hands as the two hole cards have a higher chance of being paired or connected. Pocket Aces, or any pocket pairs, will come along twice as often. Gone are the days of disconnected hands like 2♠ 8♥ or 5♣ Q♦. With more playable hands, there will definitely be more action and players will be involved in more multiway pots.

In Short Deck, players will also find themselves drawing a straight more often. The probability of flopping an open-ended straight draw goes up to 19% in Short Deck as compared to 10% in a full-deck game.

And with less cards in the deck, players will find themselves hitting their outs more often. The chances of hitting an open-ended straight draw by the river increases to 45.5% as compared to just 31.5% with a full deck.

Pocket pairs have about a 17% chance of hitting a set on the flop as compared to 12% in a regular Hold’em game with a full deck.

Players will find it harder to flop a flush draw and the chances of hitting one becomes even less. Players who flop a flush draw will only have 5 outs and a 30% chance of hitting the flush by the time it gets to the river, compared to the 9 outs and a 35% chance in a regular full deck game. If a player misses the flush on the turn, the odds drops to 16.6% of hitting the flush on the river. In a regular full deck game of Hold’em, the odds at the river would be 19.5%.

Short Deck Poker Strategy

Some players might find it difficult to switch to Short Deck Hold’em because of the mathematical differences. The strategy will differ from a No-Limit Hold’em and this may be difficult to get used to. Here are some basic tips for players who are looking to try a hand at Short Deck Hold’em.

TIP #1: Stronger Post-Flop Hands Needed

Flushes and Three-of-a-kinds are more rare in Short Deck, making them more valuable. Therefore, having suited hole cards and pocket pairs becomes more valuable.

TIP #2: Estimate your odds by using the 6 and 3 rule.

Do some quick mental math to estimate your chances of hitting a draw. To do this, multiply the number of outs by 6 on the flop, and 3 on the turn. For example, if you have a 8-out straight draw on the flop, multiply 8 with 6 and you’ll have roughly a 48% chance of hitting the straight by the river. And if you have a 6-out straight draw on the turn, multiply 6 with 3 and you’ll get a 18% of hitting the straight on the river. If you’re new to the game and are still trying to get used to the short deck odds then this rule can be a stack saver.

TIP #3: Tap into your knowledge from regular Texas Hold’em.

Short Deck Hold’em might have less cards to draw from and the odds may be drastically different, but it doesn’t mean you should disregard the basic strategies of Texas Hold’em. Betting strategies still apply even though the ranges are different. Your knowledge and understanding of basic Hold’em strategy is still your strongest asset.

Short Deck Hold’em is relatively new compared to traditional Hold’em. Compared to No-Limit Hold’em, Short Deck Hold’em and Pot-Limit Omaha has slowly become favourites for high rollers and those who love action. So give it a go and don’t forget to put the tips to good use

Short Deck Table Information

Stakes Ante/Botón Ciego Entradas Rake% Rake Cap (2~3) Rake Cap (4+)
VIP $500 $25,000 - $50,000 5% $75 $150
$300 $15,000 - $30,000 $50 $100
$200 $10,000 - $20,000 $40 $80
$100 $5,000 - $10,000 $30 $70
$50 $2,500 - $5,000 $25 $50
High $10 $500 - $1,000 5% $7.50 $15
$5 $250 - $500 $3.75 $7.50
$2 $100 - $200 $1.50 $3
Middle $1 $50 - $100 5% $1 $2
$0.50 $25 - $50 $0.50 $1
$0.25 $12.50 - $25 $0.25 $0.50
Low $0.10 $5 - $10 5% $0.15 $0.30
$0.05 $2.50 - $5 $0.08 $0.15
$0.02 $1 - $2 $0.03 $0.06

*Rake is deducted when the pot amount is more than "(2 BTB) + (Ante)*(Dealt Players count)"

*All Short Deck tables are 5-max, meaning there are a maximum of 5 players per table.

Preguntas Frecuentes (FAQ)

Q: What is the minimum and maximum number of players at a Short Deck Hold’em table?

A: The minimum number of players at a table is 2 and the maximum is 5.

Q: Can I remove chips from the table?

A: Yes, you may do so when you have built a big enough stack. For Short Deck tables, chips beyond 100 button blinds can be removed.

Q: What are buy-ins?

A: Buy-ins refer to the amount of money you have to use to buy into the game. There are different buy-in levels on Natural8, so you can choose the one you are most comfortable with.

Q: What is rake?

A: Rake is a commission fee taken by a poker room for operating the game. Rake is common in the industry and generally equals 5-10% of the pot in each hand.

Términos y Condiciones

  1. Los jugadores deben tener 18 años o más para poder participar en esta oferta.
  2. This game uses 1 deck of 36 cards and the deck is shuffled after each hand.
  3. La cantidad comprometida con el pozo seguirá en juego en caso de desconexión. Los jugadores de Natural8 aceptan el riesgo de desconexión de Internet, debido a problemas con la conexión entre su(s) dispositivo(s) y los servidores, retraso o congelamiento o algún otro problema en el(los) dispositivo(s) del jugador o cómo ese dispositivo accede a Internet.
  4. Esta oferta está sujeta a los términos y condiciones del sitio web de Natural8.
  5. Natural8 es un defensor del juego seguro. Si crees que puedes tener un problema jugando en línea, busca consejo o asesoría en
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