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Six-Plus Hold’em Difference

Six-plus hold’em (short-deck hold’em) is a new variation of traditional Texas hold’em.  The biggest difference is the use of a 36-card deck rather than the normal 52-card deck.  By removing 16 cards from the deck (2,3,4, and fives), what remained were 9 cards for each suit (6 to the Aces).  In this game, the aces count as high or low when used to make a straight, which meant the lowest possible straight is Ace,6,7,8,9.

Another difference for Six-plus hold’em is hand ranking.  Check out the ranking of hands below.

  • High card (lowest)
  • One pair
  • Two pair
  • Straight
  • Three of a kind
  • Full house
  • Flush
  • Four of a kind
  • Straight flush
  • Royal flush (highest)

Notice that three of a kind beats a straight and a flush beats a full house (in bold letters).  These changes were necessary because the removal of cards from the standard deck changed the probabilities of making a hand.

Playing Six-Plus Hold’em

The game is played just like Texas Hold’em with 2 to 10 players at a table.  Each player is dealt two cards face down and will make the best five card poker hand using any combination of the five community cards and their two hole cards.

What Six-plus hold’em created was a game where it is possible to make higher value hands, a change that introduced more action in the game.

The Rule of 3 and 6

In Six-Plus Hold’em the rule of 4 and 2 turns into the rule of 3 and 6.  What this means is after the flop multiply the number of your outs by 3 to calculate your percentage of making your hand.   After the turn multiply the number of outs by 6 to calculate your percentage of making your hand on the river.

short deck holdem

Comparison to Texas Hold’em


This game had originated in 2014 and is popular among high stakes gamblers in Macau, Hong Kong, and Manila due to its high variance.

In 2015, Poker Pros Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan promoted the game using an online video that showed this variant of Texas hold ’em.

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