What is Short Deck Hold ’em Poker

Short Deck Hold ’em Poker is a variation of the popular Texas Hold ’em Deck game. It is becoming more and more popular as people are starting to realize how exciting and fast-paced this variation can be. In this blog post, we will discuss all there is to know about what is Short Deck Hold ’em Poker – including the short deck poker rules, short deck poker strategy, and short deck hand rankings.

What is Short Deck Poker?

Short Deck Poker is a variation of the traditional Texas Hold ’em poker game. The main difference between Short Deck and regular Hold ’em is that a Short Deck has 36 cards instead of the 52 found in a regular deck. This means that there are only six different ranks of card, from deuce (two) to seven. All other standard rules of Hold ’em apply in Short Deck poker.

The game first started to gain popularity in Asia before spreading to the rest of the world. Many top professional poker players have now embraced Short Deck, with some even saying that it is the future of the game. Poker room operators are also starting to cotton on, with a number of Short Deck tournaments now being held online and offline. Online poker tournament series such as the Triton Super High Roller Series has also started to include Short Deck events, further increasing the game’s profile. Casino jackpot kingpin Stanley Ho is also a big fan of the game and has even helped to promote it by holding Short Deck cash games in his Macau casino. Gamblers in China have long played a game called ‘big two’ which uses a 36 card-deck, so the popularity of Short Deck poker in Asia is perhaps not that surprising. Chips are placed in the pot in the same way as Hold ’em, with preflop (before the flop) and postflop (after the flop) betting rounds. The key difference is that, due to the reduced deck size, Short Deck Hold ’em has much bigger pots! The pool prize is often times increased by 30% due to the flushes and straights being more common. Money is placed in the pot by the two players to the left of the dealer, known as the small blind and big blind. The small blind is usually half the size of the big blind, and both these forced bets must be placed before any cards are dealt. Hand rankings in Short Deck are slightly different from those in regular Hold ’em, as the reduced deck size means that there are less high-ranking hands. The strategy also differs somewhat, as bluffing becomes more difficult and players need to be more aggressive in order to win pots. Cards are dealt clockwise around the table, with each player receiving two hole cards (known as their pocket cards). The hand then progresses to the flop, turn and river betting rounds, with players able to check, bet or fold at each stage. The aim of the game is to make the best five-card hand possible, using any combination of your pocket cards and the community cards. Now that you know what is Short Deck Hold ’em Poker, let’s move on to how to play it. 

How to Play Short Deck Poker?

The aim of the game is still to make the best five-card poker hand, but because there are fewer cards in the deck, the hand rankings are slightly different. For example, a flush now beats a full house, and a set (three of a kind) now beats a straight. Here is a complete list of the new Short Deck hand rankings:

-Royal Flush: A, K, Q, J, T of the same suit.

-Straight Flush: Five cards in sequential order, all of the same suit.

-Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank.

-Full House: Three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank.

-Flush: Five non-consecutive cards of the same suit.

-Straight: Five consecutive cards of mixed suits.

-Three Of A Kind: Three cards of the same rank.

-Two Pair: Two sets of pairs of two different ranks.

-One Pair: Any pair of two equal ranked cards the -High Card/No Pair: When you have none of the above hands, the highest card in your hand is your “high card.”

In terms of betting, Short Deck poker uses the same structure as Hold ’em. There is a small blind, big blind, and two forced bets on each round of betting. The game starts with two hole cards being dealt to each player, followed by a round of betting. Three community cards (the flop) are then dealt, followed by another round of betting. A fourth community card (the turn) is then dealt, followed by one final round of betting. Finally, the fifth and final community card (the river) is dealt, and players can show down their hands to see who has won the pot!

Short Deck Poker Strategy Tips

Now that we’ve covered the basic Short Deck Hold ’em rules let’s take a look at some strategy tips to help you get started.

-The first thing to remember is that there are fewer cards in the deck, so your chances of making certain hands are increased. For example, you now have a one in four chance of making a flush (instead of the one in nine chance in regular Hold ’em).

-As a result of this, you should be more aggressive with your betting. You should be raising more often and betting when you hit your draw on the flop.

-Another important factor to consider is position. Because there are fewer cards in the deck, it is easier to make strong hands preflop. As a result, you should be raising more often from late position and playing tight from early position.

-Finally, remember that there is still the same number of Aces in the deck (six). This means that Ace high hands are still very strong, so don’t be afraid to bet big when you have an Ace high!


Short Deck Hold ’em is a great poker game for players of all levels. It is fast-paced and exciting, with plenty of opportunity for big wins. And now that you know what is short deck hold ’em poker be sure to give it a try next time you’re looking for something new!



Why is short-deck poker so popular?

There are a few reasons why short-deck poker is so popular. Firstly, the game is faster-paced and more exciting than regular Hold ’em. Secondly, the hand rankings are slightly different, which makes for a more interesting and challenging game. Finally, the game is still relatively new, so many players are still trying to learn the ropes and perfect their strategy.

Can I Win At Short Deck Poker?

Yes, you can win at Short Deck Poker. However, it is important to remember that the game is still poker, so there is always an element of luck involved. The best way to increase your chances of winning is to practice as much as possible and to learn from your mistakes.

Where to Play Short Deck Hold ’em Online?

If you’re looking to play Short Deck Hold ’em online, then there are a few things you need to consider. Firstly, make sure that the site you choose is reputable and has a good selection of games. Secondly, look for sites that offer bonuses and promotions, as this can give you an extra edge when playing. Finally, make sure that the site you choose has good customer support in case you need any help while playing.

What’s the best short-deck poker strategy?

The best short-deck poker strategy is to be aggressive and to play from late position. This is because the game is faster-paced, and there are fewer cards in the deck, so your chances of making strong hands are increased. Remember to practice as much as possible and to learn from your mistakes so that you can perfect your strategy and increase your chances of winning.

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