How to Play Six-Plus Hold’em

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Poker is incredibly versatile, and after its conception in the 18th century, it has evolved quite a lot. From world-famous tournaments and countless variants, every type of gambler will enjoy at least some type of poker card game.

There are many forms of this game, including draw, stud, Chinese poker, mixed games, community games, and others.

And in all these variants, hold’em games, in some cases, are certainly among the most amusing. They feature a rather fast pace and include some deviations from the standard rules. While some versions like Texas Hold’em as well as Royal are popular, you may not have known about Six-Plus Hold’em. It became known in Macau where many traveling gamblers and locals played it for high stakes. Short-Deck poker is another name for it.

So check out this short guide to see how to play Six-Plus Hold’em!

Six-Plus Hold’em

This variant revolves around community cards and unlike typical poker, Six-Plus will utilize only 36 cards. Playing cards 2–5 will not be in play. This means that there are fewer winning hands but also fewer players. The cards available are Sixes to Kings, and Aces are included. In comparison, while the Texas variant has over 1,300 starting hands, Six-Plus only has 630.

The premise is quite straightforward. Namely, every player receives only two cards. These cards will be face-down. However, during the rounds, the dealer will reveal the shared cards. The goal is to form a hand of five cards that has the highest combination. In order to do that, the players must utilize their two cards along with the shared cards.

Moreover, the betting structure is quite unique, and if you have ever tried Texas Hold’em, you’ll find that it’s very similar.

Betting Structure


There are four betting “streets” or rounds in this game, and the rules are similar to No-Limit games.

To start, every player will obtain two cards (face-down). In the first three rounds, the community cards will be revealed. These are called the flop, turn, and the river. A betting round comes after each.

Additionally, participants can bet any amount from their chip stack.

This game utilizes the “button blind,” which means that a player seated on the “dealer button” will need to add a blind bet while each participant will need to put up an ante bet.

Usually, the size of the blind is around 3/4 of the ante bet. In case participants wish to call during the pre-flop round, they will need to match the blind with their ante. Moreover, only one blind bet needs to be placed for a hand.

Overall, this is very different from the classic big/small blind bet structure. What’s more, due to the fact that cards 2–5 are not in play, the hand ranking changes a bit for this poker game.

Hierarchy and Details

Primarily, the three-of-a-kind combination beats a straight. This is because it will appear more often in this game. The weakest straight in this game will be A–9 and not A–5. What’s more, a flush beats a full house. The reason for this is the same — a flush is much rarer. Additionally, the strongest combination is the royal flush.

The interesting thing about Six-Plus Hold’em is also the fact that the odds play a huge part. They are completely changed in this game, and even if there are fewer starting hands, more of them are playable. For example, hitting a set of pocket pairs or pocket aces is incredibly common. Since more complicated hands such as 9 to 2 are not in play, the game is also faster. The chances of scoring a straight also increase by roughly 10%.

Additionally, compared to other forms of hold’em, the Short-Deck variant does not change the minimum bet before the showdown round.


The fact that there are more stronger hands in this game introduces more entertainment and actions. However, you must learn the hand values since they are different compared to draw and typical hold’em. For example, due to the smaller deck, a two pair is incredibly easy to get, yet it is not as strong compared to its rank in regular poker. It’s also much easier to get full house combinations and straights in Six-Plus.

Before starting the game though, you should examine the rules carefully since some games could include not 2 but 3 hole cards. This is called the river rule, and the third hole card will swap out the 5th shared card. It can freshen up the gameplay quite a lot. Additionally, some games may change the rankings.

The best thing to do to prepare for the game is to get a starting hand chart and look through the odds carefully. It’s easy to find one online, and it will speed up the learning process greatly.

Six-Plus Hold’em Summary

Short-Deck Hold’em is among the most thrilling cash games you can find. The poker hands gain entirely new odds due to the smaller number of cards in the deck!

This action-packed variant introduces some changes in the hand hierarchy that will definitely spice up the game! Plus many online poker rooms offer it, and you’ll find it in most casinos. So now that you know the rules, you can test your luck at Six-Plus Hold’em!

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