The Rise of Short Deck Poker

For decades, Texas Hold’em has reigned supreme as the most popular poker variant globally. However, a new challenger is rising through the ranks, shaking up the traditional gameplay and injecting excitement into the world of high-stakes poker: Short Deck Poker, also known as Six Plus Hold’em,

Playing cards on top of a pool table
The Rise of Six Plus Poker

What is Short Deck Poker?

Short Deck Poker takes the core mechanics of Texas Hold’em and removes all deuces through fives from the deck. This seemingly minor change fundamentally alters the game’s dynamic. With fewer low cards, the probability of strong hands like flushes, straights, and full houses increases significantly. This leads to a more action-packed and unpredictable game, where every hand has the potential to explode into a high-stakes battle.

Why is Short Deck Poker Gaining Popularity?

Several factors contribute to the rise of Six plus Poker:

  • Faster Action: With fewer low cards, there’s a higher chance of hitting strong hands on the flop, leading to more aggressive play and quicker decisions. This faster pace keeps the game exciting and attracts players who enjoy a dynamic and action-oriented experience.
  • Increased Variance: Short Deck Poker eliminates the “dead” cards that clog up the board in traditional Hold’em. This higher variance makes the game more thrilling, offering greater potential for both big wins and significant losses.
  • Strategic Complexity: While the core mechanics are similar, Short Deck Poker requires players to adapt their strategies. Hand selection, pot odds calculations, and bluffing tactics all need to be re-evaluated to navigate the unique landscape of a short deck game.
  • High-Stakes Appeal: Short Deck Poker’s fast-paced nature and potential for big swings resonate with high-stakes poker players. The format has gained prominence in televised cash games and tournaments, further propelling its popularity amongst viewers and professional players alike.

Is Short Deck Poker Here to Stay?

While six-plus poker might not dethrone Texas Hold’em entirely, it has carved a niche for itself in the poker world. The game’s fast-paced action, strategic complexity, and high-stakes appeal make it a compelling alternative for players seeking a new challenge. Whether you’re a seasoned poker pro or a curious newcomer, Six Plus Poker offers a fresh twist on a classic game, adding a new dimension to the ever-evolving world of poker.

Impact on the Poker Landscape

The rise of six-plus poker has had a profound impact on the broader poker landscape, attracting a new generation of players and revitalizing interest in the game. Major poker tournaments and series, such as the Triton Poker Series, have embraced Short Deck Poker, offering lucrative prize pools and attracting top talent from around the world. Additionally, online poker platforms have introduced short-deck poker tables, catering to the growing demand for this exhilarating variant.


Six Plus Poker represents a bold evolution of the traditional poker format, offering a fresh and exhilarating experience for players of all skill levels. With its origins in the high-stakes cash games of Macau, this variant has quickly gained traction on a global scale, reshaping the poker landscape in its wake. As players continue to embrace the excitement and challenge of short deck poker, its influence is poised to endure for years to come, ushering in a new era of innovation and excitement in the world of poker.