Short deck hold’em continues to grow in popularity, both in cash game and tournament format. This summer, the World Series of Poker added a $10,000 buy-in short deck hold’em event to its schedule of gold bracelet events, plus a handful of other venues around town are including the game in their summer offerings. Here are where and when you can play short deck hold’em in Las Vegas this summer.
Short Deck Hold’em Events in Vegas This Summer
|6/1||2 p.m.||Planet Hollywood||$200||None|
|6/1||6 p.m.||The Orleans||$200||$20,000|
|6/2||6 p.m.||World Series of Poker||$10,000||None|
|6/14||11 a.m.||Golden Nugget||$250||$5,000|
|6/20||10 a.m.||Golden Nugget||$360||$5,000|
In addition to the tournaments listed in the table above, players may be able to find short deck hold’em cash games around Las Vegas this summer. One venue that is open to spreading it is ARIA Resort & Casino, who said they would be open to dealing the game at any limit they have in place for regular no-limit hold’em.
What Is Short Deck Hold’em and How Do You Play?
Also known as “six-plus hold’em,” short deck hold’em is the new game in town that’s quickly risen in the ranks of popularity. Players such as Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, and Jason Koon are playing the game for astronomical stakes throughout Asia, and it’s coming to the WSOP for the first time ever in 2019. Compared to regular no-limit hold’em, short deck hold’em is still extremely young and, therefore, not as widely known. Its rise in popularity has it almost on par with pot-limit Omaha. So, how does one play short deck hold’em?
Short deck hold’em plays just like regular no-limit hold’em. Everyone is dealt two cards and there is a flop, turn, and river, with betting action taking place preflop and after each street of community cards. Also just like hold’em, players use their two hole cards combined with the five community cards on the board to make the best five-card poker hand. The deck being played with is different, though, and this is the first major difference between short deck hold’em and regular hold’em.
Instead of the normal 52 cards that make up your regular poker deck, a deck used for short deck hold’em is only made up of 36 cards. Removed from the deck to cut it from 52 to 36 are the twos, threes, fours, and fives, hence the alternate name “six-plus hold’em.” An ace remains a two-way card that can be used as both a high card and a low card.
The second major difference is how the hands are ranked. It’s become commonplace that flushes rank ahead of full houses in short deck hold’em. Some rules allow for three of a kind to beat straights, as well, but this is not the case for the $10,000 Short Deck tournament at the 2019 WSOP. Due to the shorter deck that’s used in short deck hold’em, the odds for making certain hands change. It’s easier to make a full house than it is a flush, which is why flushes rank higher than full houses in short deck hold’em.
Below is a table of the most commonly used hand ranking system for short deck hold’em.
Short Deck Hold’em Hand Rankings
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Four of a Kind
- Full House
- Three of a Kind
- Two Pair
- One Pair
- High Card
Preflop, both blind and ante structures have been used for short deck hold’em.When blinds are used, the two players to the left of the button post the small blind and big blind, just as they would in regular hold’em, but some short deck hold’em games are played ante-only with no blinds.