Short Deck Poker   

Poker is a tried and true staple in the casino world. While many associate poker with a specific game, there are many variations out there! Some are more well-known than others. There’s no denying that Texas Hold ‘Em and 7-Card Stud are kings of the casino. But, one newer variant is quickly growing in popularity, Short Deck Poker. 

Short Deck poker is a thrilling new take on traditional poker! It ups the ante and creates a bigger challenge for players. Requiring a solid poker face, it’s a high variance game with fast-paced action. You have numerous opportunities to win big without lengthy gameplay. 
This game initially started in brick-and-mortar casinos. However, the online casino welcomed it with open arms! It’s beginning to appear on many platforms, giving you a way to test your poker skills from the comfort of home. 

Top Online Casinos for Short Deck Poker     

Poker games are nothing new for online casinos! Even those that focus on virtual slots often have a sizable collection of table games to try out. As a more recent game, Short Deck isn’t as widespread as other variants. However, there are still plenty of platforms that offer it. 
Many online gaming juggernauts have virtual tables to bet it all. Some may even offer live games that connect you with a remote dealer. 
Either way, playing Short Deck online has its perks. These digital platforms provide all the thrill of gambling in a safe and comfortable environment. Play from anywhere and hone your poker skills! When you’re ready to play like the pros, you can put down real money and potentially win big.

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How Do We Select the Best Casino Sites for Short Deck Poker?   

Take a peek into the online casino market, and you’ll see thousands of platforms to choose from! Since the iGaming boom, many sites emerged to stake their claim of the pot. Not only that, but new casino sites pop up regularly! 
So, how do you choose which one to play Short Deck? We have you covered! 
Our expert team of seasoned players and iGaming veterans sift through the fluff to find the very best! We aim to help you find sites that you can trust and enjoy. To do that, we scrutinise the following factors.

Bonuses & Promotions  

One of the most enticing aspects of playing online is the bonuses! Who doesn’t love free money? Most online casinos these days offer generous welcome bonuses and ongoing promotions. The practice is so common that sifting through available offers can be overwhelming! 
We take the stress out of finding good deals! Our team analyzes offers and wagering requirements to find the best of the best. From generous match deposits to free spins and the rare no-deposit bonus, we find it all!

Security and Safety 

While online casinos are all about fun, staying safe is paramount. Online security is crucial once you start playing with real money. 
We only recommend casinos with proper licensing and regulation. For the UK, we look to the UK Gambling Commission to ensure that everything is by the books. Not only that, but we examine on-site security measures. Features like 256-bit encryption, fraud prevention, and more can make a world of difference. We want you to have peace of mind while you play. So, we take safety and security very seriously.

Selection of Casino Games

Short Deck has a lot to offer. But chances are, you’re going to want to try other titles at some point! For this reason, we recommend casinos that offer tons of titles to enjoy. 
The beauty of online casinos is that they can offer thousands of games. From a single platform, you can access them all! 
We try to pick casinos with a healthy selection of slots, table games, and gambling classics. Our search goes beyond game types. We also look into software providers. Several powerhouse developers offer a myriad of exciting games. Providers like Microgaming, Netent, and more are renowned for creating games with intuitive gameplay experiences.  
The more established providers a casino works with, the better!

Device Optimization

Mobile devices are no longer a future sci-fi fantasy! Smartphones and tablets are the here and now! Most of us take our phones everywhere. As a result, mobile gaming is at the forefront of the industry. 
To stay relevant, online casinos need to have robust mobile counterparts that you can access anywhere. While mobile apps seem like a given, there are still some holdouts. 
To ensure that you have ultimate flexibility, we recommend platforms with good device optimization. Standalone apps and fully mobile-friendly websites are key.

Banking Options and Fast Payouts

With the advancements of mobile communication and tech, new banking methods emerged from the woodworks! Traditional debit cards, checks, and wire transfers aren’t your only options anymore. 
To keep up with the times, online casinos need to have a bevy of banking options. In addition to traditional card-based methods, we look for casinos that accept digital services. Ewallet services like PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, and Paysafecard are a must! 
Furthermore, we look into processing times. A short wait time is standard after requesting a payout. But, some casinos get your money into your account faster than others! We know that you don’t want to wait weeks to use your earnings. So, we look for casinos that can transfer your money quickly and efficiently. 

Customer Support  

You’d be surprised by how many online casinos neglect customer support! With real money on the line, good customer support is not something you should take for granted. You need open lines of communication to get help should anything go awry. 
Our team pays attention to available customer support avenues. Features like live chat, email messaging, and live telephone numbers can make all the difference. We also look for sites that offer in-depth tutorials and troubleshooting guides.

Playing for Free vs. Real Money  

Unlike physical casinos, you don’t have to lay all your money on the line to have fun. Many online casinos offer demo games or freeplay rounds. Of course, the thrill of gambling comes from the risk! But, you Short Deck is fun either way. 
So, should you play for free or real money? Here are some advantages and perks to ponder!

Reasons to Play for Free:

  1. Play without signups or commitments.
  2. Learn the ins and outs of the game without pressure. 
  3. Try the software and platform before committing. 
  4. Test out new strategies and techniques. 
  5. Have fun without all of the risks.

Reasons to Play for Real Money: 

  1. Gain access to the full gaming experience. 
  2. Unlock available bonuses, promotions, and VIP points.
  3. Participate in high-stakes tournaments with big prizes. 
  4. Bet with real money to win real money.
  5. Enjoy the thrill of authentic casino gaming. 

Short Deck Poker History & Origins  

Short Deck is a unique take on Texas Hold ‘Em. To understand its history, you have to take a look at the original! 
Texas Hold ‘Em originated in the early 1900s. The exact timeline is still a bit fuzzy. But most agree that it came to be in Robstown, Texas. After gaining popularity there, it quickly spread. Before long, Texas Hold ‘Em hit Sin City and became a worldwide phenomenon! 
In the last decade, Texas Hold ‘Em experienced a resurgence. Thanks to high-profile tournaments, it enjoyed a lot of limelight! Professional players are world-renowned celebrities who win millions. 
Interestingly enough, Texas Hold ‘Em is a variation, too! Standard poker is nothing new. It’s an ancient game with roots that go back more than 1,000 years! Thanks to the natural evolution of card-playing, tons of variations came into existence. Short Deck is just one of them! 
Short Deck, also known as Six-Plus Hold ‘Em, started in 2014. It emerged from live poker rooms in Asia. A year later, the game came to the United States. The Western “grandfathers” of Short Deck are Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey. 
Professional poker players by trade, these two men first saw the game in Macau. They started to promote it stateside in 2015, and the rest is history! 
Short Deck went from a niche game to a favorite for high rollers in just a few short years. Many contribute the game’s high-roller status to its fast-paced action and variance. Unlike other variations, it’s quick and offers potentially huge rewards!

Rules of the Game     

Short Deck Poker follows many of the same rules as Texas Hold ‘Em. But, there are several notable differences. 
The game starts with each player receiving two hole cards. There are also five community cards for creating the best hand. 
After dealing, the first round of betting occurs. This is known as the Pre-Flop. Then, the first three community cards come into play. Three streets of betting follow. They include the Flop, the Turn, and the River.  
It’s pretty standard stuff if you’re familiar with Texas Hold ‘Em. So, how does Short Deck differ?

What Makes Short Deck Different? 

The most significant difference is the size of the deck. Rather than the standard 52-card deck, this game only utilizes 36 cards! All of the 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s are removed. Right off the bat, you have a bigger challenge ahead of you! 
Another twist is the role of the Aces. In standard poker, the Aces can be a High or a Low. In Short Deck, they have a similar role. However, they can make up the high or low end of a straight. As a result, they are more powerful and versatile.

Winning Hands 

Most of the same winning hands in Texas Hold ‘Em apply to Short Deck. But, the hand rankings can be a little different! 
You see, removing the low cards and playing with a short deck alters probability. Mathematically, it’s harder to get certain hands with a smaller card count. 
In Short Deck, a Flush beats a Full House. Usually, it’s the other way around. Additionally, a Three-of-a-Kind beats a Straight. 
These hand differences are crucial! Failing to understand them could cost you a winning bet!


Believe it or not, there’s a variation of Short Deck.  
There’s no standard name for this variation, so it’s important to understand the gameplay before. 
The experience is the same up until the River. After the final round of betting, the dealer provides a third hole card. It takes the place of the River. Players must use exactly two of their hole cards and three community cards to create their hand. 
The difference is subtle, but it can have a big impact in the end.

Our Top Tips to Maximize Your Short Deck Poker Strategy 

Short Deck is a game of intense strategy. There’s a certain amount of luck involved, but mastering your skills can give you the upper hand. Here are some of our favorite Short Deck tips. 

1. Understand the New Hand Rankings. 
We can’t stress this enough! One of the biggest mistakes novice players make is forgetting the hand rankings. The differences seem minor, but forgetting them could be an expensive mistake! Don’t be the one that thinks they’re playing Texas Hold ‘Em. Learn those hands well, as you’ll need to visualize them during the game. 

2. Know Your Odds 
In standard poker, players use the “Rule of 4 and 2” to calculate probability on the Flop and Turn. The same technique applies here. But, it’s the “Rule of 6 and 3.” 
On the flop, count the outs and multiply by 6 to get your odds. For the Turn, multiple the outs by 3. This technique will help you work out the odds of completing a draw. 

3. Take Advantage of Aces 
Aces are always a perk in poker. In Short Deck Poker, they are far more common. You’re twice as likely to receive an Ace. Don’t be afraid to use them! However, keep in mind that your competitors also have those improved odds. 

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Over-Betting Nuts  
If you have a strong hand, go for it! Thanks to the shorter deck, premium hands are more common. This is a high variance game with a lot of possibilities. Many new players fold out of hesitation and fear. Don’t wait to maximize your profits if your hand is superb! 

5. Set Limits and Play Responsibly 
While you shouldn’t hesitate to bet big on good hands, the opposite applies, too. Short Deck is not a game you should get lost in. The high variance makes it easy to lose a lot of money quickly. Set limits and know when to walk away. 


Is Short Deck different from Texas Hold ‘Em?

These two games offer similar gameplay experiences and rules. But, there are a few stark differences. The most significant is the size of the deck. In Short Deck, you’re only playing with 36 cards rather than 52. The lower card values do not apply!

How do you win Short Deck Poker?

Like other forms of poker, the pot goes to the player with the best hand. In Short Deck, the hands are slightly different. Fewer cards change the probability of hitting some hands. With this game, a Flush beats a Full house. Also, a Three-of-a-Kind beats a Straight.

That said, the best hand possible is still a Royal Flush?

What’s the best strategy for Short Deck?

There are many strategies to Short Deck poker. The elimination of low-value cards changes the game! The most important tip is to learn the hands and probability.

This is the biggest challenge newcomers face. You must adapt the way you think and calculate. Otherwise, you could end up making pricy mistakes.

Why is Short Deck popular?

Short Deck is a newer game that offers a thrilling experience. There are many reasons why people love it. However, most contribute the success to the high variance and quick gameplay.

There are a lot of ways to win and lose big. Instead of the lengthy gameplay of traditional poker, it’s quick and fast-paced, too. These aspects create the perfect experience for high rollers.

Can you play Short Deck with real money?

The best way to enjoy Short Deck is with real-money bets. The game offers more chances to win sizable payouts. For this reason, it’s a mainstay in the “High Rollers” section of casinos.

You can learn the ropes and practice strategy with free play options. But to experience everything Short Deck has to offer, playing with real money is a must!