Before we jump into covering some great tips on how to win at this game, let’s just run over the basics for anyone that isn’t too familiar with this fairly new game type in the Poker world…
- 6 Plus or Short Deck gets it’s name because there are fewer cards in the deck it is played with, all the 2’s, 3’s, 4’s and 5’s are removed. So instead of a 52 card deck, we are left with just 36 cards.
- Hold’em games are usually formed of a small blind and big blind with or without antes, the blinds work a little differently in a 6 Plus game.
- There is a small ante posted by everyone at the table and then the big ante is posted by the Button position only. So when the blinds are $2/$4, for example, $2 is posted by every player for each hand they are dealt as an ante, this is dead money that remains in the pot, the player can then choose to fold or to play they can limp in for the additional cost of $2 more or raise.
- The action starts on the left of the Button(normally the small blind position) and the Button can check to see the Flop is there is no raise Pre-Flop.
- The biggest difference in Short Deck gameplay is the value of a flush beats the value of a full house, this is because there is less of each suit in this game they are actually harder to make.
- Most games you will play that a straight beats three of a kind, however, be careful to know the rules of the game before playing, because this is different in some games and online in some poker rooms too with some game providers ruling that three of a kind beats a straight.
Limp with a Wide Range of Hands
On a 6 Handed table, which is the typical format for this game we will be getting 7:1 on a call, therefore we are only going to want to be folding a tiny portion of our least playable hands pre-flop.
Now once we limp and face a large raise, we can fold certain hands, but we should be limping with almost 100% of hands if there hasn’t been a raise in front of us, just because we are getting such a good price.
Use Large Bet Sizings
When we have a strong hand in short deck we are going to want to pile in the money, there are literally no safe cards that can come off in this game, every card will complete a draw or improve tonnes of other hands, so our objective is to use huge bet sizings and overbet a lot with our good draws and strong hands, this way we will force out hands with good equity against us.
Straight Draws Have Tonnes of Equity
We will want to press the action with our good straight draws because even when we are up against the top of our opponents’ range will have loads of equity in the hand. The reason for this is because there are fewer cards in this deck there are more straight cards that will complete our hand.
Let’s look at this example:
So on this board even though our opponent has a huge hand with top two pair here we still have 42% equity with our open-ended straight draw on this board.
What this will usually mean is that stacking off and putting all our money in on this board will be a winning play in the long run for a few reasons.
- There will be dead money in the pot which will often make up our slight lack in equity and make it a winning play to gamble here.
- Sometimes our opponent won’t have a good hand like this and just fold to our action and we win the pot uncontested.
- For the times our opponent will gamble with a hand that we have in bad shape with a hand like a flush draw or worse straight draw.
- If you are playing on a site that let’s you cash out your equity, it can be a good idea to just always push with all these strong draws and then just cash out your equity for the times you are called.
Look to Spring the Trap
You will notice on many tables of this Short Deck game that players will make huge pre-flop raises, one of the best things we can do to get massive value from these plays is to limp with our entire range including our monster hands like KK and AA.
This will allow us to make easy folds pre-flop alot of the time and then sometimes we have the monster hand and we can re-raise all in and win a huge pot either pre-flop or when we get action we will be a huge favourite to win a monster pot.
The added benefit of making this move is that once our opponents have seen that we sometimes limp with huge holdings they are going to be less likely to raise us again without a big hand, so we will get to see more value from our mediocre hands that we would sometimes get raised off of.
Don’t Overvalue hands like Jacks and Queens
Remember this is short deck, so the chances of someone having KK, AA or even AK is way more likely, so we are going to want to play even strong hands like QQ and JJ as more of a set mine type hand because these holdings will not play well in a big pre-flop hand and they aren’t going to flop too well all that often either.
This makes them a good candidate for playing pretty slowly and taking flops, we can win huge pots with people that will over-play weaker holdings when we flop sets with these types of hands and most players will never consider someone limping with hands as strong as this, so we will have huge deception.
This is probably one of the biggest leaks I have seen from beginner players, stacking off with pretty much any pocket pair they can find as their whole cards and then just playing JJ and QQ like they are the nuts, but you will always run into better hands when you play like this.
Limp a Wide Range of Hands, we get great initial odds due to the game format, so look to at least limp nearly your entire range.
Use Large Bet Sizings including over-bets with good equity holdings
Push the action and either look for folds or get gambling with open-enders
Look to Spring the Trap with hands like AA and KK with a limp pre-flop
Don’t Overvalue hands like Jacks and Queens, they play much more poorly in this game.
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