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How to Play

Short Deck Rules

Short Deck follows a similar format to Texas Hold’em, but with a few crucial differences! Most notably, cards below a 6 are removed, leaving a 36-card deck.

Our guide will quickly get you up to speed, and you’ll soon discover why the game is so popular with modern high-stakes pros!

How does a Short Deck hand play out? 

Pre-flop

  • Unlike Texas Hold’em, no blinds are posted.
  • Instead of blinds, all players must post an ante.
  • To get the action going, the dealer (button) is required to post an additional button ante. This is usually the same value as the regular ante, although may differ.
  • The player to the left of the dealer is first to act.
  • The minimum pre-flop raise is double the button ante.

Flop

  • Three communal cards are dealt face up, starting the next round of betting.
  • As with pre-flop, the player to the left of the dealer is first to act.
  • The minimum post-flop bet is the value of the normal ante (the mandatory ante which all players committed before a hand was dealt.)

Turn

  • A fourth shared card is added, followed by a further round of betting.

River

  • The final communal card is dealt, beginning the final round of betting.

Showdown

  • As with Texas Hold’em your best five cards play, however in Short Deck:
    • Flush beats a full house
    • A6789 is a straight (the Ace plays high or low, so TJQKA is also a straight)
    • A6789 of same suit is a straight flush 

For the full list of hand rankings, please click here.