7 Tips on How to Play Short Deck Poker (Increase Winnings)



How to Play Short Deck Poker

Learning how to play Short Deck Poker is not as hard as you think. It is actually a variation of Texas Holdem that has been around for years. This game is also available at some of the best e-wallet Casino Malaysia

With its new rise in popularity due to its natural more action, Short Deck Poker is becoming much more common to see if it is available at online gambling websites. To become a master in this game, let’s see how it will work for you.

What is Short Deck Poker?

Short Deck Poker Definition
Short Deck Poker Definition

Before we explain how to play Short Deck Poker for you, let’s start from the basic information. This game is one types of poker that has become extremely popular in Asia and high stakes games around the world. It can be played by removing the 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, and 5’s from the deck, thus making a “short deck” of 36 cards. 

In addition, the game can be played with antes and a double ante on the button. Play begins to the left of the button, with players deciding to fold, match the second ante, or raise. Then, it will proceed like regular Hold’em with a flop, turn, and river in poker

*Fun Fact:

Paul Phua and Richard Yong invented Short Deck Poker as a way to make more action and give newer players better opportunities over beginners. Because of the decrease in the cards, there are less discarded hands preflop and players can play a wider range of hands in this game. 

  • Play Short Deck Poker with a 36-card deck which means it doesn’t use any 2s, 3s, 4s, or 5s. Aces count as high and low cards in straight
  • A flush is higher than a full house since it is more difficult to create in your hand. You can also play a three of a kind against a straight
  • Three of a kind, straights, and two-pair are usual, so beginning with a pair of cards is not  as powerful as in Texas Hold’em poker
  • Place bets based on the two cards in your hand and the best five cards on the deck. The player with the highest scoring hand will win the round’s part

How to Play Short Deck Poker: A Guide for Beginner

Now it is our time! If you are completely new to the game and have only seen it played some times, you first need to get the understanding about how to play Short Deck Poker. 

1. Ante in

The first thing you need to know on how to play Short Deck Poker, all players will make the same minimum bet by adding poker chips to the pot, beginning to the left of the dealer and playing clockwise around the table. When it is the dealer’s turn, they will pay twice the amount to ante in. 

2. Deal 2 Cards to Every Player

Furthermore, the dealer will shuffle the cards and pass them out 1 at a time to every of the players face-down. Each player is allowed to look at their own cards, however, should keep them a secret from one another. 

3. Place Bets Based on Your Starting Hands

The next step on how to play Short Deck Poker, beginning with the person to the left of the dealer, players can decide whether they want to check, call, or raise the bet after looking at their 2 cards. 

When a player is not satisfied with his hand for the round, he can fold and go out for the round instead. If you check, you can choose no to make a bet. You can only check if no one else made a bet in this round. 

Moreover, when you call or raise, add your poker chips to the pot in the middle of the table. Once all the players have made or called the similar bet, the betting round will end. 

4. Put 3 Face-Up “Flop” on the Table and Place Bets

On how to play Short Deck Poker, the dealer will “burn” the top card of the deck by setting it aside face-down. Then, they will show the next 3 cards, known as the “flop in poker“. Beginning to the left of the dealer, players now can check the value of their hands including the flop cards and can decide to check, call, raise, or even bet again. 

5. Show the “Turn” Card and Make Another Bets Round

On how to play Short Deck Poker, after all players finish their second round of bets, the dealer will burn the top card again and flip the next card over, known as the “turn in poker“. In addition, players will go through another betting round, checking if the new card that helps them make a high-scoring hand. 

6. Flip the “River” Card and Make Final Bets

The next thing you must know on how to play Short Deck Poker, the dealer will burn the top card and flips over the next card, also known as the “dealer”. Any player that is still in makes one more bets round, trying to create the best 5-card hand using their 2 cards and the cards on the table.

Any player can use one, both, or even none of the cards they were firstly dealt from their highest scoring hand. 

7. Players Show Their Cards

The final round on how to play Short Deck Poker, any player that was still in after the final bet shows the two cards they were holding. Everyone can compare their hands to see who has the highest value. Whoever ranked the highest will win all the money in the pot. 

Short Deck Poker vs Texas Hold’em

After knowing how to play Short Deck Poker, you might be wondering how it is different from Texas Hold’em. Let’s take a look below to give you an answer. 

Shot Deck Poker Uses a 36-Card with No 2s-5s

Short Deck Poker is extremely similar to playing Texas Hold’em, however, there are fewer cards. With a smaller deck, players will have higher-valued cards and be more likely to draw what you need to create a strong hand. Since a lot of starting hands give players a good shot at winning a round, they are less likely to fold early on. 

Aces Count as the High or Low End in a Straight

You can use an Ace as both the highest or lowest value in your hand. Just like in Texas Hold’em, a hand with a 10, J, Q, K, and Ace counts as a straight. However, in Short Deck Poker, you can also create a straight win an Ace, 6, 7, 8, and 9. 

A Flush Against a Full House in Short Deck Poker

Since there are not many cards of the similar suit on how to play Short Deck Poker, flushes are stronger to create than when you are playing Texas Hold’em. Since getting pairs and sets of cards are more often, a full house  loses strength. 


Short Deck Poker is a new and interesting variation that is threatening to take the poker world by storm. With high rollers taking a good liking for it, many players will follow, wanting to give it a try as well. 

In this guide, we already explained how to play Short Deck Poker to you. The game is much more complex than what is contained in this article, but basic information can help you the better of many players who refuse to take any time to figure out and skip right into it from No Limit Hold’em. 


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