Six Plus Hold’em (Short Deck Poker) Among Latest PokerStars Offerings

PokerStars Six Plus

PokerStars appears to be bringing the popular new poker variant, Six Plus Hold’em or Short Deck Poker, to its platform soon, according to a report at PokerFuse.

In recent months, the game has gained some traction in cash games and on the tournament scene in southeast Asia among high rollers. Some of the most well-known players in the world have gotten in on the Six Plus (Short Deck) bandwagon, including Tom Dwan and Phil Ivey, who began playing the game in 2015 in Macau.

It appears PokerStars is now bringing the game to the masses and began utilizing a Six Plus graphic recently to promote the new offering.

What is Six-Plus Hold’em?

For the uninitiated, Six Plus is quite a bit different than traditional Texas Hold’em. Deuces through fives are taken out of the deck and then the game follows the traditional hold’em format. The removal of those low cards makes for only a 36-card deck, and even changes the math of the game.

In fact, the deck’s alteration also changes the ranking of hands, with straights now ranked higher than flushes in Short Deck. With so many higher cards now, players’ odds to make much stronger hands increase – creating more action and some say a bit more gamble than traditional hold’em. Ivey said as much to last year.

“There’s a lot of gambling involved,” he said. “The equities run pretty close, so it’s pretty easy to get your money in the middle and be 50/50 or somewhere near that. It suits a more gambling style of player.”

Will the short deck action attract a following on PokerStars? Time will tell, but the site has been looking to expand its offerings in recent months, trying to offer more variants to entice more players to the tables with fresh games.

The site recently launched three new games: Unfold, Split Hold’em, and Showtime Hold’em. Here’s a look at the theory behind those three games:

  • Unfold Hold’em – PokerStars’ newest offering for cash game players, Unfold gives players another chance to win – even players who have folded their hands. Before the hand, each player pays an Unfold ante to form a side pot. All players who folded pre-flop are given the chance to “Unfold” when the flop is dealt, but must pay the Unfold bet – the sum of the side pot with no further betting. The winning “folded” hand after the river wins the side pot.
  • Split Hold’em– Also available in cash games, this form of hold’em calls for two flops, two turns, and two rivers. Players must make the best hand on both boards to win the whole pot, thus the “split.”
  • Showtime Hold’em – This game is also played like traditional Texas Hold’em except when a player folds a hand, it’s showtime – those are revealed for everyone at the table. Folded hands remain face up and visible throughout the rest of the hand. The revelations could alter strategy and information available on other players at the table.

Six-Plus becomes just the latest in the ever-expanding stable of PokerStars hold’em games. However, no timetable has been offered yet on when Six Plus will make its debut on the site.