Where to play 6+ Holdem: the best poker rooms with a short deck + a set of useful programs
6+ Holdem hasn't sparked a new poker boom. Short deck poker has failed to replicate the success of Spin & Go and Zoom. Tens of thousands of players have not joined the ranks of online poker enthusiasts. Despite all these "Not", it is foolish to deny the interest of the poker community to the new format. The suggestion to play a more addictive version of No Limit Holdem sounds tempting. Therefore, interest in 6+ Holdem will grow.
Short deck poker is not available in all poker rooms. Let's go through the most popular places to play 6+ Holdem and choose the best room. However, you need to be prepared to go for the more action-oriented version of NL Holdem, so we will also consider poker programs for short decks.
When did 6+ Holdem appear?
Short deck poker is a casino invention from Macau. Local specialists were looking for a way to make the play of NL Holdem more fun and aggressive - they succeeded. The first information about Six Plus Holdem began to appear in 2014-2015. Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan played an important role in popularizing the format. The poker legends actively played it against the Chinese millionaires.
Another powerful boost for 6+ Hold'em came from the Chinese tournament series Triton Poker, where half of the events were played with a 36-card deck.
A series of tournaments were actively broadcast around the world and were liked by many professional players. And the amateurs were delighted with it at all. The position of short deck poker strengthened even more at the end of the WSOP-2019, where 1 of the tournaments was dedicated to "Short Deck Holdem". The following year, the WSOP already had 2 tournaments in a new format.
The iPoker Network was a pioneer in online poker. In 2016, shorter decks appeared in the lobbies of the network's poker rooms under the name Six Plus Holdem.
Tried to add format and other rooms, but to no avail. But in 2019, almost every month every major poker room or network reported on innovation:
- On January 16, 6+ Holdem introduced PokerStars;
- On March 27, Partypoker announced its Short Deck to the world;
- On April 27, there was a major update of the Chico Poker Network clients. The result was the appearance of Texas 6+ tables in the lobby;
- On November 2, Short Deck presented GGPoker.
The pandemic has slowed down short deck poker: without live tournaments, it was not easy to advertise all the advantages of the format. Not all poker rooms were ready to promote 6+ Holdem with promotions and bonuses.
What is the difference between 6+ Holdem and No Limit Holdem?
The key difference between the formats is that in NL Holdem the game deck consists of 52 cards, while in 6+ Holdem the version with 36 is used. All “2”, “3”, “4”, “5” are removed from the deck. The rest of the differences are due to the shortening of the deck:
- according to the rules of poker with a short deck, a flash is stronger than a full house, because now there is less chance of strengthening;
- instead of the big and small blinds, players post antes. Button - double ante;
- in 6+ Holdem, the bottom street looks like "A6789".
In some poker rooms, a set beats a straight, but this variation of the rules is rare. The approach of the rooms to the number of players is also heterogeneous: initially the tables were 5-max, but PokerStars preferred to keep the more familiar 6-max.
Probabilities in 6+:
|6+ Holdem||No Limit Holdem|
|Combinations of starting hands||630||1326|
|Pocket Aces||0,9% (1 from 105)||0,45% (1 from 221)|
|Pocket Pairs||8,6% (1 from 11,66)||5,9% (1 from 17)|
|Unsuited Сonnectors||22,9% (1 from 4,4)||15,7% (1 from 6,4)|
|Suited Hands||22,9% (1 from 4,4)||23,5% (1 from 4,25)|
Another factor that changes due to the shrinking of the deck is the calculation of equity on the street. Instead of the usual rule of "the number of outs x2" to calculate the probability of strengthening on the next street, we need to multiply by 3. If we want to know how much equity we have from the flop to the river, then we multiply by 6.
Reducing the number of cards in the deck leads to a convergence of equity. This means you will hit sets more often, so never fold them to 3-bet. Suited connectors will be more likely to beat premium pocket pairs. Draw hands are more profitable because of the ante and higher equity. A direct consequence of equalizing hand values is that 6+ Holdem outperforms No Limit Holdem. However, along with the dynamics, dispersion is growing, which greatly reduces the expectation of strong players against amateurs.
Where to play short deck poker?
Short deck poker under different names is presented in many poker rooms and networks: PokerStars, iPoker Network, GGPoker, Chico Poker Network, Partypoker. It is "presented" to use more correctly, because in some places there is a tab with a Short Deck, but without any players. Brief information about 6+ Holdem in the most popular rooms:
Now let's talk about each of them in more detail.
PokerStars is renowned for its love of experimenting with formats. Poker fans immediately start Vietnamese flashbacks with endless ones: Swap, Tempest, Split Holdem, Deep Water, Unfold Holdem, etc. And Fusion was launched twice at the Stars - both times in the lobby it “lived” no longer than 2 months. Ironically, of all the non-classical formats, only those invented by others have taken root on PokerStars:
- Spin & Go;
- 6+ Holdem.
Of these options, short deck poker is the least popular.
The seating order does not allow you to find out the exact number of players at the 6+ Holdem tables, but in the lobby you can assess the popularity of the format by limits. The tables are filled only at NL2-NL200, there were no players at the top 6 limits. Here is a summary of 6+ Hold'em:
There is also a tab with 6+ Holdem tournaments in the PokerStars lobby. The number and size of the guarantee speaks volumes about the popularity of 36-card poker in tournament format.
The Good Game poker network (GGPokerOK, BetKings) has introduced short deck poker almost the last in online poker, but this is where it feels best. The main reason for this paradox is that GGPoker was initially focused on the Asian region, where the Short Deck format was born.
Asian Poker Network + Home of Short Deck Poker = Success
Summary information about GGPoker:
*Look for the last 5 limits not in the “Short Deck” tab, but in “Private Games”.
Compared to PokerStars, the larger antes and button blinds in GGPoker are striking. Due to this, increased pots are formed even preflop and the fight for the pot is more aggressive. The maximum number of players at the table is 5, which also provokes the growth of the action. Unlike PS, the number of players in Good Game is easy to count. There is even an opportunity for selection.
A good incentive to play Short Deck at GGPoker is regular promotions. In June 2021, within the framework of the "Daily 5,000 $ Leaderboard" promotion, $ 5,000 is raffled off daily.
The total prize fund of the promo is a solid $ 150,000. Places are allocated based on the number of hands and the limit played.
There are also short deck poker tournaments. To find them in the GGPoker lobby, you need to perform 3 actions:
- go to the "Tournaments" tab;
- click on the search bar in the upper right corner;
- select #shortdeck.
The guarantees for 6+ Holdem tournaments are not amazing, but they are significantly higher than those of PokerStars. And in terms of the number of tournaments, GGPoker has an overwhelming advantage: 60 tournaments against 5. Good Game often hosts tournament series in which Short Deck events with increased prize money are held.
The iPoker Network (Red Star Poker, Guts Poker, NordicBet, Betsafe and Betsson) is a reverse example of the situation with GGPoker: Six Plus Holdem appeared in the poker rooms of the network earlier than the competitors - back in 2016. It is impossible to call this discipline successful due to the speed of management's reaction. At peak times, on the Six Plus Holdem tab, the game is played at 2 tables at all 6 limits. There was only 1 player at each table with buy-ins of € 20, € 50, € 100, € 200. Brief information about 6+ Hold'em here:
There is a filter with Six Plus Holdem tournaments on iPoker, but the tournaments themselves are not. Let's assume that they are either added in the future, or held within the framework of a major tournament series.
The situation at Partypoker echoes the iPoker Network: the patient is more dead than alive. Unlike other poker rooms on PP, "Short Deck" is not even listed in a separate tab.
You need to look for the filter for poker with a short deck on the "Cash" tab. During peak times at Partypoker, the Short Deck is played on two NL4 tables. Reference data on local limits and antes:
There are no Short Deck tournaments at Partypoker.
Chico Poker Network
For 3 days of observing the lobby, it was not possible to meet fans of this format.
The strange list of limits and the lack of traffic at the tables implicitly hint that Holdem 6+ fans have nothing to do here. It is highly likely that the Texas 6+ tab will sooner or later be removed as unnecessary. Of course, there are no tournaments either.
What poker software are there for Holdem 6+?
The list of tools for analyzing and playing Short Deck Holdem is rather short. The unpopularity of poker programs for incomplete decks is understandable:
- Low interest in the format in online poker does not give developers reason to count on profit;
- Different rules for playing Holdem 6+ in poker rooms make it difficult to create a single, universal product.
For more than two years now, the developers of the leading poker trackers Holdem Manager 3 and PokerTracker 4 have not added statistics import and HUD to Short Deck tables. However, players still have the opportunity to conduct sessions with statistics. Analyze of the game is also possible. A complete set of poker programs and tools for 6+ Holdem:
|Software||Type||Price||Is there a free version|
|Hand2Note||Poker Tracker||From 29,90$||Basic version is free|
|Hand2Note Pro.Tools Poker6+||HUD and Pop-ups||From 14$||On request, a free test for 20 days is available|
|GT HUD for 6+ Holdem||HUD and Pop-ups||From 20$||No|
|DriveHUD||Poker Tracker||from 8.99$||Free trial version for 30 days|
|GTO+: Short Deck||GTO-Calculator||70$||No|
* Read about how to get a free version of CombCalc6Plus calculator in the product card.
1. Hand2Note. Support for short decks was quickly added to Hand2Note.
We remind you that the basic version of the most advanced poker tracker is also free with no time limits or limits.
2. Hand2Note Pro.Tools Poker6+. The HUD collection is specially designed for playing short deck poker. All statistics in HUD and pop-ups are based on the exploitation of opponents. There are statistical and positional HUDs that can be manually changed or set to auto-change based on table dynamics. Upon request, the developer's official website provides the opportunity to test the pack for free for 20 days.
3. GT HUD for 6+ Holdem. Built-in unique pop-ups for preflop and postflop. Displays additional information for each stat in the form of diagrams. This HUD for Holdem 6+ can be edited by yourself.
4. DriveHUD. In August 2019, Six Plus Holdem support was added to DriveHUD. This cute poker tracker is styled with an automotive theme.
It has extraordinary modules like the Tilt Meter (your opponents tilt meter), a built-in equity calculator and tools for analyzing your GTO strategy. You can download a free 30-day trial version of DriveHUD here.
5. CombCalc6Plus. Unique equity calculator for Short Deck Holdem.
Analogue of Flopzilla for short decks. With regular use of the calculator, you can quickly get used to the format with 36 cards, and eventually become a real professional.
6. GTO+: Short Deck. An offshoot of the GTO+ poker program. Specially adapted for Holdem 6+. You will also be able to understand the features of a balanced game in the format of short decks. It is still in beta testing.
The current situation with 6+ Holdem in online poker is far from prosperous. In most poker rooms, the discipline was added more than two years ago, but has not gained tangible popularity and the influx of players is not visible. The lack of major offline tournament series played a big role in the decline in interest in short decks. It was with the appearance of the format at Triton Poker and the WSOP that it became interesting for players. The pandemic has made its own adjustments to the popularization of the shortdeck. It will end sooner or later and the exciting NL Holdem variation will inevitably attract new players.
At the moment, the best place to play Short Deck Holdem is the GGPoker poker network. This is where the highest traffic is, and there are also exclusive promotions only for Short Deck players.
6+ Holdem from PokerStars will give up the second place. There are not many players here, but you can still play at the limits NL2-NL100.
It's a stretch to recommend Six Plus Holdem on the iPoker Network. The number of players on the network is very small, but beginners will love the availability of statistics and decent rakeback. In a discipline with a lot of action, the income from rakeback is palpable.
The choice of software for poker with a short deck is not amazing: two poker trackers - Hand2Note and DriveHUD, as well as 2 equity calculators - CombCalc6Plus and GTO +: Short Deck. However, with the active use of even such a small set, you will soon be much better than most 6+ Holdem players.