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Six Plus Hold’em: How Does It Work? Where Can I Play 6+?

Six of Clubs Plus

Six Plus Hold’em is a newish variation of Texas Hold’em that, for the most part, follows the same rules. The gameplay and flow of the two formats is identical; however, Six Plus Hold’em utilizes a deck of only 36 cards as opposed to the full 52 used in Texas Hold’em. The 16 missing cards are all 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s that would be otherwise present in a traditional deck.

Rumor has it that the first 6+ Hold’em games were played in Asia as early as 2014, but it only began catching the attention of Western audiences in the middle stages of 2018. From Macau to Manila and everywhere in between, Six Plus Hold’em has been a regular feature for years especially in high-limit rooms.

Now, you will find the game offered at both physical casino locations all over the world as well as some online cardrooms. Before going any further, it is important to note that you will sometimes see this game referred to as Short Deck Hold’em due to the smaller, 36-card deck.

Six Plus Hold'em

Flow of the Game

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If you have ever played a hand of Texas Hold’em, you will find that the rules and flow of Six Plus Hold’em are almost identical. Players will still be dealt two hole cards and dealers will ultimately deal five community cards assuming the hand needs to go on that far. Blinds (big/small) will rotate from the left of the dealer around the table and will be paid before any action takes place.

After the blinds have been settled and cards have been dealt, four rounds of betting ensue (pre-flop, flop, turn, river) and the hand’s ultimate winner is determined. Up until this point, you will not notice any major differences between classic Texas Hold’em and Six Plus Hold’em because the differences exist within the hand rankings.

Hand-Ranking Differences Explained

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In order to truly understand how to play Six Plus Hold’em, you must understand how hands are ranked in traditional Texas Hold’em. Those hand rankings – from weakest to strongest – are outlined below:

  • High Card
  • Single Pair
  • Two Pair
  • Three of a Kind
  • Straight
  • Flush
  • Full House
  • Four of a Kind
  • Straight Flush
  • Royal Flush

On the other hand, hand rankings for Six Plus Hold’em ascend from weakest to strongest in the following manner:

  • High Card
  • Single Pair
  • Two Pair
  • Straight
  • Three of a Kind
  • Full House
  • Flush
  • Four of a Kind
  • Straight Flush
  • Royal Flush

The four underlined hands above are the major differences between Six Plus and standard Texas Hold’em. In Six Plus Hold’em, a Straight is considered to be weaker than a Three of a Kind while a Full House is outranked by a Flush.

The reason for these altered hand rankings has everything to do with the removal of the four sets of four cards (2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s). Because of the complete disappearance of these 16 cards, for example, achieving a Three of a Kind becomes statistically more difficult than making a Straight.

6+ Hold'em at Americas CardroomA 6+ Hold'em Table at Americas Cardroom

Six Plus Hold’em Rules Variations

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As is the case with just about every form of poker, Six Plus Hold’em also has variations of its own that you will sometimes encounter.

One variation focuses specifically on the river, or fifth and final community card. With this particular style of Six Plus Hold’em, instead of the fifth card being dealt to the community, the remaining players are each dealt a third hole card. From three of the four community cards out on the board and two of the three hole cards that have now been dealt, players assemble the best possible five-card hands. Hand rankings are judged in this version of Six Plus in the same fashion as they are in the standard version of the game.

Triton Hold’em is another offshoot of Six Plus Hold’em where the ranking of hands is altered to some degree. This version of the game was popularized in an ongoing tournament series of which Phil Ivey is the face. In this game, a straight will defeat any set. Being that straight draws are much less worthwhile to chase in normal Six Plus Hold’em, it is theorized that this hand-ranking change was implemented to further enhance gameplay by generating more postflop action.

Logo of Triton PokerThe Triton Series Hosts Prominent Live Six Plus Hold'em Tournaments

Six Plus Hold’em For US Players

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For those who are based in the US and are looking to try out Six Plus Hold’em, both Americas Cardroom and Sportsbetting.ag offer the game. At Sportsbetting Poker, the game is referred to as Texas 6+ but follows the same rules as are explained above. At Americas Card Room, the game is listed as 6+ Hold’em.

In addition to offering cash games at a few different stake levels, both of the aforementioned sites sanction Six Plus Hold’em tournaments as well. Depositing at both sites is quick and easy with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. What’s more, there are virtually no fees, meaning you can begin playing with the entirety of your deposit, not your deposit minus a processing fee.

You'll get a 100% up to $1,000 deposit bonus and a complimentary $50 credit at Americas Cardroom when you make your initial deposit. However, the fun starts even before you fund your account with our special ACR bonus code PRB10FREE, which is good for a $10 credit, applied to your real money balance, without any deposit required. That's five buyins for $0.01/$0.02 6+ Hold'em or two buyins for $0.02/$0.05 – on the house! Check out our Americas Cardroom review for more information.

There's also a 100% up to $1,000 welcome bonuses at SB.ag, and you can also benefit from daily cash game leaderboards. Read our review of Sportsbetting.ag to get started.