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Will Short Deck Poker Succeed Online


25 September, 2018 | 13:40 от Aleksandra


Етикети: ,

Poker variants come and go, but very few make it to the heights that Short Deck has in such a short space of time.

According to Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42, but will it be 52 or 36 for the future of poker? That is a question worth asking as Short Deck poker makes its way into the mainstream poker consciousness…

First up, what is Short deck poker? Just briefly, for those who haven’t encountered it before, it’s a 36 card version of the traditional No Limit Hold’em game, the 2’s, 3’s, 4’s and 5’s all taken out of play – hence the 6plus and 6+ names given to the newest online version of the variant by America’s Cardroom and PokerStars….

Poker variants come and go, but very few make it to the heights that Short Deck has in such a short space of time.

The Macau game reaches Vegas

Triton Poker brought it from the nosebleed cash games of Macau into Europe earlier this year, Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan and Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates all playing it in Montenegro.

The just-finished Poker Masters in Vegas also offered a $10k tournament based on the 36-card deck, Isaac ‘Ike’ Haxton winning the event…

Why Short deck, and why now??

Both are due in great part to the increasingly ‘solved’ nature of traditional 52-card NLHE, the biggest and best playing by the numbers given to them by ‘solver engines’ – many, many hours of hard work and discipline required to then use this knowledge at the tables.

Justin Bonomo did it, David Peters and Fedor Holz too – and they all went on heaters. Daniel Negreanu put in the hours and improved. Modern poker at the highest levels is seriously hard work!

Short deck, so far, has avoided that level of scrutiny. And at lower levels it’s almost a complete ‘no man’s land’ of information, so…

Will it work online?

America’s Cardroom certainly think so, introducing 6+ Hold’em just this week with quite a fanfare…
PokerStars are of the same mindset, apparently, screenshots for their own 6+ Hold’em game doing the rounds and the game likely to appear shortly…

It’s new, it’s fun, it’s exciting, the big boys are playing it and ‘poker TV’ is showing it – so it seems like a no-brainer. Additionally, because the rules are so very similar to NLHE, players ‘understand’ it!

New Short Kid on the Block?

But here’s the thing – it’s not new! Short Deck poker has been available online for a few years now, and players haven’t magically transferred their hobby, grind or bankrolls to the 36-card game!
iPoker and WPN have been offering Short Deck on their skins for a while – and if it was ‘Poker Boom 2.0’ material as some have described it, then perhaps it’s just a very slow and quiet boom!

So, what would it take to compete with games such as No Limit Hold’em and, say, PLO – the other big game we see offered in every cardroom?

One thing, lower rake!

Here’s the Deal

Because of the 16 missing cards, pre-flop percentages are much closer together than in traditional NLHE, so you’ll be ‘losing more often’ – and even if it’s exciting and novel and great fun to play, that only lasts until your bankroll takes one nosedive too many.

PLO, on the other hand, gives a player more leeway to use skill and knowledge over less experienced players – so although the % game and swings is similar, players can still win against the house rake long-term.

It will be interesting to see just how far Short Deck Hold’em travels in its new incarnation both live and online – in my estimation it’ll be around for a couple of years before fading back into a poker version of novelty circus trick!

In the meantime, of course, life is for living and fun, so don’t let me stop the Short Deck party!



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