Short Deck Texas Hold ‘em
Short Deck Texas Hold ‘em is played with a standard 52-card poker deck from which the card ranks 2, 3, 4 and 5 have been removed, leaving 36 cards. Each player in a hand is dealt two hidden cards, called hole cards. Players use these hole cards, together with five cards shared by all players, to form their best five-card poker hand. Each player may use any combination of cards, including playing no hole cards at all (called “playing the board”).
Poker hands are ranked as follows.
NOTE: Hand ranks for Short Deck Hold ‘em are slightly different from standard hand ranks. A flush beats a full house in this game.
A, K, Q, J, 10 of the same suit.
Five cards in a sequence, all in the same suit.
NOTE: Aces are high or low. Because of the missing 2, 3, 4 and 5, A6789 is the lowest possible straight flush.
Four of a kind
All four cards of the same rank.
Any five cards of the same suit, but not in a sequence.
Three of a kind with a pair.
Five cards in a sequence, but not of the same suit.
NOTE: Aces are high or low. Because of the missing 2, 3, 4 and 5, A6789 is the lowest possible straight.
Three of a kind
Three cards of the same rank.
Two different pairs.
Two cards of the same rank.
Playing a hand of No Limit Short Deck Texas Hold ‘em
Before cards are dealt, one player is designated as the dealer. The dealer is indicated by the dealer button, marked D. This choice is done randomly when the table or tournament starts; after that, the dealer button designation moves clockwise around the table.
The first and second players clockwise from the dealer place bets called the small blind and the big blind. The amounts of the blinds are typically displayed on the table with a designation like “Blinds: 10/20” (indicating a small blind of 10 and a big blind of 20).
Once blinds are posted, each player is dealt two cards face-down. Each player, starting clockwise after the big blind, then chooses to act. At this point, each player may:
- Call. The player bets the amount of the big blind.
- Raise. The player bets at least twice the amount of the big blind.
- Fold. The player forfeits cards and is no longer eligible to win the hand.
If any player raises, each player still in the hand is given an additional opportunity to either call the raise, place an additional raise or fold.
Once all players have completed betting, three shared or community cards, called the flop, are dealt face-up. Each player, beginning with the first active player clockwise from the button, may do one of the following:
- Check. If no other player has yet bet, the current player may choose not to bet.
- Bet. If no other player has yet bet, the current player may bet any amount from the amount of the big blind to the total of all chips the player has in play.
- Call. If a player has bet, the current player may play for the amount that has been bet.
Raise. If a player has bet, the current player may raise the current bet by at least the amount of the bet (if no one has raised) or the amount of the last raise.
Fold. The player may forfeit cards and give up on the hand.
Once all players have completed betting, a fourth card, called the turn card, is dealt face-up. There is an additional round of betting following the same rules. A fifth card, called the river, is then dealt face-up and there is a final round of betting.
Once all betting is complete, player hands are exposed beginning with the player who made the last aggressive action (i.e. the last bet or raise) and proceeding clockwise. If all players checked on the last betting round, hands are exposed beginning with the first active hand clockwise from the dealer. Hands are evaluated using the above table and the pot is awarded to the best hand.