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Best Hands In Short Deck Poker

How to use: First insert the hands and board texture into the appropriate fields using the following format “AhKh” (Where the first (capital) letter represents the card and the second (lowercase) letter represents the suit). When you have the inserted the correctly formatted hands/board texture, hit the play button to run the simulation. PLEASE NOTE: DO NOT use the “6+ short deck. Six-plus hold 'em (also known as short-deck hold 'em) is a community card poker game variant of Texas hold 'em, where the 2 through 5 cards are removed from the deck. Each player is dealt two cards face down and seeks to make the best five card poker hand from any combination of the seven cards (five community cards and their own two hole cards). Short-Deck Hold'em is the latest craze in the poker world and we'll give you a crash course in the exciting new game with some basic tips and a look at some of the best starting hands in the 36-card game. It’s not often that a new poker variant actually gains traction in the poker world but that’s exactly what Short-Deck Hold’em has done over the last few. There are a few significant differences in the values of poker hands when playing Short Deck Hold’em. In the Short Deck Hold'em hand rankings: - A flush beats a full house - Three of a kind beat a straight.

curtmack
I was very bored today.
Poker traditionally has to be played with one deck. When you have more than one deck, the entire face of the game changes - more hands become possible, the probability of some hands changes drastically, and so on.
To demonstrate this, I decided to analyze poker with two decks of cards. As I calculate it, this is the correct ranking of hands:
Royal flush
Five of a kind
Straight flush
Flush with two pair
Four of a kind
Flush with one pair
Flush with no pairs (1)
Full house
Unflushed straight
Three of a kind
Two pair
One pair
High cardBest
Note 1: You could, if you liked, join a flush with one pair and a flush with no pairs. Then, a full house would beat them. Flush with two pair is rare enough that it should stay separate, though.
All ties are handled in the same way they would be in normal poker.
Some notes:
  • I tried to stick to the framework of basic poker hands as best I could. Because of this, five of a kind and flushes with pairs seemed like necessary additions. You could add all kinds of other spiffy hands if you wanted to (i.e. does having a suited pair make it better?), but that's beyond the point of my analysis.
  • The Royal flush being top dog seemed like something players would expect, so I included it. If you preferred, you could consider the Royal to be a straight flush, with five of a kind being better. As long as the Royal flush is considered separately, however, it wins: there are 128 Royals and only 728 fives-of-a-kind.
  • With five decks, the Royal flush gets dethroned as the best hand, because a flushed five of a kind (with only 52 possibilities) would be king. I'm not sure how adding more decks would affect this, however.

For the curious (and peer review), here are my actual calculations for each hand. 'C' means combinations, e.g. 8C3 is the number of combinations for drawing 3 items out of a list of 8, derived from the formula nCr = n! / ( (n-r)! * r! )
Edit: I forgot to account for flushed vs. unflushed pairs. Embarrassing! The new numbers are correct.
Royal flush:
4 different suits to flush in
2 different ways of getting each card in the royal flush
2
2
2
2
128 different Royal flushes
Five of a kind:
13 different ranks
8C5=56 different ways of getting five cards of that rank
728 different fives-of-a-kind
Straight flush:
4 different suits to flush in
9 different high cards (since Ace high gives royal flush)
2 different ways of getting each card in that particular straight flush
2
2
2
2
1172 different straight flushes
Flush with two pair:
4 different suits to flush in
13C2=78 combinations of ranks for pairs
11 different ranks for fifth card
1 combination for first pair in suit
1 combination for second pair in suit
2 cards possible for fifth card in given rank
6884 different flushes with two pair
Four of a kind:
13 different ranks for four-of-a-kind
12 different ranks for fifth card
8C4=70 combinations for four-of-a-kind
8 different cards of rank for fifth card
87360 different fours-of-a-kind
Flush with one pair:
4 different suits to flush in
13 different ranks for pair
12C3=220 combinations of ranks for extra cards
1 combination for pair
2 ways of getting each extra card in chosen rank and suit
2
2
91520 different flushes with one pair
Flush with no pairs:
4 different suits to flush in
13C5=1287 combinations of ranks for five cards
2 ways of getting each card in chosen rank and suit
2
2
2
2
164738 different flushes with no pairs, including straight flushes
Subtract 1172 straight flushes
163566 different flushes with no pairs or straight
Full house:
13 different ranks for three-of-a-kind
12 remaining ranks for pair
8C3=56 combinations for three-of-a-kind
8C2=28 combinations for pair
244608 different full houses
Unflushed straight:
10 different high cards for a straight
8 ways of getting each card in the straight
8
8
8
8
327680 different straights, including straight flushes
Subtract 1172 straight flushes
326508 different unflushed straights
Three of a kind:
13 different ranks for three-of-a-kind
12C2=66 combinations for ranks of extra cards
8C3=56 combinations for three-of-a-kind
8 different cards for fourth card
8 different cards for fifth card
3075072 different threes-of-a-kind
Unflushed two pair:
13C2=78 combinations of ranks for pairs
11 different ranks for fifth card
8C2=28 combinations for first pair
8C2=28 combinations for second pair
8 different cards of rank for remaining card
5381376 different hands with two pair
Subtract 6884 different flushes with two pair
5374492 different unflushed hands with two pair
Unflushed pair:
13 different ranks for pair
12C3=220 combinations of ranks for extra cards
8C2=28 combinations for pair
8 different cards for each remaining extra card
8
8
41000960 different hands with one pair
Subtract 91520 different flushes with one pair
40909440 different unflushed hands with one pair
High card:
13C5=1287 combinations of ranks with no matches
8 ways of getting each card
8
8
8
8
42172416 different hands that do not contain a pair, three-of-a-kind, four-of-a-kind, or five-of-a-kind
Subtract 327680 different straights (including straight flushes)
Subtract 163566 different flushes with no pairs (not including straight flushes)
41681170 hands that contain no other hand
DJTeddyBear

I was very bored today.

I'll say! This reminds me of some of the stuff that floats around the internet. It's entertaining, but always leaves me thinking 'Somebody has a lot of free time.'
Quote: curtmack

Short Deck Poker Online

i.e. does having a suited pair make it better?

Yes.
It's no different than the suited five of a kind in five deck poker that you mentioned.
Similarly, many Black Jack side bets pay X for specific cards, but pay more if they are suited.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ ————————————————————————————————————— Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
curtmack
Quote: curtmack

i.e. does having a suited pair make it better?

Yes.
It's no different than the suited five of a kind in five deck poker that you mentioned.
Similarly, many Black Jack side bets pay X for specific cards, but pay more if they are suited.
Well, the flushed five of a kind is a special case: it's a flush, and it's five of a kind. Same with a straight flush (or for that matter, a Royal) in normal poker. You certainly could say that suited pairs are better, but keep in mind that there's a difference between, say, a suited pair of aces, and a flush with a pair of aces.
JB
Administrator
I didn't check all of your figures, but I disagree with your Two Pair / Three of a Kind result:

Three of a Kind
trips ... combin(13,1)*combin(8,3) = 728
kickers .. combin(12,2)*combin(8,1)*combin(8,1) = 4224
total ... 728 * 4224 = 3,075,072 (this agrees with your total)
Two Pair
pairs .. combin(13,2)*combin(8,2)*combin(8,2) = 61152
kicker .. combin(11,1)*combin(8,1) = 88
total .. 61152 * 88 = 5,381,376 (this is much higher than your total)

The above Two Pair figure does not subtract the counts for suited Two Pair hands if they are deemed to be higher in rank than other Two Pair hands. Nevertheless, the figures show that Three of a Kind is still a better-ranking hand than Two Pair.
curtmack

I didn't check all of your figures, but I disagree with your Two Pair / Three of a Kind result:

Three of a Kind
trips ... combin(13,1)*combin(8,3) = 728
kickers .. combin(12,2)*combin(8,1)*combin(8,1) = 4224
total ... 728 * 4224 = 3,075,072 (this agrees with your total)
Two Pair
pairs .. combin(13,2)*combin(8,2)*combin(8,2) = 61152
kicker .. combin(11,1)*combin(8,1) = 88
total .. 61152 * 88 = 5,381,376 (this is much higher than your total)

The above Two Pair figure does not subtract the counts for suited Two Pair hands if they are deemed to be higher in rank than other Two Pair hands. Nevertheless, the figures show that Three of a Kind is still a better-ranking hand than Two Pair.


Yeah, that looks right. I'm not sure where my mistake was, but it seems to be in punching numbers into my calculator. How I made the exact same mistake more than once is a bit weird, but whatever. I'll change it.
JB
Administrator

Yeah, that looks right. I'm not sure where my mistake was, but it seems to be in punching numbers into my calculator. How I made the exact same mistake more than once is a bit weird, but whatever. I'll change it.


I think you missed the last factor of 8, which corresponds to the suit of the kicker. You listed it, but forgot to include it in the calculation.Wizard
Administrator
Thanks for this post from:
I have a table for poker combinations with 1 to 8 decks here. Scroll down to 'Multi-Deck Probabilities.'
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Ibeatyouraces
deleted
Zcore13
The Casino I work at is getting a 6 deck Texas Hold'Em table game next month. 5 of a kind suited is the best hand. It's called Texas Shootout. It's reviewed on the Wizard of Odds site and looks pretty cool.
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
DJTeddyBear

The Casino I work at is getting a 6 deck Texas Hold'Em table game next month. 5 of a kind suited is the best hand. It's called Texas Shootout. It's reviewed on the Wizard of Odds site and looks pretty cool.

Here's the Wiz's page on it: http://wizardofodds.com/texasshootout
Looks kinda interesting.
Where do you work?
On a side note: Would that be advertising? Nah. I'd bet that the Wiz wouldn't want you to mention your casino in every post, but since this is tied to the thread's topic, I doubt he'd mind a quick plug.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ ————————————————————————————————————— Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁

Examining preflop equities is important not only for analyzing dramatic all-in confrontations; preflop is just like any other street in terms of opportunity to collect value from your opponents. As previously mentioned, equities run a lot closer in Short Deck, however, it is still highly beneficial to look at several matchups and see if we can glean any relevant and useful information.

In Short Deck there are more ties and split pots when two players share a common card. For example, A-K in a matchup versus A-Q suited will win 58 perent, lose 32 percent, and tie 10 percent of the time. In order to present the most useful displays the ties are split and allocated equally to the various equities. Thus, in this example, A-K is displayed as a 63:37 favorite over A-Q suited. When effective stacks of $1,000 go all in preflop, on average A-K will get $630 back in addition to any dead money in the pot.

A-K is a good hand to examine first because in Short Deck, as in regular hold’em, it is a holding that often prefers to be all-in before the flop. Unless a player is making a massive overbet that will usually only be called by A-A or K-K; A-K benefits greatly from seeing all five board cards which allows the holding to fully realize its equity.

Some results for A-K offsuit are as follows:

AK vs Short Deck Full Deck
Win Lose Win Lose
AA 15% 85% 7% 93%
KK 44% 56% 31% 70%
QQ 52% 48% 43% 57%
1010 50% 50% 43% 57%
88 55% 45% 44% 56%
AQs 63% 37% 70% 30%
AJ 64% 36% 73% 28%
A9s 60% 40% 70% 30%
J10s 50% 50% 59% 41%
J10 52% 48% 63% 37%
QJs 55% 45% 61% 39%
98s 54% 46% 59% 41%
K10s 60% 40% 69% 31%
J6o 64% 36% 67% 33%

The most surprising result here is that A-K is only a 44 percent underdog to K-K, which is approximately its all-in win percentage over Q-Q in Full Deck. It’s a confrontation that is often referred to as the “classic coin flip.”

A-K versus 10-10 in Short Deck is a true 50:50 coin flip. Pocket tens is the pocket pair that fares the best against A-K because it blocks A-K from many Broadway straights, and with the truncated deck it will make a larger amount of straights on its own. A-K is a favorite over any other pocket pair where in hold’em it would be an underdog.

A-K versus J-10 suited is another true coin flip situation. Notice when compared with Full Deck that the value of being suited is approximately 2 equity points (50 percent less when compared to Full Deck) due to the increased difficulty in hitting flushes.

A-K is either a coin flip or a favorite against any hand other than A-A or K-K, and card removal effects help block these holdings, thus it is very effective as an all-in bet when effective stacks are not that deep. This has led some to surmise that Short Deck may possibly evolve to a pot-limit game in the future.

Now let’s move onto A-A:
AA vs Short Deck Full Deck
Win Lose Win Lose
KK 75% 25% 81% 19%
QQ 74% 26% 81% 19%
88 73% 27% 80% 20%
AQs 80% 20% 87% 13%
A10 80% 20% 92% 8%
J10s 63% 37% 77% 23%
98s 64% 36% 77% 23%
J6 78% 22% 88% 12%

Pockets aces is still a sizeable favorite over any other pair. J-10 suited and 9-8 suited are the hands with the best chance to crack aces due to their ability to make many straights and the occasional flush.

Now for K-K:

KK vs Short Deck Full Deck
Win Lose Win Lose
QQ 75% 25% 82% 18%
88 73% 27% 80% 20%
AQs 56% 44% 68% 32%
A10 58% 42% 70% 30%
J10s 67% 33% 79% 21%

As expected, pocket kings are also a big favorite over lower pairs, however, its expectation against ace-high hands are dramatically reduced when compared with hold’em. However, it is noteworthy that K-K fares better against connectors such as J-10 because it holds two blockers against a possible straight. Blockers hold significantly more value in Short Deck; Q-Q is a 70:30 favorite over the J-10 suited because it holds two straight blockers.

Short Deck Poker Strategy

Let’s shift gears and examine how some of the premium connectors, J-10 and 9-8 suited, fare in all-in situations preflop.

JT vs Short Deck Full Deck
Win Lose Win Lose
AA 38% 62% 23% 77%
KK 33% 67% 21% 79%
QQ 28% 72% 15% 85%
99 58% 42% 46% 54%
88 60% 40% 46% 54%
AK 48% 52% 37% 63%
AQ 48% 52% 37% 63%
A10 42% 58% 30% 70%
KJ 39% 61% 28% 72%
QJ 38% 62% 38% 62%
109 62% 38% 74% 26%
108 65% 35% 74% 26%
98 60% 40% 66% 34%
98s vs Short Deck Full Deck
Win Lose Win Lose
AA 36% 64% 23% 77%
KK 38% 62% 23% 77%
QQ 37% 63% 22% 78%
AK 46% 54% 41% 59%
A10 49% 51% 41% 59%
QJ 45% 55% 40% 60%

As you may have noticed, neither hand performs that well against a range of A-A, K-K, and A-K that will almost certainly call an all-in bet. When you hold J-10, the Q-J is also a hand to be concerned about as it dominates your holding in regards to pairing the jack as well as blocking one of the straight cards.

All things considered the 9-8 suited appears to fare better against a premium range than J-10. This is potentially something to keep in mind if you choose to develop some form of limp re-raising strategy into your game.

For example, in the ante-only structure if there are several limps and a ton of money in the pot an aggressive opponent may be enticed to make a large raise to pick it all up. A large raise is often polarized to include premium holdings that may be hard to play multi-way or junk hands that have little value.

If we are employing a limp only strategy, limp re-raising with 9-8 suited can be a viable play if there is a reasonable chance the button is just making a play at the pot. Stack sizes are important here, if he has room to fold it’s more likely he is polarized, however you don’t want stacks that are too deep otherwise you will be punished when he is at the top of his range. But keep in mind you are 36 percent versus A-A and there is always a good deal of dead money in the pot.

Finally, let’s examine how a mediocre ace-high hand performs against a variety of different holdings:

A9 vs Short Deck Full Deck
Win Lose Win Lose
AA 19% 81% 7% 93%
KK 43% 57% 28% 72%
AK 36% 64% 26% 74%
QJ 48% 52% 58% 42%
J10s 43% 57% 53% 47%
K10 50% 50% 59% 41%
108 53% 47% 61% 39%
J8 56% 44% 63% 37%
A7 58% 42% 70% 30% Slotomania bonus coins.

Best Hands In Short Deck Poker Tournaments

When you are short stacked with few players left to act it is still sound strategy to push with A-9 in order to try and pick up the blinds and antes as your equity against pairs and dominated hands that would call is slightly better than with a full deck. However, you should play slightly tighter facing all-in bets as your equity against a broader pushing range would tend to be lower.

Next issue we begin to look at some of the more common post-flop situations and the equities associated with them. ♠

Best Hand In Short Deck Poker

Kevin Haney is a former actuary of MetLife but left the corporate job to focus on his passions for poker and fitness. He is co-owner of Elite Fitness Club in Oceanport, NJ and is a certified personal trainer. With regards to poker he got his start way back in 2003 and particularly enjoys taking new players interested in mixed games under his wing and quickly making them proficient in all variants. His new mixed-games website Counting Outs is a great starting resource for a plethora of games ranging from the traditional to the exotic. He can be reached at [email protected]