It comes two months after rival PokerStars debuted its version of the stripped deck game back in January, which it called 6+ Hold’em.
According to the partypoker announcement, the game has been made available at heads up, 6-max, 8-max and full ring tables—which would make it an extremely wide debut for a new game.
However, at the time of writing, the game is spread in a much more limited format: It is only available at 6-max tables, with antes ranging from 2 cents to $10—or approximately equivalent to NL2 to NL1000.
The game is immediately accessible through a new Short Deck tab in the poker lobby. A “blind lobby” allows for a quick selection of stake levels and the number of seats at the tables, at which point a player is immediately sat with a stack of 100 antes.
However, players can also choose a table through the traditional cash game game lobby. There, a player can choose their starting stack size up to 300 antes.
The game is not yet available for tournaments, although a filter suggests that Sit & Gos or MTTs in the short deck format could be imminent.
High stakes pro, partypoker ambassador and successful short deck player Jason Koon was naturally excited about its debut on partypoker.
“When I first heard of Short Deck, a few of my Asian friends were buzzing about how much fun the game was. A few months later I gave it a try and instantly took a liking to it,” he said in Wednesday’s press release.
“I am thrilled that I finally get to play one of my favourite versions of poker on partypoker. I hope you gals and guys love it as much as I do!,” he added.
In Short Deck, the deuces through fives are removed from the game. The game is then played the same as traditional Texas Hold’em. However, the stripped deck makes for a more action-oriented game, with players making bigger hands encouraging looser play pre-flop and more aggressive play post-flop.
The game is usually played with a slight change, which partypoker has adopted with its version: A Flush beats a Full House.
The game is very similar to other version of the game, including PokerStars’ 6+ Hold’em. The game is played with an ante and the dealer posts an additional “live” ante. The game then proceeds as normal, with the usual betting pre-flop, on the flop, on the turn and on the river.
The game has proved popular live, with short deck events now a staple of the high stakes live tour, the Triton Poker Series.
According to today’s press release, while other versions are available elsewhere, partypoker is “the only online poker operator to offer the exact same ‘Ante-Only’ game adopted by the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series, adhering to the same set of rules, blind structures and naming convention.”
It is not immediately clear how this differentiates partypoker’s Short Deck Hold’em from PokerStars’ 6+ Hold’em, which also follows the same format.
However, one thing unique with partypoker’s version is that it permits taking money off the table, also known as “going south.” According to the press release, tables are configured so that players can take any amount over 300 antes in their stack off the table, while staying at the table.
PokerStars launched its take on 6 Hold’em around 60 days ago, one in a string of cash game variants introduced by the poker room in the last year. While it was not the first real money online poker room to offer the stripped deck variant, an endorsement from the world’s largest online poker room gave it significant prominence in the online poker community.
- Largest player base in the world.
- Home of Spin & Go, Power Up and lots of other unique game variants including 6+ Hold’em.
- Biggest weekly tournament schedule around.
It has been debated whether PokerStars plans to only offer the game for a limited time, like it has done with novelty formats before it. Pokerfuse has also speculated that the company may well explore bringing back these cash game formats in tournament formats soon.
On the one hand, PokerStars has called the game “temporary” in the past. Pokerfuse recently revealed that the company is readying to launch another new game, Split Omaha, soon—which could well replace Six Plus.
On the other hand Six Plus Hold’em recently launched in Italy, the first modern cash game variant that PokerStars has launched in a segregated market. Web copy suggests the game will be deployed in tournament format too. This could mean that the game will have longevity beyond the short run of games before it.