Party Poker Jumps on Short Deck Poker Bandwagon

Short Deck Poker

Party Poker´s short deck variant of NL Hold´em has an added twist that could help its online version of the game succeed where others have tried and failed.

Back in February 2016, the iPoker Network was the first major Network to launch an online short deck variant of NL Hold´em with the cards ranked deuce to six removed from the pack. For a while, players enjoyed the novelty of “Six Plus Poker” before recognizing the game as a luck-based rake grab and returning to the regular tables.

In subsequent years, the Winning Poker Network and PokerStars have both released their own versions of the game with limited success; and it was rumoured that 888 Poker would also be launching a short deck NL Hold´em game before apparently abandoning the idea for its even more luck-based rake grab “Pick´em 8”. Now its Party Poker´s turn to jump on the bandwagon.

Party Poker Launches Shortdeck Poker

Announcing the launch of Shortdeck Poker as if it had reinvented the wheel, Party Poker claims the site released the game due to it “gaining popularity in the poker world”. If this were true, the iPoker Network – being first to market – would be the biggest online poker network in the world, and the Winning Poker Network wouldn´t have pulled the games due to a lack of interest.

Party Poker´s version is practically identical to that launched by PokerStars last year inasmuch as it only available in 6-Max cash game format (at present), every player pays a forced ante at the start of each hand, and the player on the button pays the Big Blind. What this means for a game advertised as $1.00/$2.00 is that there is $14.00 in the pot before the flop is dealt.

Where Party Poker´s Shortdeck Poker differs from its predecessors is that, once you have amassed more than 300x the Big Blind, you can remove some of your chips from the table. Therefore, if you are enjoying a particularly successful session and build your (for example) $200 buy-in up to $1,000, you can transfer $400 from the table into your account to eliminate the risk of losing the lot.

Will Shortdeck Poker be Successful?

The problem with short deck versions of the Texas Hold´em is that players can lose large amounts very quickly. For players practising good bankroll management, that´s not going to be too much of a problem because they will be buying in at lower stake levels than they normally would to account for the increased volatility.

However, because Party Poker´s player database consists of mostly recreational players, you don´t see too much good bankroll management being practiced. Players are likely to buy-in at their normal stake level and, if they see their chip stacks disappearing too quickly, abandon the game and return to the regular tables to try and recover their losses.

What will likely happen based on the experiences of other online poker sites that have offered the game is that a small group of players will continue to play Shortdeck Poker – diluting the player pool for regular cash games.  So, although Party Poker might have launched the game to fulfill requests from a handful of cash game players, it is at the detriment of the rest of the site´s player database.

Should You Play Shortdeck Poker?

If you have the skill to understand the different hand rankings and the discipline to avoid playing in too many hands, Party Poker´s Shortdeck Poker is worth trying out. Just remember to play at a lower stake level than you normally would and take any excess funds off the table when you can. You can always put them back on the table if you need to.

If you are able to master the game, it is a good way to build up player points quicker and increase the rate at which you receive Party Poker cashback. If you are not able to master the game after giving it a try, stick to regular cash games or Fast Forward Poker – which can provide just as much fast-paced action without the volatility of Shortdeck Poker.