As of today, Bet365 Poker has introduced a new poker variant to its offerings: Six Plus Holdem, a game that promises to significantly the increase the amount of action at a poker table whether it’s full of recreational players or seasoned professionals.

How to play Six Plus Holdem

The game itself is very similar to Holdem. Take a regular poker deck and just remove the deuces, treys, fours and fives. You’re left with a 36 card deck that allows each player to get dealt a premium hand more often. There have been several games before that add or remove cards from a poker deck, but in recent history the deck itself has remained largely unchanged from the standard 52 cards.

The hand rankings are altered slightly to go along with the new chance of making certain hands as follows:

  • A flush beats a full house
  • Three-of-a-kind beats a straight
  • A “wheel” (ace playing low starting the lowest straight) is A6789 rather than A2345

Okay, I get it. Now tell me about Six Plus Holdem strategy!

Even though the rules other than the removal of some cards have only been slightly adjusted, the strategy changes are drastic. Straights are easier to make but are not very good at all, considering if someone has a hidden set they have you beat. Normally straights on an unpaired, non 3 flush board are the absolute best hand possible but in this situation you can now lose a LOT of money to a set.

Flushes are way harder to make since there are only 9 cards of each suit, but a flush is extremely strong if you can make it because it’s VERY rare for two people to both have a flush in the same hand. Combined with the fact that you don’t have to be scared of the board pairing, a flush becomes the hand you really want to make more than anything else. Suited hands go way up in value. The chance of making a flush once you flop a flush draw has gone down to about 25% (from about a third of the time in normal Holdem), but considering how strong a flush is once you make it, this is a fine compromise.

All in all, this is tentatively a cool new twist on the traditional game. Many poker rooms have tried introducing a variant of Holdem to the mainstream but none of them have really caught on. It’s hard not to approach it cautiously but from our perspective, Six Plus Holdem is definitely worth a shot.