6+ Hold’em Brings More Action to PokerStars

January 16th, 2019 | by Greg Shaun

PokerStars has officially announced the launch of 6+ Hold’em following sneak previews and beta testing in the final months of 2018.

PokerStars 6+ Hold’em

PokerStars 6+ Hold’em cash games are now live across parts of Europe and North America. (Image: PokerStrategy)

Going live on January 15, the new variant will give players the chance to broaden their skillset and compete in a format enjoyed by high rollers such as Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan.

6+ Hold’em Shakes Things Up

In announcing the release of 6+ Hold’em, PokerStars has also put together a series of tutorials. On a basic level, the game has a similar structure to regular Texas Hold’em but there are some twists.

As well as removing all cards with a value of six or lower, 6+ ranks hands differently to its Hold’em counterpart.

Using any combination of their two hole-cards and five community cards, a player can make the following five-card hands ranked from weakest to strongest:

High card

One pair

Two pair

Three of a kind


Full House


Four of a kind

Straight flush

Royal flush

Experienced players will notice that the main difference between Texas Hold’em and 6+ is the strength of a flush vs. a full house. When the game was first being refined by cash game regulars in Macau, this inversion wasn’t in place.

However, after some analysis, they found that making a flush was harder than a full house, hence the switch. As per PokerStars’ press release, the fact there are only nine ranks of cards means you can flop a set 17 percent of the time, something that makes it easier to hit a full house.

The final difference between this short-deck variant and traditional Hold’em is the removal of the small and big blind. Instead, each player pays an ante and one posts the “button blind.”

Catering to Experienced Players

PokerStars 6+ went live at all stakes for real money and play money on January 15 across PokerStars’ .DK, .EE and .NET sites. As of January 16, the new variant was also live for desktop and mobile cash games on PokerStars .COM, .EU, .UK and .SE.

Over the last 12 months, PokerStars has been the most progressive operator with regards to launching new games. Buoyed by the success of innovations such as Spin & Go tournaments, the creative team hasn’t been afraid to push the boundaries and appeal to casual players.

In March 2018, Split Hold’em went live. Featuring two flops, turns, rivers and a split pot, the game was meant to provide more action and entertainment.

After trialing the variant for a few weeks, PokerStars eventually removed it from the lobby following negative feedback from the community. In reviewing the product, the developers said they had “no regrets” as their aim is to create fun games that are popular with players of all skill levels.

Many of PokerStars’ recent changes have been aimed at low stakes and novice players. However, with many leading pros already fans of 6+ Hold’em, the latest update should appeal to experienced players who want to test their skills.


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