What is ‘Short-Handed’?
Short-handed or ‘shorthanded’ is a common phrase that applies to many things in life. Within the casino world, it can either apply to cards or money (and by extension, ‘chips’). To be short-handed is to mean you are lacking something. There is not a stated or specific amount, but being short-handed will usually mean that you are just off the mark or very close to being in an ideal position.
To be short-handed is an infuriating state to be in, it can mean that you are only a card or two shy from possessing an ideal hand. This can range from having a weak hand or something far stronger. For example, believing that your opponent may have a moderate to strong hand, you might have two ‘Jacks’, but lack a third to make ‘Three of a Kind‘ – the kind of hand that you can play with real confidence.
Or perhaps as the game intensifies, and you want a hand that you know can win you the game. You may hold a seven, eight, nine and ten, but lack the ‘Jack’ required to make a ‘Straight Flush‘.
As seen above, sometimes being short-handed is something that can be applied when you can’t even make the most basic of moves, and other times it applies to when a player already in a comfortable position simply desires something stronger, but it’s just out of reach.
Being short-handed also applies outside of the deck. There are two basic things required to win a game of poker – a good hand and plenty of capital. If you lack the funds to keep up with any raises, then you simply cannot continue and you will have to fold.
If the ‘buy in’ for a game is perhaps too high for you to afford, then being financially short-handed will simply prevent you from playing at all.