Split Hold'em - PokerStars exciting new Hold'em variant

Split Hold'em - PokerStars exciting new Hold'em variant

One of the major pitfalls of playing a game of Texas Hold’Em is that many hands miss the flop. It’s an unfortunate drawback of playing the classic two-card variant. Quite simply, stats show that the cards are seldom in anybody’s favour, and this is experienced by online players and “live” players alike. For some players, the pot-limit Omaha variant has offered a more realistic playing option, but now PokerStars have come up with a pretty innovative solution. The brand is leading the charge for new and exciting online variants of classic games with their latest release: Split Hold’em. Putting an exciting twist on traditional Texas Hold’em rules, this novel game promises to give players “more flops, more action... and more fun”. But will a new online game replace good-ol’ Omaha in players’ hearts? Let’s take a closer look at what this variant is all about and find out.

What stands out immediately about Split Hold’em is that this is a double-board format. The game itself is played with a single card deck, meaning that if a card appears on the first board, like the Ace of Clubs, it won’t be drawn on the second board. In typical double-board style, Split Hold’em will deal players two full flops, turns and rivers simultaneously at appropriate stages throughout the game. The split deck essentially creates a really interesting dynamic for players; it gives them a better idea of their “outs”, since some of them will be appearing on the opposite board, and it generates plenty of action on the table. In order to win the full pot, players will either need to possess the winning hand across both of the boards or force all their opponents to fold before showdown. If any player shows down a winner on one of the boards, they will automatically be entitled to half of the total pot.

Despite the double-board format, this game is actually quite straightforward to play. It’s certainly beginner-friendly and will no doubt appeal to casual online players who really want to maximize their money and playing time. And it seems from PokerStars that the casual player is their target audience for this particular release. Split Hold’em won’t be taking a permanent place in the pantheon of official PokerStars games (which includes 2017’s popular eSports game Power-Up). Instead, this release will be a temporary one, serving only as part of the range of “new variants (that) provide engaging challenges and opportunities for players to test their wits in a fresh format”. Whereas Power-Up presented a big change from traditional online poker, Split Hold’em will be familiar enough to anyone with a basic knowledge of regular hold’em and Omaha games.

Spit Hold’em is still in its trial stages, so it’s available to play under some restrictions (check out the official PokerStars website at www.pokerstars.com for more information); however, anyone who is able to play will be entered into the platform’s global liquidity player pool. Instead of choosing a table and a seat, players can take advantage of the Seat Me system and choose the stake they want to play.

All things considered, Split Hold’em is a very interesting release and will appeal to a wide cross-section of players. We’ve discussed how casual players could make the most of the game above, but seasoned players will also enjoy developing new strategies to adapt to its double-play format. And since it won’t be around forever, anybody who’s interested in giving it a go should definitely play it while they still can!

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