A few days ago, I had an epiphany. Nay, a revelation. I invented a new poker variation. The details of my revelation are unimportant (read: I was on the toilet at the time), but the outcome is concrete. I wish to engage the blogger community in feedback on this game, which I will call, until a better title comes up, Wall Street Hold’em. CK suggested Omaha Pineapple on Crack (or OPOC), but it isn’t quite succinct enough.
The game, still in beta, was successfully play tested under sterile conditions at the Wall Street game this week, but only for play money. I plan to have an actual real money limit game for about an hour in a few weeks time. After a few sessions of that, we will graduate to a No-Limit variation and see how that works.
Here are the rules of the game:
1. Each player is dealt 4 down cards (just like Omaha).
2. The first round of betting commences.
3. The flop (3 cards) is put face up on the board. These are community cards, just like Hold’em or Omaha.
4. The second round of betting commences.
5. Each player takes one of their down cards and places it face down in front of their pile. This card will be used to make their hand. The player has now committed himself to this card and it cannot be changed for the duration of the hand.
6. The turn is put face up on the board.
7. The third round of betting commences.
8. Each player places another of their down cards in front of them. The player’s hand is now ‘locked’ in. The other two cards they haven’t chosen are no longer in play.
9. The river is dealt face up on the board.
10. The fourth and final round of betting commences.
11. Each player that is still in the hand exposes their two ‘locked’ cards and declares their best 5 card hand (cards speak) and the pot is pushed to the winner.
The genius of this game is that it combines a lot of the elements of Omaha and Hold’em. In Omaha, which is often played High/Low, your hand develops slowly and you often don’t have an idea about which way you are likely to win until the turn. Wall Street Hold’em is much the same way. The card you choose to commit to your hand after the flop will most likely determine which way your hand develops. If there are 3 diamonds on the flop, for instance, you may flop two pair and a diamond flush draw to go with it. But if you put your diamond down, you may break up your two pair. The decision is up to the player. The game is unique in that you must make that decision in advance.
The game is also similar to Hold’em in that it must be played in a High or a Low variety, but not both. Because you are committing yourself to a hand in advance and essentially discarding other cards, it would be MUCH harder to play a High and Low hand for a scoop. I don’t see the point in playing a game in which the pot would almost always be split.
So what do you think, public? It sounds complicated, but it’s really not much more than a regular Omaha or Hold'em game. The same poker thinking applies throughout and the skills you’ve learned playing regular Hold’em apply. Counting outs, bluffing and betting strategies and calculating odds are all in play here. Is this something you’d be interested in? Or do you have constructive criticism?