There comes a time when playing Texas Hold’em regularly with your pals that you might want to play something a little different to spice up your home games. If you’ve already mastered the tells and habits of your friends at Texas Hold’em, you might seek a different challenge by playing a different, more innovative game. That contemporary version you’re looking for could be Split Hold’em. Although the game looks and sounds quite similar to Texas Hold’em, there is one significant twist in the tale.
Split Hold’em: Double Trouble
Thanks to double winning opportunities, there is heaps of action Split Hold’em, following the introduction of two community boards and pots. With two flops, turns and rovers, the prospect of bad beats increase with the number of cards dealt per hand. You’ll, therefore, need to learn to control your emotions and avoid tilting if a strong starting hand is eventually outdrawn by someone chasing a card. As a no limit version in the same vein as Texas Hold’em, Split Hold’em plays out identically to its predecessor. Players each receive two cards from the dealer and small and big blinds are paid out to the left of the dealer button.
However, it’s the postflop action where Split Hold’em comes into its own. As opposed to dealing out one community board of five cards, the dealer must deal an additional community board, too. The hand then progresses in a similar way, with players allowed to wager on the flop, turn and river in a bid to win either half of the pot — one of the community boards — or both pots, if you feel your hand can win on both boards. In beginner strategies for Split Hold’em, it’s important to observe that smaller pocket pairs are not as powerful as a preflop hand in this version. That’s because the likelihood of hitting the flop and bagging three-of-a-kind is decreased with the addition of another community board. On the flip side, marginal hands, such as AK or AQ, might be more useful to play as you’ll have double the shot of spiking an ace, king or queen on either flop.
Learning When to Pick Your Battles at the Tables
As you become more experienced and knowledgeable about the nuances of Split Hold’em, you’ll begin to realize that you won’t win as many pots as you would in a game of Texas Hold’em. You’ll learn when to pick your moments to attack and play aggressively for both pots and when to defend and fold to avoid chasing a turn or river card on a single community board. What’s great about Split Hold’em is that it resonates with Texas Hold’em players as well as Omaha Hi-Lo players. These hi-lo games have similar split-pot style action, which can put Omaha players at a distinct advantage when playing Split Hold’em.
Ultimately, you just need to focus on keeping your head while everyone around you may be losing theirs in all the action. It can be good training and practice for Texas Hold’em in helping you to be more aware of pot odds and probabilities and become more selective with the hands you play. It’s unsure how long Split Hold’em will be available to play online given that it’s in a beta or trial stage, but it has received a warm reception from the casual poker community, suggesting it could be a money-spinner for the online poker networks.