I was invited to trial Two Street Hold’em at the Ultimate Poker office in Las Vegas on Monday. The game was hosted by Chris Danek. Terrance Chan, Scott Yeates, several Ultimate Poker pros and some invited guests participated in the game.
How to Play Two Street Hold’em
The game starts with the posting of two blinds. All players then place an ante into the pot that is equal to the small blind. We played $1/$2 with a $1 ante.
There are just two betting rounds. One is before the flop, while the other is after all five community cards are shown.
There was a lot of strategy discussion at the table. One important aspect that I think was missed was how position in relation to the button is not nearly as important in this game. In fact, I think I would rather be the big blind since I could potentially get last action before the flop or have an idea of where it will close before seeing the entire board.
I also felt there were mistakes in preflop raising. A $1/$2 game with nine players will start with a $12 pot. Some raises were in the $5 range. This went up as stacks grew. Raises later in the night were in the $20 range. I feel that is closer to the correct number, especially since there was a flop in almost every hand.
I was surprised at how few monster hands there were. Some hands saw unimproved ace-high win. There were many hands where a middle pair was able to dodge multiple over cards in multi-way pots.
Low suited cards seemed to be pointless to play in Two Street Hold’em. The low cards pairing would often not hold up and any flush made would get beaten by bigger flushes, causing some tough decisions on the river. On the other hand, a player that can come in for just a big blind preflop should consider playing almost anything.
I personally liked the live version of the game. It was fun to see how the lack of a flop and turn bet changed the game. It also made it harder to read the board and what ranges other players may have. I wonder if the game would be more interesting if the second wager was after the turn was dealt. This would add an element of gambling to the game.
I came in second place behind Scott. Most of my chips were won on a hand where I made kings full with pocket kings. I won a backpack for being the guest with the highest chip count. It was a nice prize that my wife immediately claimed when I went home. She will put it to good use during her college studies.
When Can You Play Two Street Hold’em?
Ultimate Poker will test this game in Nevada. The original test launch was scheduled for this weekend but it has been delayed, according to a tweet by Chris Danek. Ultimate Poker will announce the new dates on Twitter in the near future.
Limits may start as low as $.01/$.02 blinds. A set buy-in of 40-50 big blinds was discussed.
I will be at the tables once the game is released to check out the online version. Maybe I can apply my experience from the live game into a slight advantage.