How To Get Two Bites Of The Cherry In A Game Of Texas Hold’em


Enjoy two attempts at the cherry with PokerStars’ new Unfold Hold’em game

Are you a poker player that likes to play tight and not get too creative with your starting hands? If so, you’ll no doubt have experienced the frustration of mucking poor hands and watching them appear on the flop as bold as brass. Texas Hold’em poker is a game of real patience and skill. In an hour’s play, you might only be active for three or four minutes in a hand or two, but it’s knowing when to strike that’s the really impressive trait in winning players. However, if you are a beginner to Texas Hold’em or a casual player craving action, there is a new game in town that gives players another opportunity win, even if they aren’t dealt good cards.

Unfold Hold’em is a brand-new online poker format that gives players a second chance to make a profit from every hand. It’s a new poker variant that reaches out to those that curse under their breath when playing tight and folding hands, only to see their hands hit the flop big time. Now, players get the option to ‘unfold’ their hand when the flop is dealt. There is an additional side pot contested only by players that folded pre-flop. On the surface, you might think that this is just another novelty game variant designed to appeal to the casual players. However, look a little deeper and you’ll see that Unfold Hold’em is ideal for those looking to learn more about game dynamics and get more time playing at the tables to sharpen up their No Limit Hold’em theory.

The concept of Unfold Hold’em was devised by leading online poker room, PokerStars, which has been the brains behind a host of other Texas Hold’em variants of late including Showtime Hold’em and Split Hold’em. Severin Rasset, Director of Poker Innovation and Operations, PokerStars, said: “Unfold means more action and opportunities for players”.

What are the rules of Unfold?

Each hand starts the same as a typical hand of Texas Hold’em. However, before each pre-flop round of betting, players must post an Unfold ante into the side pot known as the “Unfold pot”. This ante equates to half the size of the normal small blind.

Unfold is currently designed for gameplay on 6-max No Limit cash game tables, with a minimum of four players needing to be dealt into a hand for the Unfold ante to be collected from each player. Once the Unfold pot has been set aside, the pre-flop action continues in the usual manner. The flop is then dealt by the dealer and then players who folded their hand pre-flop are given the option of unfolding their hand by investing the current value of the Unfold pot into the side pot – effectively doubling the winnings.

Those who do ‘unfold’ their hand will not be eligible to play for the main pot, but they will have the chance to take the entirety of the Unfold pot. Once players that wish to unfold their hand on the flop have done so, these players will not be permitted to make any more bets. The rest of the hand is then played out between those who did not fold pre-flop.

If the main pot of a hand is won uncontested before the turn or river card is shown, the remaining community cards will still be dealt to determine the winner of the Unfold pot. It’s not yet known whether Unfold Hold’em tables will be raked or not, which might be a deciding factor as to whether this game variant appeals to only casual players or serious professionals too. There’s no doubt that Unfold will open new doors to those players who don’t have the time or inclination to sit at their computer or mobile being card-dead.

Will Unfold Hold’em have longevity?

Could Unfold become the next big thing in poker? Who knows. Unfold will certainly offer high-octane, action-packed games with no need to wait around for hands to get interesting. If it forces some players to rethink their poker strategies and provide fresh challenges, then it will have achieved its goal. If you are looking to prepare your home gaming setup for Unfold Poker and various other game variants, be sure to read our guide on the gaming laptops to avoid in 2018.

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