Everyone likes poker, but playing the same old games can get really tiresome. Here’s a quick list designed to give your love affair with poker a shot in the arm by introducing some new blood into your roster of games.
2-7 Single/Triple Draw. 2-7 has been around the longest of any of the three games by a long shot, but it had seen a dormant period of interest after the flurry of people wanting to play hold’em. With 8-Game becoming a popular format for mixed games, 2-7 Triple Draw has begun a resurgence in popularity as players are generally the least familiar with it and razz. Razz, however, is a much more straightforward and, arguable, boring form of poker compared to 2-7; there’s a complexity to the game that is touched on in Daniel Negreanu’s section on the game in Super System 2.
The no limit variation of the game, predominantly played single draw, has very little strategy written about in books or forums; you can still find it being played in the $100/$200 stakes on PokerStars and at the Bellagio, however. The amount of players that have dabbled in the game were enough to warrant changing the Player’s Championship from H.O.R.S.E to 8-Game, instead of keeping the format or changing to 7-Game. (Full Tilt’s version of 8-Game does not contain 2-7.)
Badugi. Badugi is another draw variant that has gained popularity after being introduced to the PokerStars client late last year. In this game, players have three draws to try to make the lowest unsuited hand possible, A234 of all suits being the nuts, or badugi. By only having four card hands instead of five, the amount of action generated by the game goes up; many players with limited understanding of the game will happily draw 2 with Ah 8d or 4h 6d against a raise; compared to triple draw, having 2 cards towards a hand in this game means you’re halfway to a pat, right? Savvy badugi players, however, have already begun pounding out strategy for the game on 2+2, and the Bellagio and Commerce both run $400/$800 Badugi regularly now. It’s an action player’s dream, and a rising game in the poker world.
Badeucy. There are multiple ways to spell the game (baduci, badeudecy) is an offshoot of badugi and 2-7 triple draw, with combined rules; the best badugi hand (the four lowest offsuit cards,in your hand, such as Ah 3c 4d 6s) wins one half of the pot, while the best 2-7 hand (the “worst” hand you can make, such as 2h 3h 4h 5h 7c; straights and flushes count against you) takes the other half. This makes for some very interesting showdowns; a player with As 2h 3c 4d 6d could potentially sweep a player with 2h 3c 4d 5s 6s with ace high for 2-7 and nut badugi. The combination of two draw games into one split pot game makes for some pretty wild action; this game is now run at the Bellagio’s limit mix, and Jean-Robert Bellande quotes himself as being a “specialist” of the game.
Hopefully these formats will give you something to think about next time you and your buddies plan an evening of poker.