Last week, we talked about PokerStars getting rid of the goofy Split Hold’em, a game in which two different sets of community cards were dealt and how Poker Industry PRO discovered table graphics which indicated some new games were coming. And sure enough, PokerStars announced on Wednesday that one of those games has arrived: Showtime Hold’em.
The speculation was that, based on the name alone, Showtime Hold’em would be Texas Hold’em with some sort of twist where players had to show their hands at some point (other than when they would in a normal game). That’s exactly what’s going on here.
Showtime Hold’em is just a regular hold’em game, save for one minor (read: not minor) detail: when a player folds, their hole cards are displayed face up for everyone to see. The cards stay face up on the table for the entire duration of the hand. So, if a player folds pre-flop, his or her cards will be known to everyone else through the pre-flop stage, flop, turn, and river, or however long the hand lasts.
Naturally, this presents all sorts of issues with strategy. When everyone knows what cards you folded, they know a hell of a lot more about your decision-making process. You could quickly be found out as the tightest player in the world if you constantly fold strong hands early, or be looked at as a maniac if you’re folding hands late, but playing almost anything. It could make for some interesting strategy shifts, perhaps tempting people into playing against type in order to throw people off.
For the people remaining in the hand, they will now have much more information than they otherwise would have. Someone with Kings might feel more confident when they see you folded an Ace. Or maybe you’ll think otherwise about going for that flush draw if half the table folded the suit you needed.
PokerStars has said that, like Split Hold’em, Showtime Hold’em will only be a limited time offering.*
The other two games that Poker Industry PRO found table graphics for have not been introduced yet. One was Spin & Goal, which is just about guaranteed to be a special Spin & Go in conjunction with the FIFA World Cup. The other was PokerStars Fusion, which Poker Industry PRO thought might be some sort of hybrid game. I tend to agree with this guess, as unlike Split Hold’em and Showtime Hold’em, PokerStars Fusion does not have the name of a specific poker game in the title. Also, the word “fusion” would seem to indicate a combination of multiple games. And it probably won’t be mixed games, as in game types that rotate, or else it would be called “mixed games.” We’ll have to wait and see on that one.
*I also stand corrected in my previous article on Split Hold’em, where I thought that the game was possibly dumped because it didn’t generate enough revenue. I did not realize (or remember) that it was meant to be a temporary product.