Say hello to Showtime Hold'em! PokerStars launched Showtime Hold'em, a no-limit variant and twist on old-school Texas Hold'em, in which players are able to view everyone's hole cards whenever they are folded. Ever wondered what poker would be like if you had X-ray vision and could see everyone's hole cards? How would you play differently? Ever wonder what your opponents would think if they saw what cards you folded in certain situations? Now you have your chance. The exposed folded hands add an extra element to the ordinary game because you gain crucial information that can determine your next move.
Showtime is close enough to Texas Hold'em so players do not have to learn an entire new set of rules. According to PokerStars, "Traditional Texas Hold'em sees players each receive two private cards (known as ‘hole cards') that belong to them alone, with five community cards then dealt face-up – known as the ‘board'. All players in the hand use these shared community cards, combined with their own hole cards, to each make their best possible five-card poker hand. What makes Showtime Hold'em different, is that every card folded by any player remains face-up and visible for the rest of the hand. This includes all cards folded pre- and post-flop."
For rules and more information about Showtime Hold'em, click here.
The twist in Showtime Hold'em will allow players to carve out new strategies. Showtime Hold'em's exposed cards format will encourage nitty players to play a little looser, because their nittastic ways will be on display for everyone to see. Showtime's format, in theory, should also slow down uber-hyper-aggro players because the table will eventually see their LAGgy ways.
PokerStars will seat players at Showtime Hold'em tables using the Seat Me system, which was designed to eliminate "bum hunting" or "whale hunting" or fishing altogether. You simply pick the stakes and you're seated automatically at the next random open seat.
Showtime Hold'em is NL and the stakes start as low as 2 cents/5 cents for a $2 buy-in. The biggest game is $5/$10 NL with a $1K buy-in. The current stakes listed are...
$2 buy-in; $0.02/$0.05 stakes
$5 buy-in; $0.05/$0.10 stakes
$15 buy-in; $0.10/$0.25 stakes
$40 buy-in; $0.25/$0.50 stakes
$80 buy-in; $0.50/$1 stakes
$160 buy-in; $1/$2 stakes
$500 buy-in; $2.50/$5 stakes
$1,000 buy-in; $5/$10 stakes
The 2018 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) was over in less than 24 hours before PokerStars announced the unveiling of Showtime Hold'em. The newest itineration of Hold'em comes fresh off the news of the retirement of Split Hold'em. You can read my obituary for Split Hold'em here. Split Hold'em didn't live up to the hype or expectations. Ahhh, too many chopped pots.
I played a couple test orbits of Showtime Hold'em (disclaimer: it was play money) and it's was more fun than I imagined (this is not a paid promo post). The new tweak definitely made you think twice about folding. I found myself bluffing at more pots because I didn't want my opponents to see my hole cards. I also realized that I folded a couple of hands preflop that would made runner-runner gutshots. My initial thought about Showtime: it tightens up the aggros and loosens the nits.
"Poker is all about information. In this game, you get all the information because any time someone folds their hand, you get to see their cards," explained PokerStars Team Pro Lex Veldhuis, when he first gave Showtime Hold'em a spin for the first time in Monte Carlo.
Watch a test run with Lex Veldhuis here...