Over the years, PokerStars introduced various new versions and tweaks on traditional Texas Hold'em. In their latest new format, PokerStars introduced Swap Hold'dem. The game is essentially Texas Hold'em, except you can swap out one or two cards at any given time, but can only do so one time. Unlike some of the weird gimmicky game, the fun and exciting Swap Hold'em should stick this time around.
Innovation is necessary for evolution. You always have to look ahead and try to stay relevant, but you also need to stick with things that work. Texas Hold'em has neve changed since it was initially introduced at the end of the 19th Century. However, there have been plenty of variations off the simple, yet insanely fun game. Omaha Hold'em became the first derivative, or cousin of Texas Hold'em with four cards instead of two. A century later, even Omaha got tweaked into Crazy Pineapple, or Big 0, or PLO5.
There is something special, but comforting with traditional Texas Hold'em. But there's also something a little vanilla or basic about it. Kudos to PokerStars for trying to spice up the Cadillac of poker by sprinkling hot sauce on it.
Let us introduce… Swap Hold'em.
Sometimes you realize you've been running a bluff, but you're opponent is stubborn or doesn't believe you. Instead of getting your hand caught in the cookie jar, you now have a bail out option with the newly introduced Swap Hold'em.
Most of the time, you're set mining or wake up with Big Slick. I dunno about you, but how many times do you see the flop without improving Big Slick or whiffing on your attempt to set mine. At least now, you have another opportunity to still win the pot with a new hand.
Swap Hold'em is exactly what you think it is... you can swap out your hand at any time and on any street. The only catch is that you can only do it once.
And obviously, it goes without saying, if you're going to fold, you might as well use the swap function. Never fold without using your chance to swap!
Swap Hold'em has similarities to Fusion Poker, which had returned for a hot minute. Swap really reminds me of a game one of your friends would come up with during a home game.
Over the last few years, the devs at PokerStars have been hard at work coming up with new games and formats. Some have been weird. Others have been duds. Some have been huge hits. And no one still has yet to figure out how to truly play Power Up Poker.
Swap Poker is the latest nuance by PokerStars. It joins the ranks of their other tweaked games such as Split Hold'em, Power Up, Showtime Hold'em, Fusion, Unfold Hold'em, Deep Water Hold'em, 6+ Hold'em, and Tempest Hold'em.
After giving it a whirl, the early strategy dictates that you wait until the last possible moment to swap out cards. You should avoid swapping out preflop when your opponents have yet to swap. Treat this like regular hold'em preflop and do not play hands out of position or call any raises with junk.
Lot of players will swap out on the flop, but if you have position, try to avoid doing so until you absolutely must.
During beta testing, I gave Swap Hold'em a whirl. I came across an ideal situation with Ace-Queen off suit. I flopped an Ace for a pair of Aces. I had the Ace of clubs with two clubs on the flop. The deuce of clubs hit the turn. I kept the Ace and swapped out just one card hoping to fill in a flush. I was thrilled to replace a red Queen with the five of clubs. It was almost too good to be true. My opponent had King-Jack of clubs and I scooped.
For more details, head over to PokerStars Blog.