PokerStars May Bring Back Novelty Games As Tournaments

October 1, 2018 October 1, 2018 Paul Butcher
October 1, 2018 by Paul Butcher

PokerStars has a reputation for being the preferred site for players who like multi-table tournaments.

While that is still the case, PokerStars has recently been experimenting with novelty games which they launched for a brief period before shutting them down and releasing a new one. The novelty games were intended to be offered for a limited time.

Severin Rasset, Director of Poker Innovation and Operations at PokerStars, said that they are considering offering some of these games in tournament formats in response to positive player feedback.

He said that some players were upset when they discovered that these games were turned off and they could no longer find them.

Pokerstars Novelty Games

Split Hold’em

In April, PokerStars launched Split Hold’em and this game turned out to be a real puzzle even for some of the pros. The game was the same as regular No-Limit Hold’em except for the fact that two boards were dealt. Unlike running it twice, the two boards were dealt simultaneously. In order to win the whole pot, a player needed to win with both boards. More often than not, players would end up splitting the pot as one would win with one board while another player would win the other board.

Split Hold’em was devised with action in mind as more players tended to stay in hands due to the increased possibilities that two boards offer. There was also more information available because more cards were revealed. However, it was also rather tough to read other players because it was difficult to tell which board players were betting on or if they were betting on both sets of community cards.

Showtime Hold’Em

In this version, a player’s hole cards would be turned up if they folded. This meant that opponents could get a lot of information about other players at the table. Bluffers and loose players could be easily exposed as could tighter players. Showtime Hold’em forced players to change their strategies if they didn’t want others to get an easy read. Folded hole cards that were turned up also gave other players at the table more information about the remaining cards in the deck.


In Unfold, each player kicked in an ante to create an unfold pot. Players who folded pre-flop could then unfold their card after the flop. In order to revive a folded hand, players had to match the amount of the unfold pot and they could no longer bet. The rest of the board was dealt as per usual and the unfolded player with the best hand would win the unfold pot. Unfolded players were not eligible for the main pot.

Rasset stated that players could look forward to the return of at least one of these games before the end of the year and that other versions of the game would be tested.

About The Author


Paul Butcher is a works as professor during the day and currently contributes to write articles for during his time off. Visit Paul’s google+ page here