Venture with me, if you dare, back to those dark, dark days before July 2007.
Those were the days when Florida poker players had just two choices for their parimutuel poker dollars — $2 limit cash games and high-juice $45 tournaments. That’s a choice akin to deciding whether your poker mentor will be Ralph Furley or Radar.
But I found a beacon of light in those trying times. And that beacon’s name was Double Flop Hold’em.
Double Flop plays just like limit hold’em, except there are two flops, two turns and two rivers. You can’t mix the cards between boards to make your hand, but you can win on one board or both using any combination of cards from your hand and the individual boards. And back in those no-fold’em hold’em days, Double Flop was a reliable action game.
Double Flop, like many non-hold’em games, was crushed into oblivion with last year’s law change, but if you find a game going at your local card room, here are a few nuggets to noodle over:
SCOOP IT: Like John Pinette in the buffet line, you want to scoop and move. If your cards can’t win on both boards, you need to be darn sure they’ll win on one. I love suited connectors in this game, preferably Broadway cards. Even suited one-gappers. And I’ll take them over pocket pairs — highly overrated since they’ll struggle to take the whole pot.
BET IT: Like Vin Diesel on the streets of L.A., you want to be fast and furious. With two flops, your opponents will be giddy over their prospects to win something, anything. Bet, reraise, jam when you have a lock on one board and a strong draw on the other. Let everyone else figure out what board you’re going for, because you know you’re going for both.
WATCH IT: Like Robert DeNiro when you’re meeting the parents, you want to keep your eyes open. Be mindful of how you opponents’ cards match up on both boards. Your bottom-board trips might look good if there’s nothing but rags. But if those rags include 2-3-4-5, and there was action on the top board’s ace, you’re dead.
TRUST IT: Like George Michael in the ’80s, you gotta have faith. Just as in most limit games, if you have anything at all, it’s worth calling on the end. Never fold to a single bet, and think hard before folding to two bets (you’ll likely have insane pot odds). While trusting a read is much less important on earlier streets, it can be powerfully profitable on the river.
— Email Scott Long at firstname.lastname@example.org