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How to approach Split Hold'em: A contemporary twist on Texas Hold'em

Are you tired of traditional forms of poker? If Texas Hold'em is starting to leave you feeling bored at the tables, don't panic - a new form of poker is in town. Split Hold'em has turned Texas Hold'em on its head by producing a new all-action game with more flops, turns, and rivers than ever before. This crazy game has introduced a second community board, with a pot for each board. Players are required to show a winning hand on both boards to win both pots. Winners on just one board will receive just one of the pots.

As there are more cards and more action in each hand, you'll need to keep your emotions in check and know the right times to strike and play for both pots. Diversifying poker has been something that many of the leading poker professionals have wanted for several years. Enigmatic Canadian Daniel Negreanu is one such pro; he believes that games like Split Hold'em are healthy for the long-term future of poker because they bring this age-old card game to the 21st century and the next generation of players.

It's incredibly easy to pick up the rules of Split Hold'em. In fact, 99% of the action is the same as with any normal No Limit Hold'em game. The action and the blinds always move clockwise from the dealer, and players can still check, bet, call or fold in turn. The major difference is that two separate community boards are dealt simultaneously. For experienced poker players, Split Hold'em might take some getting used to. After all, it's likely to entice several novice players, particularly in the lower-stakes games. It can be difficult to play against complete beginners, as these players crave action and are less inclined to fold even marginal hands. This is bad news, particularly when playing Split Hold'em, because having double the community cards means that there are more opportunities for beginners to spike the card they were chasing on the river.

The poker community is, ironically, somewhat split on whether Split Hold'em will become a success. In some quarters, players see the game as a more skillful variant, due to the increasing variables to consider. Meanwhile, others see it as frustrating, due to the reduced chances of extracting big profits from winning both boards. There's no doubt that Split Hold'em is a game for those who enjoy action. Much like pot-limit Omaha, most players will catch a piece of either flop, making it an interesting battle of minds and wills to contest both pots. However, unlike with split-pot games like pot-limit Omaha, big pots are at a premium. Split pots are much more the order of the day, and casual players will enjoy this, since more money is therefore spread across the ecosystem of online players.

In terms of Split Hold'em strategy, it's worth noting that most players find that smaller pocket pairs are of little use in this double-board game. That's because the additional board makes it harder to flop three-of-a-kind on both boards. However, pocket aces and the likes of AK and AQ can be more lucrative, as there are two opportunities to spike a king or queen with an ace kicker. The brainchild behind this poker variant, PokerStars, insists that Split Hold'em is only a temporary inclusion to their roster of games; but it could be here to stay if the recreational poker community continues to enjoy playing it.