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Old 11-16-2007, 03:00 PM
jbrennen jbrennen is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 148
Default Re: Bored now. Invent a novel poker variant.

Here's an idea that I've been kicking around for a while. It works with any hi/lo split game.

There are 3 classes of chips -- normal chips, low chips, and high chips. The chips are marked in an obvious way such that there is no confusion over which chips are which.

Normal chips behave as always; low or high chips can only be used to win that particular half of the pot. Once you put a low chip into a pot, you can't win the high half of the pot, and vice versa. You can't put both low and high chips into the pot -- if you have put one or more low chips into the pot, and you run out of low and normal chips, you are considered all-in even if you have high chips left (and vice versa).

If you run out of normal chips, and have not put any low or high chips into the pot, you must declare at the time that you put your last normal chip into the pot whether you are all-in or not, and that decision is binding for the remainder of the hand -- which means that if you state that you are NOT all-in, you may be forced by future action to effectively declare your hand high or low prior to showdown. This means that an opponent could make a min bet into you for the sole purpose of making you declare your hand.

Each split pot (main and side) is distributed as evenly as possible, within each class of chips.

When a player buys in, they get normal:low:high chips in a ratio of 3:1:1. (This could be tweaked of course.)

Analysis -- obviously, the chips do not all have equal value. Normal chips are most valuable, and low chips are least valuable (assuming you're playing with a low qualifier). However, the ability to set your low or high chips 1-for-1 against an opponent's normal chips leads to interesting ideas. Take effective pot odds for instance -- although the odds may not support a call with your valuable normal chips, they might easily support calling with your less valuable low chips. If you're playing Stud/8, and you get your strong low heads up against an obvious monster high, you should probably jam the pot with your low chips; he'll be forced to call with normal or high chips, and at showdown, even though the pot is split, you'll end up trading some of your low chips for his high or normal chips.
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