PokerStars Introduces UNFOLD Hold’em: Rabbit Hunting Is Mandatory!

UNFOLD poker
With UNFOLD Poker, players can recover their hands from the muck after the flop and get back in the action, battling out for the side pot

A big part of playing winning poker is being able to fold your bad hands before the flop. Sometimes, this can mean you don’t play a single hand for an hour straight. And, while you could pat yourself on the back for being a disciplined player, there is no denying endless folding  can become boring and suck the fun out of playing.

PokerStars have come up with a solution to this problem by introducing UNFOLD Hold’em tables. This is the latest in the series of new game variations to appear on the largest online poker room, after gimmicks such as Power Up Poker and Showtime Hold’em.

UNFOLD Hold’em: Get your cards back from the muck

In Texas Hold’em, we have starting hand charts, which dictate what hands should be played from what position – depending on other relevant factors. However, in theory, even the worst starting hand can be a winner when you hit the right flop.

UNFOLD Hold’em deals with these very situations when you’d have flopped a good hand but you simply couldn’t see the flop. It gives players an opportunity to retrieve their hands from the muck and play for the separate pot.

The minimum of four players must be dealt into the hand for the UNFOLD pot to be created. All the players who reach the showdown in the regular hand are automatically included in the UNFOLD pot as well.

UNFOLD poker rules

UNFOLD poker tables play the same way as regular Hold’em tables, i.e. players are dealt two cards and the usual rules of Texas Hold’em are observed. The only significant change is that every player at the table, at the start of each hand, pays a special ante into the UNFOLD pot.

UNFOLD poker
At least four players have to be dealt into the hand for the UNFOLD pot to be created. Everyone who reaches showdown in the regular hand automatically participates in the side action as well

Once the flop is dealt, all the players who have decided to fold have an option to retrieve their hands from the muck. To do this, you’ll have to pay the full price of the pot. Once this is done, there are no future betting streets and the best hand on the river takes the pot.

Rabbit hunting is mandatory in UNFOLD Hold’em

Since not all Hold’em hands go all the way to the river and the UNFOLD pot is awarded to the player holding the best folded hand at the showdown, rabbit hunting becomes mandatory in UNFOLD Hold’em.

So, if someone wins the main pot by betting out on the flop, the software will automatically rabbit hunt for turn and river to determine the best hand. As always, the best five-card combo wins the entire pot. If two or more players have the same best hand, they’ll evenly split the pot.

UNFOLD Poker for More Action

New poker variations are always a gamble of sorts because there is no way to tell with any certainty if players are going to like them or not. With UNFOLD Hold’em, however, the game remains completely unchanged – there is just an additional option.

UNFOLD poker
Players who decide to get involved in the UNFOLD pot will have a special mark next to their avatars, which can provide some additional info for the players still active in the hand

So, in a way, it’s like poker with some side-bet action. That said, keep in mind you’ll have to pay the additional ante for every hand of UNFOLD you play, so if you don’t fancy the idea of grabbing your cards back from the muck and gambling it up, this one may not be for you.

How do you feel about this new PokerStars variation. Have you had a chance to try it? Do you think it is a nice addition to classic Hold’em or just a way to generate even more action that’s mostly based on luck?

Ivan Potocki on EmailIvan Potocki on Twitter
Ivan Potocki
Ivan Potocki
Assistant Editor and Columnist at Beat The Fish
Ivan first started playing poker in 2006 and played professionally from 2010-2013. He holds a BA in English language and literature. Since joining the Beat The Fish team in 2016, Ivan has made an immediate impact, leading the news section and contributing numerous feature articles. You can reach Ivan directly at ivanpotocki@gmail.com
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