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Double the poker, double the fun!

“Hours of boredom broken up by moments of sheer terror”. To some people this is how online poker feels, but TableBrain has a solution, as Matt Broughton discovers


omeone once said that if you’re having fun playing poker you’re probably not doing it right. It’s very rare that ‘action’ players (i.e. those involved in the majority of pots) are the ones that walk

away with the most cash, simply because profitable poker more often comes about by patiently sitting tight, not getting overly creative with weak hands, and waiting for that golden moment to get as many chips as possible from a strong hand and/or situation. Basically, be a spider, not a monkey (and NEVER be a fish!). After five years development, TableBrain Corp has

produced a new variant (currently available on Party Poker) called Double Hold’em that aims to make playing poker more fun without having to throw discipline out the window. “Hold’em is great when you’re getting hands like pocket Aces, Queens and interesting suited connectors,” says TableBrain CEO E. Mark Gross, “but often you can spend hours picking up nothing but weak hands like rag aces, J-3, 9-4, etc. Poker’s supposed to be a game not a business-like experience, but sitting out for a long time is no fun, and playing poor starting hands is usually the road to big losses.”

WHAT’S THE DEALIO? Double Hold’em deals each player three hole cards

rather than the standard two. Once the flop comes down, players choose one of their three hole cards to be the ‘Point Card’. This now creates two playable hands: one hand is a combination of the Point Card and the second card in the player’s hand, and the other hand is the Point Card and the third card in the player’s hand. It’s easily grasped in play (see tutorial screen shots elsewhere). This mechanic leads to far more playable hands being dealt more often, removing the long dry periods players so often suffered in Texas Hold’em. Being all round smart cookies, TableBrain even

offers freee online software called Double Tools ( that allows you to

50 SEPTEMBER 2011 “While we were developing the game, we also

created a version where you set your cards before seeing the flop,” explains Gross. “That version – more of a boutique game – plays quite differently than our current version where you set your cards after seeing the flop. Setting after the flop has greater appeal to the mainstream poker market.” The game recently completed a successful

promotional run at 20 major casinos and gambling forums worldwide, drawing many converts from traditional Texas Hold’em. “Player feedback has been very encouraging, as it’s elicited significantly better player loyalty and established longer playing time by casino website players,” says Gross.

learn the game away from the pressure of the table. When you tap “Surprise me” it throws various starting hands at you and challenges you to make the most profitable Point Card selection; it’s a smart way to get to know the game. The guys will also be releasing a Double Hold’em app for iPhone and iPad very soon.

“Poker’s supposed to be a game not a business-like experience, but sitting out for a long time is no fun”

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