PokerStars Expands 6+ Hold’em, Preps Other New Games

PokerStars Expands 6+ Hold’em, Preps Other New Games

The experimentation with new games at PokerStars continues into 2019. Not only is the online poker giant expanding its 6+ Hold’em offerings into the tournament realm, other new poker variations are in the works for possible launches later this year.

PokerStars has spent the last few years putting a development team on new poker variations, something to spark interest in new players and challenge the strategy levels of seasoned ones. For the most part, the team has been releasing games in small markets to test their popularity and work out bugs. And when a game does see a broad release, it is usually for a limited time only – maybe a few months – before it is replaced with another new game.

It is hard to measure the success of the new poker variations and themes based on only a few months of action, but PokerStars surely has some metrics by which it deems a game worthy of a possible comeback or ready for the archives.

More games are in test mode, but it remains to be seen which will be the next to debut.

SCOOP Offers 6+ Hold’em Tournaments

Thus far, it seems that 6+ Hold’em is the favorite new poker variation, as it had already been gaining popularity in live games for years. Starting with the high-stakes cash games in Macau, players passed on the game to others, and it caught fire in 2018. Its popularity on PokerStars, as well as other poker sites, seems to have remained consistent.

Cash games of 6+ Hold’em debuted in January to solid reviews from players, and the live version was implemented at the PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo series just weeks ago.

The game’s expansion is proof that players want more 6+ Hold’em.

The online poker tournament and sit & go versions will debut this month. SNGs are available throughout May at buy-ins of $2.50, $7.00, and $15.00, and the first tournament will be in the 2019 Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) on May 17. As is the tradition in SCOOP, there will be three buy-in levels for that event: $22, $215, and $2,100.

More Poker Variations on Tap

Since early 2018, PokerStars has been teasing new games, some released and some only in development. The catalog of games has included:

–Split Hold’em, a version of running it twice

–Showtime Hold’em, to expose folded cards

–Unfold, for a second chance to play folded cards

–Fusion, similar to Irish Poker

–6+ Hold’em, also known as Six Plus Hold’em or Short Deck Poker

The most recent new game to be rumored as ready was Split Omaha, also known as Double Omaha or Double Board Omaha High. It will be similar to Split Hold’em, in which two sets of community cards will be dealt for each Omaha hand.

Split Omaha is still on deck to be launched soon, most likely after SCOOP.

A new one discovered by Pokerfuse is DeepWater Hold’em, and Pokerfuse confirmed that it will debut in the near future on the international client. However, there is little known about the variant except that it will be a version of hold’em, it will have an underwater theme, and antes could be the primary point of interest in that they will be in play and vary on each hand, from 10% to 50% of the big blind.

In addition, there will be some new themes at the tables via PokerStars’ new partnership with the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).

Pokerfuse reports that there will be numerous promotions involving the UFC theme and brand, such as a UFC version of PokerStars VR and a special UFC Chest that will be a part of the Stars Rewards program. It is unclear if there will be a special variation of poker to be introduced, but the themes are assuredly in the works.


About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

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