The game of poker has been played since the 19th century here in the United States. Many people believe the games roots trace even further back to France (the game "poque") or, if you want, back to China, where the first playing cards were created. Texas Hold 'Em has been the game of choice for almost a century in its own right. While there have been variations of it that have come along and caught on, such as Omaha Hold 'Em and, to some extent, L. A. Hold 'Em, there has been little success in creating a new Hold 'Em game.
Anthony Coussa is looking to change that. The Staten Island, New York resident has created a new Hold 'Em game called "Triple Flop Hold 'Em". It is based on the conventional Texas Hold 'Em, but with an interesting twist. In the Texas game, players can use their two hole cards (one, both or neither) against a five-card board to make their best hand. In Triple Flop (with a nod to Omaha), the players MUST use three of the cards from a six card board (dealt in three sets of two) with their two hole cards. In addition, there is the (admittedly expensive) option for the player to buy a third hole card (still using just two of them) to create the best five card poker hand possible.
"I've been playing Texas Hold 'Em for nearly fifty years," Coussa said to me in an e-mail interview. "I always felt that there was something wrong with the game, in that the players could use only one, or even none, of their cards to make their hand. That leads to a lot of pot splitting. It almost becomes a mini-lottery of sorts. I also didn't like the factor that someone could start with an excellent hand, but then be spiked by a single deuce or a trey in another player's hand and be beaten (writer's note: think of the last time your pocket Aces picked up a pair of threes on the board and...well, you get the picture)," Coussa continued.
The game itself would be very interesting for both players and the casinos. Players would be more encouraged to stay in pots when they know that there are two more cards to come on each deal, rather than the one on the flop and river of Texas Hold 'Em. The additional "one card buy" option also adds into the mix. Although you have to make the decision before betting begins on the last round, it does make for some interesting decisions (do you try to make that open ended straight flush draw with the extra card?). Pots themselves would be sizeable, as more players would stay in to see each two cards of each segment.
The casinos would benefit by having another game to spread on their floors. As with the pots for the players, the rake for the casinos would go up as well, with more participants shooting the chips to the center of the felt. And the additional card option allows for the casinos to tap into that as well.
With a patent pending on Triple Flop Hold 'Em (and possibly two more games on the way), Coussa is optimistic about his invention. "I am confident that, once offered to the public, the reception will be positive. As we only released the game a couple of weeks ago, we haven't had a chance to speak with many gaming establishments regarding it. Time will tell which casinos and where will give it a shot."
Coussa is also realistic about the game, however. "I think that Triple Flop coexists well with Texas Hold 'Em, but I also understand there is resistance to change," he said. "Everyone has heard of books, songs and movies that were turned down by many people before someone took the chance, bought them and put them out. The rest, as they say, is history when they become successes."
The game has many possibilities, and Coussa is looking forward to what the poker community thinks of the game. "I believe it is more of a poker game than a lottery, as I believe that seven card is more of a poker game. I realize that the poker community is going to be the final judge and I am looking forward to seeing what happens." To learn more about the game, visit tripleflopholdem.com and be sure to let Anthony know what your views on the game are!
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