May 01, 2012
So I tested out the NL variant that I wrote about (no pocket pairs and turn and river come at once) in a home-game tournament. We played 5-handed and the game pretty quickly got out of the muck. Normally, these players would play very tight, with a lot of opening and folding preflop.
A flop was seen most hands, with a river being seen fairly often too. People would peel a lot of hands pre, basically any ace, any good king, any connector, and some random suited hands. Flop chasing was the norm, with people peeling one over plus backdoor flush draw, bare gutshots, or just ace high hands.
The frequent river action was interesting. It meant more bluffs and more decisions. People who chased would often try to rep something. Both players' ranges were less well defined as a result of there being less streets of action, as well as hands being weaker.
3-betting preflop was interesting, because it's hard to not give away your hand too much and allow someone to call, see a flop a pair on a non-high-card board and feel good. It seems necessary to balance by sometimes calling strong hands more often.
Unfortunately we weren't playing cash so the blinds got short, but it still remained more interesting than NLHE. Calling pre was a viable option still even when under 20BBs, and there was a lot of raise/calling going on.
Overall, the game just had way more action, more decisions, more situations for people to make mistakes. I would recommend playing it if you set up a homegame instead of NL.