PokerStars Launches New Poker Variant, Unfold Hold’em
PokerStars has released a new poker variant allowing players to fight for money even after folding.
The online poker company has launched Unfold Hold’em, one of its newest titles similar to Texas hold’ em. The new poker variant lets players compete using their discarded hands for the Unfold side bet.
PokerStars claims that the Unfold pot—the side bet exclusively for those who folded in a game—is the poker industry’s first.
Severin Rasset, director of Poker Innovation and Operations at PokerStars, said:
“This has never been done before. Unfold means more action and opportunities for players, reducing the all too familiar sinking feeling of making the correct pre-flop lay down, only to then find you would have flopped the nuts. We’re very excited to offer something new and completely different.”
The card game is now available in a number of PokerStars’ poker websites, including its European, British, and Danish domains.
Fold and Win
Unfold Hold’em would start like a standard Texas hold ‘em round. However, players would need to pay an Unfold ante at the start of each hand. These initial stakes form what would become the Unfold pot. The game would collect the antes only if there are at least four gamblers playing in the room.
Players who folded their hand can decide whether to compete for the Unfold pot. To compete for the side bet, they have to pay the amount equal to the Unfold pot. Then, the game would proceed with gameplay similar to a normal round of Texas hold’ em.
Players who folded their hands would watch and wait until someone from the group of remaining gamblers wins the main pot. Only then would the game determine who won the Unfold pot. The player who has the highest five-card combination receives the Unfold pot.
However, the game would refund the Unfold antes to the players if it reaches one of these scenarios: if the game has been decided before the flop, if less than two players folded their hands pre-flop, or if no one decided to play for the Unfold pot.
The poker community, both amateur and professional, welcomed the new offering from PokerStars, noting that the game would help players avoid the feeling of regret after folding what would become a table-winning hand. Some community members were renowned online poker icons, including a German mathematics major and a medal-winning former Dutch women’s field hockey player.
Felix Schneiders, PokerStars Ambassador, said:
“There’s been so many times at the tables where I’ve wished I could go back and unfold my hand when I’ve realized I’ve hit a winner and now I can actually do it, which is super exciting! It’s a really engaging format and keeps players entertained and sweating it out in the side pot. I think it’ll also be very funny to stream on my channel and I can’t wait to show my community.”
Fatima de Melo, another PokerStars Ambassador, added:
“I feel way more comfortable folding hands knowing that there’s great potential to hop on to the Unfold pot if I want to. I remember playing a World Series of Poker event about five years ago and I folded threes preflop and the other players went all-in with aces against queens, and I would have won the hand with a set of threes! This was for the chip lead and I was like ‘oh my god, why did I fold?’ Well, I had to fold because they went all in pre-flop. But the Unfold button would have definitely been nice there!”
Interested gamblers can play PokerStars’ new Unfold Hold’em, together with Texas hold ’em and other poker variants, on the PokerStars software.