September 4th, 2017
After the accidental (or possibly not) release of Flopomania earlier this year, anticipation has been building among the online poker community. Many players have been keen to get their hands on 888Poker's latest online variants of the classic Texas Hold’em. Whether or not the initial leak was a mistake or a clever marketing ploy, it's certainly helped to build interest.
The games are designed to increase speed of play and have a broader appeal. These new designs go hand-in-hand with 888's evolving approach to online poker, with the aim being to streamline play – making it more attractive to a wider audience. Now that it's been officially released, everyone can try their hand at this twist on Texas Hold’em!
The main feature of Flopomania is a simple one. There's no more compulsory small and big blind bets before the flop is revealed. Instead, all players now chip in the same initial bet, called the table ante. Once initial bets have been placed, the hole cards are dealt and the flop is opened straight away.
After that, the betting and game rules, and hand ranking, are the same as with Texas Hold’em. This not only makes the playing field even from the start, but it removes the waiting period before the game gets going. Many players understandably take their time weighing up their bets before the flop is turned.
This is something 888 wanted to change in order to speed games up. There's also Push or Fold Flopomania, which according to 888 is designed to 'make your life even easier'. This game mode gives players only one chance to bet per hand with a pre-defined sum. If no bet is being faced, then participants have to bet the table figure, or check.
If facing a bet, then it's a choice between calling the push amount or folding. Once a bet has been placed, no additional wagers can be put down during that hand. Again, this is a design choice that aims at speeding up player decision making in order to get games moving along, and at a faster pace.
The changes to the game made by these new releases may seem fairly minor, but there's no doubting the impact they have on play time – it’s much snappier. These alterations are all part of the wider 888 'buzzkill' strategy that the company started implementing in 2017.
The main goals are to increase game speed, reduce waiting times when playing, make games fairer, and increase winning chances for all players – all under the banner of 'Taking Back the Game'. It's certainly an interesting approach, and one that’s likely to increase both accessibility and player count.
Convenience and ease of play are becoming more and more in demand for online gaming in general, so it's no real surprise that 888 has taken this tack. They're not alone either. PokerStars has taken similar steps at limiting tanking by introducing new 'time to act' limits on tables.
Some players are certain to praise these new, streamlined game modes. There's no denying that tanking takes its toll on many online tables and it may put off newer players, or those who are only after a quick game. While limiting player decision time is one approach to reducing tanking, 888 has gone one step further by simply removing the root of the problem with Flopomania – the pre-flop betting.
The Push or Fold version goes even further by taking away almost all decision making when it comes to betting amounts. This can be seen as a good thing as it’s likely to widen the appeal of online games, as the concepts are boiled down and simple to understand. There's more time gaming and less time waiting for players.
On the other hand, some players may find these new alterations unwelcome. It could be argued that removing many of the key decisions is to the detriment of the game itself. Ultimately, both varieties of Flopomania may not be ideally suited to the veterans and professional players in this field. However, bringing new faces to the community isn’t a bad thing. Visit 888poker today to try the new games!