Would removing preflop make poker more fun?

Barry Carter looks at the upcoming 'Flopomania' format, which starts on the flop, and asks whether recreational players would prefer it?

888poker flopomania
Goodbye to the pesky flop

This week we revealed that 888poker accidentally launched a new format in their lobby for a few hours, before pulling it again. ‘Flopomania’, at least in the version that was leaked, was exactly like No Limit Hold’em but it started with the flop already dealt, so there was no preflop round, and everyone paid an Ante.

Clearly this is a game designed for recreational players. First of all it would greatly speed up the game, one less round is always going to mean more hands per hour, and preflop is arguably the slowest round, especially when grinders are multi-tabling.

It is also clearly an action game. So many hands will connect with the flop that would have never entertained putting money in before the flop (Expect lots of unexpected two pair type hands) and not to mention bigger pots because of the Antes.

Less streets, less skill?

poker flop
Would it be nitty or loose?

It will be interesting if this is considered a more or less skillful variant of poker. It will be much harder to put somebody on a hand because preflop is usually where we make our foundational assumptions of an opponent’s range. The preflop skill element of the game is removed, but perhaps even more skill is required to make decisions when the starting ranges are much wider?

This variant certainly addresses a common (incorrect) complaint from recreational players that preflop is often just a crapfest because of a tendency to go all-in before we even see the community cards. Casual players prefer seeing the flop, probably because of that strong cognitive bias we all have of wanting to see if we could have hit (even if it was a poor holding we would always be long term better off not playing).

However, there will also be a lot of polarising flops where realistic ranges are much easier to identify (Think monotone flops and paired boards). It could actually be a nittier version of the game if we end up assuming everyone who bets has close to the nuts, or at least two pair. 

A very different game?

888poker flopomania
Casual players want to see more flops

I’m yet to see Flopomania in action but as described it actually feels more like 5-card-draw or 2-7 Triple Draw to me rather than Hold’em, in that a complete five card hand is what you start with and then you have two streets to make it better. The difference being that most of those cards are shared.

It could go either way for me. I can certainly envisage casual players loving it, at least at the start, and having plenty of fun. I could also see it being a format like PLO where (for some) there is a constant fear of the nuts whenever any significant money is wagered.

Having said all that, I could actualluy see Flopomania working as a PLO variant instead, given that everybody is likely to connect a little bit from the get go. Probably not a game for the squeamish though.

Could you see Flopomania being fun? Let us know in the comments:

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Comments (11)

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  • atton64


    Sure Sure. No preflop means rake in every pot. :)
  • ShovingLoose


    I think it will be a tought game
  • IvicaIliev77


    The more they remove from standard holdem the less edge there is.
    Then there is no proflop = rake every pot which is the whole point of this game anyways.
  • Niktat0r


    Bedisdes of the rake increase it would "force" players to play more hands. But the backside is getting value with a good hand would be way harder. And what to do with the limping statistics of your tracker software? ;P
  • k0kki3


    Rake generator. Not fun. Would make more sense to add stud/draw games to lobby instead of inventing ridiculous new ones.
  • rompas


    reminds me of Natural 8s allin or fold Omaha game, where flop is layed out and people can decide to go allin or fold,,, in one way fun to play but big variance and hard to even be breakeven in long run,,,, so jackpott for the room...
  • Shadow01011979


    Very good idea... It can be a totally new game called FLOCKER!!!
  • tmannie


    Its worth a try it could be a lot of fun and I think a good way to practice from the flop on wards
  • tmannie


    Its worth a try it could be a lot of fun and I think a good way to practice from the flop on wards
  • tonypmm


    #6 I'd probably play the 888 version if there were a jackpot, but as it is, it's too dull. Recs will be folding when they have no or little connection with the flop, and their VPIPs will fall. Besides, this game is easier for bots than plain NLHE, not only for human players.
  • tonypmm


    The '% of players on showdown' numbers in the Natural8 lobby are telling - even despite the lower stack depth, the VPIP is lower in the flop-only PLO than in the preflop-only NLHE. Opening the flop before betting discourages action.