Best way to introduce Circus Games?

Himewad

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Group buy cards mold ceramic cash chips? CHECK! :cool

Group buy circus games card deck? CHECK! :cool

Stubborn players who don't like to play anything but Texas Hold'em? CHECK! :cry:

This is my dilemna. I have a difficult time getting my players to even play Omaha. How the hell am I supposed to get them to play these circus games? I have a couple of ideas, but I would like to hear from the PCF community about the best way to introduce a wider variety of games to our poker nights.

First of all, I plan to keep the stakes low. Just a 5c/10c microstakes game, which is equivalent to our 100/200 opening blinds in our typical T40,000 tournaments.

Second, I think the first night (and maybe 2 or 3 nights) should use games that are varations of Texas Hold'em:
  • Texas Hold'em Double Board
  • Super Hold'em
  • Pineapple (and it's many sub-species)
  • Sheshe
Then, once they get used to playing slightly different games, go to the Omaha games and its many versions. For now, I plan to leave the "draw" and "stud" games on the shelf.

Any other suggestions?
 

Highli99

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Limit poker is perfect for circus games. I highly recommend because no one can make stack losing decisions.

Your approach seems good although Omaha variants like dramaha and SOHE are my favorites.
 

mattross1313

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Following.
Be good to hear thoughts as I want to introduce circus games when I start hosting again. Early conversations aren't going well with some of the OMCs in my group, even PLO scares them!
 

Himewad

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Limit poker is perfect for circus games. I highly recommend because no one can make stack losing decisions.

Your approach seems good although Omaha variants like dramaha and SOHE are my favorites.

Personally, I enjoy Omaha. And the people at my game aren't idiots. But the fact that you MUST play two cards from your four just destroys them. I don't get it.
 

Saoliver

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I feel your pain. Before COVID, I tried to introduce a rotation of split pot limit games with my regular crew. I sought advice here. Made a solid beginner rotation. Let everyone know ahead of time that we were playing limit split pot games. EVERYONE showed up! A regular even brought a noob friend.

Well...the noob was adamant that he was the best damn hold'em player in the world...but would only play hold'em. His friend backed him, and everyone else went along with hold'em only, because they didn't want to piss off the noob. So instead, I was pissed. This asshole even went on to challenge someone to fight him in the alley.

I would rather find a new group to play with than the sticks in the mud that I have been playing with for the last 10 to 20 years. Or maybe I can just move to Boise and crush @Josh Kifer game on the regular.
 

Shaggy

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I started my players out with a PLO tournament. Low buy-in. This allowed my players to get exposed to the game with a fixed amount of risk. After that (future games), we would play an hour of PLO (cash) before our regular Hold'Em cash game. I had an easier time introducing Limit Stud and Razz to my players because they are older and played stud games growing up. I just introduced those as one hour games before my NLHE cash game. Once we had all those under our belts, I had a HORSE cash game. After a few of those, we steadily introduced a few more games... Badugi, Drawmaha, 2-7 Triple Draw. Now we will have the occasional 10-game mix.

You might consider an hour of pineapple before your normal cash game.

Regarding the must use exactly two cards from your hand in PLO... I just remind players of that a lot during the hand... specifically when the board has four to a flush or is two-paired. I am not directing the statement to anyone... or implying that a certain person has a certain hand... just helping to clarify the rules. I don't do this any longer, just something I did for the players that struggled with it.
 

Josh Kifer

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My group was against circus games. So we made it now during our weekly tourneys, we do a blind of Holdem and a blind of circus games rotating. It limits losses from the wider play and got the group into the games. Now, everyone is a fan of most anything. It took a few years, but it works.

We do
100/200 - Holdem
150/300 - Circus
200/400 - Holdem
300/600 - Circus
400/800 - Holdem
600/1200 - Circus

Then holdem the rest of the right. Gets some play, but allows Holdem to be the "Main game".

@Saoliver when are you going to start crushing our game? Was the first few times losses to "rope us in?".......
 

Highli99

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In my experience exposing holdem players to Omaha is like exposing alcoholics to high proof bourbons. Or heroine. They get a taste and won’t stop coming back. So much more money in pots and far less folding pre. What’s not to love?

once they have Omaha down it opens up a world of circus stuff.
 

Himewad

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I like the idea of a low buy-in Omaha tournament. As for Pineapple, what version is the most popular?
 

Old State

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Circus games was what poker was when I was young…and I hated it. Prevented me from seriously getting into the game for years. It wasn’t until I was taught straight up stud that I actually liked the game.
 
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Saoliver

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My group was against circus games. So we made it now during our weekly tourneys, we do a blind of Holdem and a blind of circus games rotating. It limits losses from the wider play and got the group into the games. Now, everyone is a fan of most anything. It took a few years, but it works.

We do
100/200 - Holdem
150/300 - Circus
200/400 - Holdem
300/600 - Circus
400/800 - Holdem
600/1200 - Circus

Then holdem the rest of the right. Gets some play, but allows Holdem to be the "Main game".

@Saoliver when are you going to start crushing our game? Was the first few times losses to "rope us in?".......
2 for 2 with big wins in the cash games.

Tournaments are stupid.* :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:

*Tournaments are not stupid. I would love to host a HORSE (or similar) tournament.
 

inca911

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Three-Hand-HoldEm is the gateway drug you need.

F604F755-C07B-4D8C-9F55-FE64C0224E92.jpeg
 

Suited Connector

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I think people just get used to something and fear change. I could not get a game of anything but hold'em going, so finally I was just like we are going to try some "variations of hold'em." We played hold'em, double board hold'em, Pineapple, crazy Pineapple, and super hold'em. It was fun because we were all learning the games together. My players love to gamble and can't get enough of the Circus games now. So much so, that every other game we only play hold'em and a few of them complain about it.
 

Coyote

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As for Pineapple, what version is the most popular?
A personal invention of mine, reminiscent of old Greek or "Tight" Hold'em (as referred to by Doyle Brunson himself, meaning both hole cards obligatory) is Cuckoo Hold'em.
[Slim Cuckoo was the local name for Tight Hold'em, while the Fat one was a version with three useable hole cards, where hell broke loose].

In mainstream American terms it could be called "Crazy Tight Pineapple" 'cause you get 3 hole cards and discard one upon seeing the flop (before betting on it). The remaining 2 hole cards are both obligatory to use.
It could also be described as 3-card Omaha turning into 2-card Omaha.
It doesn't cause any significant bloodshed in relation to TXHE and can be played NL without any problem. Just for the sake of variety.

Now, "Super Hold'em" reminds me of the defunct Fat Cuckoo here, but it's too volatile.
At least, in the Fat Cuckoo the maximum of three hole cards was useable, but there was also a minimum of two hole cards to be used.

With a maximum of three and a minimum of two hole cards to be used, you 'd better deal just a three-card board, in three betting rounds, one community card in each.
I can come up with names for that, from the treasures of Greek tradition, if you wish. :)
 

CrazyEddie

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I feel your pain. Before COVID, I tried to introduce a rotation of split pot limit games with my regular crew. I sought advice here. Made a solid beginner rotation. Let everyone know ahead of time that we were playing limit split pot games. EVERYONE showed up! A regular even brought a noob friend.

Well...the noob was adamant that he was the best damn hold'em player in the world...but would only play hold'em. His friend backed him, and everyone else went along with hold'em only, because they didn't want to piss off the noob. So instead, I was pissed. This asshole even went on to challenge someone to fight him in the alley.
Wow, what a story. Sorry it happened.

I think you made a colossal strategic error in not holding the line and telling your regular's friend that he can play or sit out as he pleases but tonight in your house you're spreading exactly what you said you would.
 

Beakertwang

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Invite other degenerate PCF’ers from to come fill seats and play some 6-card double board Draw2maha hi/lo.

@IaHawk, you in?
 

Himewad

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Invite other degenerate PCF’ers from to come fill seats and play some 6-card double board Draw2maha hi/lo.

@IaHawk, you in?
Their minds would literally explode

I decided to have dinner this weekend with one of my good friends (who is a regular at my game), and I'm going to talk to him about my plan to slowly introduce new games. Maybe I'll invite one more, as well. I feel like if I have people supporting me, it will make it easier.
 

Old State

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I’ve played 98% Holdem for the last 20 years and have never gotten bored from it. It’s quite possibly the greatest game ever invented. The other 2% is stud…so long ago I forget how to bet. Not one of my poker groups has ever even asked to play anything else. I do know a few play Omaha at the casino but all straight poker‍
 

AWenger

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I played in a game last month that had an unusual way to mix in a few hands of another game -- they played all no-limit hold'em for the first 2 hours, then after the first two hours, they played 2 hands of pot limit omaha (PLO) per orbit.

The way they kept tracked it was with a separate button/marker they gave to one person to keep in front of his chip stack, and when the dealer button got around the table to that person, they put the PLO marker/button next to or on top of the dealer button. Then the first hand of PLO was dealt. Then the button & PLO marker both moved together to the next person, and the second hand of PLO was dealt. After that the PLO button/marker stayed with that person until the Dealer button came back around the table.

Early conversations aren't going well with some of the OMCs in my group, even PLO scares them!
A funny thing in the game above, there was one regular player who sat out all the PLO hands -- they didn't even deal him in, he didn't complain about it, no one complained about him not playing, and everyone was fine with it -- it just seemed to be his (strong) preference to not play PLO. I think when he was the blinds in PLO, he just skipped them and then posted the blinds when it was NL again. [IIRC, that player wasn't that old, so maybe he could be called a YMC - 'young man coffee'.]
 

Saoliver

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I’ve played 98% Holdem for the last 20 years and have never gotten bored from it. It’s quite possibly the greatest game ever invented. The other 2% is stud…so long ago I forget how to bet. Not one of my poker groups has ever even asked to play anything else. I do know a few play Omaha at the casino but all straight poker‍
Username checks out. ;)
 

MrCatPants

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When I introduced O8 to my players, I did limit as a lot of people suggested. My players quickly learned they hated limit poker, and it took a while for me to get them to try O8 again but with smaller blinds and starting buy-ins. Then they loved it and an occasional circus night grew from there.

They really didn't like not being able to bet people off hands/make big bluffs/etc. in fixed limit.
 

WhiteMamba1646

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We also have had some reg's that are strictly "holdem only" player's. What i found was i would introduce em to games that were not far off from holdem to start or simple Omaha variation's. the key is, if they win for the first time they play then they are hooked, if they lose then they blame it on not being holdem lol. i think it comes down to "fear of change". because once you learn all of the variation's you will never want to go back to playing hold em. its rare that i have a holdem game anymore because the fact that most our player's only like dealer's choice. Current favorite is Scarney for me. Big O or Dramaha are other fan favorites. but once you learn the other games holdem becomes boring. not much to think about when your use to having 5 or 6 card's in your hand. And the pot's are wayyy more enticing with the mixed games. In our league this year we even have a few circus game tournaments added into it to add some flavor to the league. #TeamDealer'sChoice all the way lol

Pineapple - Double Board H/E or Super H/E - SHESHE - SOHE - 3-1-1 - Big - O are some of the games that you could start with that will open the door for them before introducing Scrotum - Scarney(regular or Half Point) - BooRay - Tic-Tac-Toe - Serpentine - CrissCross - games like that.
 

Steppenwolf

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We also have had some reg's that are strictly "holdem only" player's.
Other than some childhood penny poker, my first time playing any of these mixed games was at a game hosted by @wonderpuddle . Since then, he and @WhiteMamba1646 have introduced me to a whole new world of poker. I lost my a$$ the first couple of times, and I was the fish who called hold em on my deal, just to take a breather from the madness. I'm still learning, but I must admit now I absolutely love the variety mixed games offer, and a hand of hold em can fall pretty flat when mixed into the rotation.

Now that a couple of us have had our cherries popped, we're trying to get more of our crew into mixing it up. I think we are going to add five or ten cent fracs to a couple of sets to play micro stakes and lower the pressure for noobs to jump in.
 

MatthewTreeTree

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Trying out a 2/3/4/5 hole card circus game soon.

Dealers Choice but all the games get introduced when the cards start flying. Hold’em styled games played fixed limit.

You deal out 2 cards, 3 cards, 4 cards, or 5 cards to each player, and that determines the game we play.

Hold’em, Lazy Pineapple, Omaha Hi, and 5-Card Omaha

Simple as that. I’m hoping the games are pretty randomized.
 

chicubs1988

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As someone who just played them for the first time last weekend, I’d recommend starting with something “simple.” So try something like Super Holdem (pot limit) or something that is still relatively familiar, but introduces one or two new things, like a double board or an extra card. That’s a good way to get people out of their comfort zone without them feeling overwhelmed
 
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When my group play cash game, we play a Circus hand every orbit+1.
We roll a die and and the possible options are: Pineapple, Crazy Pineapple, Lazy Pineapple, Bomb Pot, Double Board, Ocean. All of them, no limit.
We also have the 7Deuce rule.
Every hand we play we take from the pot 1xBB that goes into a Jackpot jar: that's the price for the "High Hand" of the night.
These are just simple twist of Hold'em but everyone really likes them.
I'm planning to introduce more games like Super Hold'em, SHESHE and some crazier version of Pineapple.

WhatsApp Image 2021-02-20 at 12.30.20.jpeg
(Die is just a prototype...)
 
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