I've often wondered from where the name of Texas Hold 'Em came. How often have you played the odds and waited for decent cards to play and been beaten by a player who was playing garbage? It's not unusual for a pocket pair of Aces to get beaten with two small pairs. The frequency of this made me want to re-name the game to "Texas Flop 'Em." A lot of players in both low limit and high limit will play "no fold 'em hold 'em" just to see the flop. I know that when the antes and blinds are so large in tournaments, this attitude prevails. After all, the "Dolly Hand" (2, 10), works for Doyle Brunson. Some games are seldom played based on what players are holding. It becomes a matter of playing people vs. playing cards. The play often starts after the flop. In the end, it's the flop combined with what your hole cards that makes your hand. Often, when the flop comes, good hole cards become second best to players who have garbage to match the pot. In fact, players in late position have an advantage when there are a lot of bets before them. These bet are saying that the players before them have good cards. So, a call with garbage could have the right pot odds-at least to see the flop. With the right flop, the garbage hand could have the advantage over those players with good hole cards. How often does a small pair become trips?
So, as a research project for this article, I started to play what I call "Texas Flop 'Em" and others might call "Selected No Fold 'Em Hold 'Em." By that I mean that if I am in the blinds with at least one good card, I might even call a raise to see the flop. Secondly, if I am just to the right of the button or on the button, I definitely would do the same thing if no one has raised. However, even if someone raises and there are not many callers, I will still stay to see the flop. That was the plan for my research project. If the flop didn't help my hand, I'd lay it down to any bet. I know, I know, a lot of good players do this as a routine. After all, I learned this from players who would play with any two cards and beat my good cards. It was time for pay back!
What I discovered is the difference between playing your luck and playing the odds. Most of the hands that I would play in this experiment would have been poor odds, except for the hands where everyone checked and I had position. I still beat the players who where playing the odds and I was playing my luck. Of course, a lot of these players that I beat with my poor cards and great flops were players who had already played with me. They knew that I ordinarily played good starting cards. So, this change up probably helped.
When in position, this Texas Flop 'Em style was ripe for bluffing-particularly if you have a reputation for being a tight player. While I had a lot of fun with this "Flop 'Em Research," I made more money bluffing good players. Actually, when not bluffing, Texas Flop 'Em works better with loose players who are playing the same game themselves. So, whether you are holding them or flopping them, Texas Flop 'Em attempts to get all you can from each hand. That's what people are seeing in the big stakes tournaments and that's what new players are bringing to the game. As for me, I like Hold 'Em and will play Flop 'Em just to change up.