Update 2016 WSOP. Nevada Gaming has approved this game to be spread. It has been renamed Drawmaha.
My normal home game tends to experiment with non-hold’em games. We are all roughly the same level of skill, so it tends to be a measure of who is feeling luckiest on any given night. Because of that, we basically scared out all of the novice players that would come to the game. We ended up playing “Dealer’s Choice” with a strong culture of making up games. “Three flop PLO with only one turn, but three rivers” and other non-sense would be played and quickly forgotten. One of the games however has real legs. Credit to Todd Flannagan for this one. Maybe others have invented this also, but Google could not find it documented anywhere. This is a great game and one that I think could be spread in casinos with great success.
Here are the rules:
- Post blinds
- Deal four cards to each player
- A round of betting just like Omaha or any other button game
- Draw One of Three: Just like Badugi, you now get a draw
- A round of betting
- Draw Two of Three: Just like Badugi, you get a second draw
- A round of betting
- Draw Three of Three: Final Badugi draw
- Final round of betting
- Showdown: Half the pot to best Badugi hand, half the pot to the best Omaha High hand.
Why do we love this game? It is an action game with lots of meaningful decisions to be made at every point in the game. With each draw you have important decisions. Each street is like a brand new hand. It is entirely reasonable to stand pat on the first draw, draw three after the flop, then draw three on the turn. As the board changes and your draws occur, the direction of your hand can change wildly. You might start with a very flexible Omaha hand so stand pat:
With a pair of Aces, double suited with Broadway and wheel draws it seems wise to see the flop as is.
Wow, we whiffed that flop in every possible way. Our Omaha only hand just went south. Save an Ace Deuce and try for a Badugi. We draw:
and the board comes
Isn’t this a jam? We have a terrible Badugi hand, but we have a dubious trips that can become nutted for Omaha. God Save the Queen, pitch the rest, and try and boat up!
You can see how flexibility, and continued flexibility, is an asset in this game. We have not even gotten into complexities of betting and how it effects everything. Part of the beauty of this game is that none of us have a clue what we are doing. We have played enough to know it is possible to scoop and that the miracle “draw three on the Turn” move is reasonable also. It makes poker more recreational again because we are all fish at this game. It seems to focus more on drawing than betting. It has some exciting changes of direction. We encourage you to try it at your more advanced home games. If you can find a cardroom crazy enough to deal it, let me know.