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The game of poker is always evolving and players are constantly looking for the latest and greatest new poker game. Many new games are introduced to the general poker public after gaining popularity among high stakes pros.

In the last few years, 2-7 Triple Draw, Badugi, Badacey and Badeucy are a few examples of games that were enjoyed in nosebleed games and subsequently worked their way down to low stakes.

Recently, a game that has gain popularity among high stakes pros is 2-7 Triple Draw variant known as Duck Flush.

Rules for Duck Flush Poker

While Duck Flush poker is similar to 2-7 Triple Draw, it has one major difference that’s earned favor among high rollers. The game has a high hand element. This means that if you have a flush or higher and none of your opponents have a higher hand, you win. Low hands only play if a high hand is not available.

In standard Triple Draw, you must have a non-pairing five-card hand in order to win the pot. Straights and flushes count against your hand and aces are always high. This means the best hand is 7-5-4-3-2.

With Duck Flush, when there’s a hand of a flush or higher, all low hands become losers. You can have a #1 and someone with a baby flush will win this hand.

Keep in mind that straights do not play in this game at all. You must have a flush or higher to win high and straights still kill your low.

Basic Strategy for Duck Flush Poker

At first glance, you would think that the optimal strategy for this game would be to play for high hands whenever possible. While one can see the logic in this, it is far from the optimal strategy.

You need to approach starting hand in this game the same way as you would if you were playing Stud Hi-Lo or Omaha Hi-Lo. This means you want a starting hand that gives you the best odds of making either hand.

The most obvious starting hands would be three or four low cards to a flush. This hand allows you to draw to a flush but still back into a solid low hand if you miss your flush. With these hands, you’re looking for three and four card low flushes with your top card being a seven or eight.

If you’re going to draw to a one-way hand, you’re going to want to draw to a low hand over a high hand. A low hand always has a chance to winning where nothing short of a flush can win a high hand. You’re going to want to draw one card three times with your two pair or two cards with your trips, but if you miss, you can’t win either side. These hands play better in big pots where you have the pot odds to make those thin draws.

Game of the Future?

Duck Flush poker definitely has the potential to move down from the high roller ranks in the near future. It is a game that generates action and each hand has the potential for big pots. Also, it is a break from the monotony of Texas Hold’em.

Once PokerStars or another major online site start to offer this game online, the popularity will grow and the general poker public will start demanding its spread in their local casino and in major poker events. As PokerStars goes, so does the rest of the poker world.

James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.