Thursday, 29 January 2009


I was introduced to a new game at Loose Cannon on Tuesday night - Tago - a new card game fresh in from Italy. As you'd expect, from a game devised by the Italians it has a fair amount of gamble in it, but also a decent element of skill.

There are rumours of a Tago cash game tonight at Loose Cannon, so if anyone fancies something a little different, you know where to go.

The rules are as follows:

There are 30 cards in the deck - three sets of numbers 1-8 + a "zero" and a "half". Each player gets dealt one down card and two up cards. The aim of the game is to get as close to the dealer (the "point") as possible with your three cards. However there are also some extra hand rankings, in order:

- Three Zeros
- "Copy" - i.e. you have exactly the same cards as the dealer
- Three of a kind of non-zeros
- "Value" - i.e. you have the same as the dealer
- Closest score to the "point", higher or lower

There are three rounds of betting:

1) When everyone has all three cards with one downcard
2) When the Dealer's downcard is exposed
3) When the players have checked their own downcard

There is a bring in at the start of the hand, and you cannot check, only bet, fold or raise. As a result of this, having the button is a big advantage. It's a no limit game as well, so the potential for bluffing is significant.

There are other rules as well, such as if you have a pocket pair you can count them as the sum of both, or zero, thus giving your hand greater flexibility. At an eight handed table, there will only be three cards not in play, so reminiscent of Stud, looking at the other players's upcards adds an element of strategy to proceedings.

Will it be a hit? Not sure, but I'm definitely interested in giving it a go for small stakes instead of my usual diet of Holdem and Omaha.

Speaking of Omaha, we played a low stakes 25p/50p game at LC after checking out the Tago table, and it went pretty well. I made £210 overall, and this was after losing two very sizeable pots. In the first one I had top pair plus a decent wrap against AA with no redraw and missed all my outs. In the second one I overplayed a medium set and had to give up on the river when the board didn't pair, after heavy action from two other players.

I guess the key thing was that I played both sensibly and reasonably soberly, and the outcome reflected that. Long may it continue.

I'm not sure if I can make it down to LC tonight to play my usual £50 tournament. I had to take yesterday off work with severe flu symptoms, and won't go unless I feel a lot better this afternoon. We shall see............would be a shame to miss the Tago though ;)

P&L GBP 2009
Live Tournaments (20)
Live Cash (113)
Online Tournaments (1,367)
Online Cash (164)
Poker Festivals 0
Rake (208)

Total (1,872)

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