Off-hours pirates love to gamble. In Poker, pirates risk money in a series of betting rounds. The risked money each hand is won by the player still in the round with the best hand. Hand after hand ye build yer treasure! Or lose it. This is Poker!
Rank of the Cards
A standard pack of 52 cards is used. The cards, in each suit, rank from highest to lowest: A, K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2. Suit does not affect a card's rank. An ace may be counted as high or low.
A pirate has to commit some money (buy in) in order to begin playing in a poker game. Games typically have limits on minimum and maximum amounts a player may use to buy into them. Ye can cash out, take yer winnings and leave the table at any time.
The variant of poker used in Puzzle Pirates is Texas Hold-Em. In this game, a player's hand is formed by taking the best five cards from a combination of the two cards they are dealt (their hole cards) and the five shared cards that are dealt to the table.
A hand begins with the players to the left of the dealer (marked by the Dealer Button ) making a forced bet called a "blind." The amount of the blind depends upon the stakes of the game, and determine minimum bets. With the blinds on the table, everyone is dealt their two cards. Based on just these two cards, the table has a round of bets. After the betting is finished, three cards, called the "flop", are dealt to the middle of the table. These new cards are community cards, so they help everyone's existing two cards in trying to make a good hand. There's a new round of bets, as everyone's hand is fleshing out. The fourth community card, called the "turn", is dealt, followed by another round of betting. Then the final community card, the "river", is dealt, and the last round of betting takes place based on the poker hands that can be made with any of those five community cards and a player's own two cards.
Throughout this process, if ever there is only one player left, through everyone else folding, he is the winner and claims the pot, without even revealing his hand. However, if after the final round there are still two or more players keeping up the betting, a showdown occurs to determine the winner or winners, and the pot is distributed accordingly. This showdown is where all acting players' cards are revealed, and everyone sees who has the best hand. Folded cards are never revealed.
During a betting round, the betting options go around the table, starting to the left of the dealer (with the Dealer button). Players who had to place blinds are considered to have already bet that amount. The betting continues around the table until each player has had a chance to respond to the last bet increase by matching, raising, or folding. At the end of a round, all bets are collected into the pot and the next community cards are dealt, or the showdown concludes the hand.
When it is a player's turn to bet, a player takes one of several different actions:
- Fold - The player withdraws from the hand, and discards his cards. Anything the player has bet remains on the table to be won by someone else.
- Check - If a player has already bet the amount of the highest bet on the table, a player may check. No additional bet is added and the turn will move to the next player.
- Call - The player meets the current high bet and stays in the hand. Whatever money is required to meet the current high bet is added.
- Bet - If no one has yet bet any money this round, a player may elect to place a bet his choosing. How much may be bet is dependent upon the stakes of the game.
- Raise - If a player has already placed a bet during this betting round, another player may make a raise by matching that player's bet and adding an additional amount beyond it. How much may be raised is dependent upon the stakes of the game.
If the high bet during a round becomes so high that a player can't match it, that player is always still allowed to go All In. His entire amount is placed as a bet (no matter how little), and they will take no further actions this hand. If the player loses the hand, his amount is forfeit and they must leave the table. If the player wins, he may win only as much as if each player had matched his bet. If this does not empty the pot, other players still in the showdown compare hands to decide the winner of the remaining amount.
Ye only have so long to decide yer action. If ye don't take yer action within the time allowed, you're assumed to check, if possible, or fold if not. If yer timer ever runs out, yer next timer will be faster, and faster, to speed along inactive players. The scallywags!
Everyone still in the hand after the final betting round has a showdown. Each player reveals his or her hand, and the player with the highest poker hand formed between the shared cards and their hole cards wins the pot. Ties are split amongst the winners. The pot may also be divided if one or more of the players in the showdown were all in.
The types of hands, listed here in order of their rank are:
- Royal Flush - 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace, all of the same suit. Nothing beats it.
- Straight Flush - 5 cards in sequence, all of the same suit. Between two straight flushes, the one with a higher high card wins.
- Four of a Kind - 4 cards of the same rank. Between two four of a kinds, the set of the highest ranked cards wins.
- Full House - 3 cards of one rank, 2 cards of another. Between two full houses, the one with the higher set of three like-ranked cards wins.
- Flush - 5 cards of the same suit. Between two flushes, the one with the highest-ranked card wins. If these are equal, the next-highest card is compared.
- Straight - 5 cards in sequence. Between two straights, the one with a higher high card wins.
- Three of a Kind - 3 cards of one rank. Between two three of a kinds, the one with a higher ranked set of 3 cards wins.
- Two Pair - 2 cards of one rank, 2 of another rank. Between two two pairs, the one with the highest ranked pair wins. If these are equal, the other pairs are compared, then the rank of the fifth card.
- One Pair - 2 cards of one rank. Between two pairs, the one with the highest ranked pair wins. If these are equal, the other cards are compared in order of rank.
- High Card - If a hand does not meet the requirements of any other type of hand, it is just ranked by its highest ranked card. If the two highest cards are equal, the next highest are compared and so on.