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Tue, Mar. 2nd, 2010, 07:04 am
A new card game

I came up with a new card game the other day. It's been play-tested a bunch, and is a lot of fun.

The Rules:

There are two players. A standard poker deck is shuffled, and sixteen cards are dealt out face up, eight to each player. Both players get to stare at the cards for a while.

Each player then gathers up their eight cards and sets aside four of the eight cards for the other player. They then exchange the cards they've set aside for each other. Each player then forms the best poker hand they can with any five of the eight cards in their hand, and the one with the better hand wins.

That's the entirety of the rules. What makes play interesting is that if you can guess what cards your opponent will keep there's almost always a set of cards you can set aside which will make you win.

Tue, Mar. 2nd, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)

Anaconda variant. One of my favorite card games!

Was there specific reasoning for the numbers you chose? Or does it just seem to play well that way?

Tue, Mar. 2nd, 2010 07:38 pm (UTC)

I think I was inspired by chinese poker (I woke up thinking about the idea, so the beginning of my thought process was kind of lost) but yeah, it somewhat resembles Anaconda for two players.

It just seems to play well with those numbers. Keeping only four makes it possible to keep most of a straight or flush, which makes it possible to reason very specifically about what the opponent might hand over. Passing more cards results in an excess of strong hands, which makes the game less fun to play. In principle one could write a script to check what the probabilities are of one side having an unbeatable set of cards to hold with various numbers of cards held and passed, but I haven't done that, and the question of 'how interesting is it' isn't really well defined.