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Poker mechanics in board games

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sedjtroll
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Johan suggested that Poker will be a popular theme in 2006, and I'm tempted to agree. Texas Hold'em has become widely popular, at least here in the states, and it's already starting to show through in the board game world with the recent release of Vegas Showdown. VS has a poker/casino theme, but the mechanics are bidding, not betting. I started thinking about how poker mechanics could be used in a board game, and here's what crossed my mind...

1. I just posted another thread about a Rounders card game. The movie Rounders is all about Texas Hold'em, so the obvious tie-in game there would be to simply play Hold'em... but I thought why not approach it a different way? Mike McDermit is the hero, and like in Beowulf, the player are cooperating to get him through a series of challenges on his way to the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. I'm not sure what the actual mechanics would be, but they'd probably involve constructing some configuration of cards such that Mike wins the hand, or at least he doesn't lose much in any hand, and wins big hands to eventually win enough cash to move on to the next episode. The game would be cooperative in that everyone want's Mike to succeed, but it should be disallowed to talk about what you've got, or what should be played. With the possible exception of counting cards, this still isn't using poker mechanics in a game.

2. A different idea alltogether... In an effort to use poker mechanics in a game, I thought maybe players could try to construct the best poker hand they can by first 'producing' cards, then trading with opponents (trades should all be face up), cashing in poker hands for actions such as the ability to control the Flop, Turn, and River for example, or to raise a bet perhaps. There could be an analog to Caylus' Castle building, where players can choose to participate in a hand of poker, and those that do end up revealing the poker hand they've assembled and the highest hand gets some bonus. I don't know how to theme this so that it makes any kind of sense. I figure that like Havoc: The Hundred Years War, the poker hand mechanics will simply not reflect the theme at all. Might still make for an interesting mechanic though.

- Seth

Triktrak
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Poker mechanics in board games

I heard the game "Tichu" is sort of a combo between Poker and Rummy. You may want to take a look at that. It's has a very loyal following.

I'm wondering if this whole Texas Hold'em popularity is just a fad, like Backgammon was in the 70's and Mancala was in the 90's.

scopa
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Joined: 09/29/2008
Poker mechanics in board games

Wasn't there an early Alan Moon game which used something like the poker mechanic? I think it was called "Pony Express".

jwieringo
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Poker mechanics in board games

sedjtroll wrote:
Texas Hold'em has become widely popular, at least here in the states

This is very true. My friends and I frequently hold a poker night where we play Texas Hold'em with a usual pot of 70 dollars. It's great fun and a great game if you have an urge for the casino.

sedjtroll wrote:
A different idea alltogether... In an effort to use poker mechanics in a game, I thought maybe players could try to construct the best poker hand they can by first 'producing' cards, then trading with opponents (trades should all be face up), cashing in poker hands for actions such as the ability to control the Flop, Turn, and River for example, or to raise a bet perhaps. There could be an analog to Caylus' Castle building, where players can choose to participate in a hand of poker, and those that do end up revealing the poker hand they've assembled and the highest hand gets some bonus. I don't know how to theme this so that it makes any kind of sense. I figure that like Havoc: The Hundred Years War, the poker hand mechanics will simply not reflect the theme at all. Might still make for an interesting mechanic though.

I like the sound of this design. Themewise, the setting could be the wild west. I once a book about the card counting tricks of gamblers in the west. They were well devised, but if caught the penalty was death. Anyways, I envision a game of wild west poker. With a name like Card Wranglers or something similar (or completely different). At first, each player would use their own money to bid on different cards. Then if the players wanted, they could trade their cards with others. Trading would be done openly, though, so that all players could see what the others are recieving or giving.

Everything would be mostly like your original idea. Players would cash in cards to control different aspects of the game and so on, and so forth.

Quote:
There could be an analog to Caylus' Castle building, where players can choose to participate in a hand of poker, and those that do end up revealing the poker hand they've assembled and the highest hand gets some bonus.

The reward could be the pot or maybe a wild card. Players would have to place money into the pot to go on, just like in regular Texas Hold'em. Winners gain the pot which in turn, allows them to buy more cards the next round.

All in all, its pretty much the original design you worked up with my wild west theme. Both designs (1 and 2) sound good though, so really its your pick.

Have fun and keep me/us updated!

JackDarwid
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Poker mechanics in board games

Maybe you want to check Deadlands : DoomTown ( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/1037 ), a CGG that uses Poker Mechanic to resolve Combat and many people tell that the game is very good. I've never played this CCG, but really want to try.

And, Wizkids new game : http://www.wizkidsgames.com/hsd/

CDRodeffer
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Joined: 08/04/2008
Cow Poke

Dralius helped me play test Cow Poke last spring. It combines Poker with a sort of Mancala where order matters.

http://tinyurl.com/8apqj

Clark

boardgamegeezer
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Good

Poker mechanics for game play is pretty good
Simple and poke right now like Texas Holdem is really really popular.

I hope to bring a game out in about a year
BGG

BoB3K
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Poker mechanics in board games

Havoc: the Hundred Years War is a war card game where the "battles" are really just a round of poker. I bought it but haven't had a chance to play it yet.

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/19363

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