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Card Drafting Odds question

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GTRichardson
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I'm working on a card drafting game that will utilize the classic poker hand hierarchy:
Pair
Three of a Kind
Straight
Flush
Full House
Four of a Kind
Straight Flush

and i'm trying to work out if the order of importance should stay the same. Does anyone know how Drafting cards instead of getting a random hand will affect how hard it is for someone to make these classic groupings?

any help will be much appreciated, Thanks!

Jay103
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GTRichardson wrote:and i'm

GTRichardson wrote:
and i'm trying to work out if the order of importance should stay the same. Does anyone know how Drafting cards instead of getting a random hand will affect how hard it is for someone to make these classic groupings?

any help will be much appreciated, Thanks!


Can you define exactly what you mean by drafting?

I'm pretty sure there isn't a static answer, because people can "go for" different things.

questccg
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Card Auction

Jay103 wrote:
Can you define exactly what you mean by drafting?

I think what he means is some kind of "Auction" mechanic versus random draw of cards. Maybe from a central area of the table (sort of like a card market).

I could be mistaken... But from what he has said, that's the impression that I get!

Jay103
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questccg wrote:Jay103

questccg wrote:
Jay103 wrote:
Can you define exactly what you mean by drafting?

I think what he means is some kind of "Auction" mechanic versus random draw of cards. Maybe from a central area of the table (sort of like a card market).

I could be mistaken... But from what he has said, that's the impression that I get!


Well, I know the general idea, but if you're looking for probabilities, the exact mechanic is very important...

Jay103
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Okay, I'll give a partial

Okay, I'll give a partial answer without actually knowing the question. In particular, what "drafting" means in this instance, and why it matters what the "order of importance" is are both key (is there a payoff and you need to know how to assign points? Does it only matter what beats what..?)

There are two sub-trees here.

Pair-2Pair-\
................-Full House
Pair-3Kind-/--4Kind

Straight-\
..............-Straight Flush
Flush----/

Starting with a pair gives you a lot of choices for advancement.
Starting with a few cards that make a partial straight does not.

In the former case, AA improves if you pick another A, or any pair. A straight of flush attempt is hard to complete (depending on what the drafting looks like) and maybe converts to a pair or 2 pair, but you've blocked out a lot of possible outcomes as soon as your JT9 is forced to add a 2.

So, based on what the drafting looks like, you PROBABLY need to have slightly higher-than-normal rewards for completed straights or flushes, to compensate for getting screwed on all your failed attempts.

GTRichardson
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Sorry for not giving enough

Sorry for not giving enough information, the type of drafting the game will employ is where everyone has a hand of cards that all have actions on them, everyone chooses a card from their hand of 10 action cards, plays it simultaneously and then pass their hand to the player on their left. now they have a hand of 9 action cards and play continues in the same way till all players have played 10 cards.

Where my question comes into play is that each of these cards will also have a number (1-10) and suit. each play their tableau grows, and as an added tactical play they can match their current played card with previous played cards to make a poker hand. So for exaple if they were going to use action A. and in their hand they have 3 Action A. Cards they would want to play the one with say a 3 of clubs on it, because they have already played two other actions with the 3 of hearts and spades. this would give them on this play a Three of a kind which might grant them a special power or bonus points.

So imagine the game was a normal deck of cards A-10. you draft from a hand an action that is linked to a suit. So you select a card that is Clubs so you can hurt your opponent for 2 points of damage, or you Pick a Heart so you can heal yourself for 2, Et al... So your card selection grants you an action, and can also be added into your already made tableau for an added bonus. the added bonus of a pair is obviously going to be pretty weak as it is remarkably easy to get a pair, and you could also do fun things with Straights where you could constantly be adding one more either up or down to keep the chain going (however you can't have a straight till turn 5, where as you could potentially get 4 of a kind on turn 4...)

So what i'm trying to figure out are the statistics of having a hand of 10 cards that you get to draw from, is making say, a straight flush, easier than getting 4 of a kind? I know that the odds will be wildly different based on how many cards you have in hand, and how many options you have, i'm just trying to figure out if the "pay out" for each should stay in the same order, and how much it should be worth... so a pair might be worth 1 point, three of a kind might be worth 2, four of a kind might be 4 etc...

Another wrinkle in the odds is that this is all open information, so you getting 4 of a kind might be MUCH harder because someone only has to take 1 of the available 7's to keep you from getting all 4...

I know this is kind of nebulous so forgive me if it still doesn't make sense. and thank you very much for taking your time to respond and try to help!

Graham

questccg
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Just one small comment

If you draw cards in a typical game of Poker or Blackjack, I BELIEVE (not 100% certain) that there are like two (2) decks involved when playing Poker. I know Blackjack has like four (4) or five (5) decks too.

But in your case you are talking about drafting from hands that are passed around the table (always to the player on the left).

My assumption is that you will EACH draw ten (10) cards and that the game is a four (4) player game. Much like a game of Hearts.

However one "Question" you did not include with your reply is that the cards you are "drafting", are they HIDDEN or REVEALED?

This is very important. If they are REVEALED well then your opponent can dick out your hand by taking cards he doesn't really need. Like a fourth (4th) card or even a third (3rd) card too.

If it's all HIDDEN information, then it's more left to "chance" and not knowing but playing the cards you get and the odds. Your opponent might need that third (3rd) card for a pair in his "Full House" and may accidentally mess with you (in some unlucky card plays).

So both are possible too...

questccg
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One other "tidbit"

I can't actually picture the game working with REVEALED hands. Lot of messing around with player hands such that nobody scores anything. Maybe if you get lucky and players' omit the chance to "steal" one of your cards in one round can lead to some bad luck further in time (like during a later round)...

If you go with HIDDEN hands... Well you could implement cards that force you to "reveal" your hand. This way ONE (1) opponent may know the contents of your "hidden" hand — but not ALL opponents.

Moreover the player that draws the "reveal ONE (1) opponent's hidden hand" requires him to make a STRATEGIC decision to choose which player he will be asking to reveal their hand. So a one (1) in three (3) chances (or 33%).

And you only know what cards are in hand WHEN you use the card with the ability, NOT ON EVERY TURN. So it's like only PARTIAL information that gets revealed. It's temporal too...

Again it's your game... That's the way I see it...


Update: You could implement FOUR (4) cards that allow players to "require" to reveal their hand. This again means real strategic choices in that each player may know only ONE (1) other hand at a "specific" time in play.

It opens up the game to more possibilities of "strategic" play and while not forcefully spoiling each player's game.

In the case of REVEALED hands, it's as if EACH player has THREE (3) peeks into your cards and every single round. Can't compute this — but it's definitely impossible to implement using HIDDEN hand cards.

But the strategy and such is not the same with the HIDDEN hands.

The first round would probably be EACH player would choose one (1) "reveal one (1) opponent's hand" card and if some lucky (un-lucky) player gets two, then the next player gets to keep TWO (2) of those cards...

See, so the strategy is not always favorable to the "current" player, the NEXT player may get a better advantage, etc.

questccg
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Bidding and Bluffing

Also IF you use HIDDEN hands ... you could implement a Bidding and Bluffing mechanic. I know it's over ten (10) rounds... Maybe something like every round divisible by 2.

So each second round, players could Bid and Bluff making the game even more interesting. This could influence who you decide to reveal your hand for better or for worst (in the case of a bluffing player).

This means if a player is Bluffing and has nothing, ONE (1) Player can be aware of his "Bluff" and "Call" him on his bet.

(NOTE: I'm not 100% sure about the "betting" aspect... I'm just saying it could be an added element you can think about).

Cheers!

Jay103
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Big, rambling answer

Okay, a lot of stuff here, probably not in proper order :)

First, poker uses 1 deck. Blackjack does too, but in casinos they generally mix multiple decks (4 or 6) so that (a) they don't have to shuffle so often and (b) it's harder to count cards usefully.

As I noted earlier, the drafting thing throws "odds" out the window, because you make decisions and opponents can make decisions. For example, if I have 3-of-a-kind showing (and I assume this is all visible, since you talk about action cards, a tableau, etc.), and the 4-of-a-kind prize is pretty good, someone will block you.

That said, the task sort of becomes "what's hardest to block".

I'm assuming this is a 40 card deck, 1-10 in four suits. These answers shift a bit depending on that.

Pairs are trivially easy. You'll probably be able to make a pair by your third card played, if not your second. Two pair also pretty darned easy.

4-of-a-kind is the hardest to get, because in the end you need a single card and it's easy for someone to stop you, assuming that fourth card wasn't already played anyway, which it probably was. However, the path to head TOWARDS a 4-of-a-kind (making pairs) is very easy to follow..

A full house is probably tougher to block (and so, easier to make), because someone with 2 pair can use any of 4 cards to complete it, and someone with 3 pair, 6. If you have 3-of-a-kind, you can almost certainly upgrade it to a full house because you just need to pair any other card, which I already noted is pretty easy.

A straight is harder to get from a pure odds perspective (as is a flush) because you don't have the JQK cards. However, a straight is very hard to block, because if you can get 3456, there are 8 cards to complete it, and even 3467 has 4 cards.

A four-card flush has 6 cards that will complete it. If you can get like three suited cards 456, that's a pretty good start to finish with something useful.

That's why I was asking how drafting works :)

Anyway, my suggestion is to make pair completion have a very small bonus, if any. Also 2 pair.

After that, if you start with the "power" tiers of whatever the prizes are something like

3 of a kind
---
Full house
---
Straight
Flush
---
Straight Flush
Four of a kind

I think that's a pretty good start. Play-testing will get you the rest of the way. The thing is that the better the prize, the more people will try to block you, and the more effort you'll put into getting something, so the exact odds don't really matter so much as "how blockable is this" and "how hard is it to draft in that direction."

None of them will be that hard to get (except for those last two), so I'm assuming that the game focuses more on the "action cards" and these other things are just small bonuses.

I'm not even that sure that the straight and flush should be that far down the list, because with 10 cards, it's really not that hard to end up with those if you're going for them. I suspect if I just take a spade if there is one, and a heart if not, I'm almost certainly going to end up with a flush.

Anyway, play-test it :)

gxnpt
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only in casinos

Poker and blackjack normally use a single deck - in a casino they use multiple decks for blackjack to minimize card counting effectiveness.

For poker there is still normally just a single deck in casino play except for "video poker" variations where you play vs specific payout goals rather than vs the other players.

Poker cards and poker hand rankings = poker type odds.
5 cards and draft 2 more cards is same as 5 cards revealed 2 still hidden in 7 card stud. (OK, 7 card draw since we assume other players' cards are all hidden)

Unknown cards in other player's hands do not affect odds calculations since they are indeterminate.
(odds of drawing an ace are not affected by dividing the deck into 2 parts first and then drawing from bottom cut vs from top cut vs from full deck)

Jay103
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gxnpt wrote:For poker there

gxnpt wrote:
For poker there is still normally just a single deck in casino play except for "video poker" variations where you play vs specific payout goals rather than vs the other players.

Video poker still uses a single (virtual) deck, but yeah.

questccg
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Possibilities

Jay103 wrote:
That said, the task sort of becomes "what's hardest to block".

Hmm... I think getting a "three-of-a-kind" will be VERY difficult if the hands players are building are revealed. Because everyone knows it sets up two (2) HIGH yield hands: "Full House" and "Four-of-a-kind".

On the other hand it is rather DIFFICULT to block a "Flush" or a "Straight". Because there are MORE possibilities in terms of cards you can combine with to produce such a hand.

And remember each player "drafts" ten (10) cards. Half their deck is fodder... And that means those five (5) cards can be used to stop opponents from making that "Full House" or "Four-of-a-kind"...

As I stated in my earlier comment, playing with hands REVEALED will be boring and have no tension. BUT playing with hands HIDDEN could add additional types of actions that can be used. I really can't picture this working with a revealed hand.

Best of luck?! with your game.

Jay103
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questccg wrote: And remember

questccg wrote:

And remember each player "drafts" ten (10) cards. Half their deck is fodder... And that means those five (5) cards can be used to stop opponents from making that "Full House" or "Four-of-a-kind"...

Well, it sounded like the main point of the game was in the "actions" of the cards, and then the poker stuff was an add-on bonus. If the poker stuff is the main thrust of the game mechanic, then blocking becomes a major part rather than something people maybe do if it's not getting in the way of what they're really doing.

As for three-of-a-kind, I think if I wanted to go that way I'd have 2 pair at least by round 6, and then jumping to a full house would be pretty likely.

So people probably wouldn't actually get 3K very often, just because they'd end up with something better through a different route. Not clear whether or not that's worth rewarding.

questccg
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IDK — I'm not convinced

I still think playing the game with your "build" hand REVEALED is a "bad idea"... If you don't want to go the way of "complete" hidden information, well then maybe you can do "partial" hidden information. Not sure HOW, it's just the "next best thing"...

Maybe with some variation/modifications, you could have "During the 1st round each player chooses two (2) cards and places them FACE UP in their play area."

Subsequently the NEXT three (3) cards are left HIDDEN (Face down).

And then you repeat the process for +2 cards again (Revealed) and then +3 cards (hidden). This would add a TON of "Bluffing" and with "partial" information it makes it harder to determine what HAND each player is playing...

Something like that. I know it's a bit "contrived" and more complicated than your 10 rounds, 1 card each... But there are reasons for this... And maybe you can derive something similar. Something more suited to your specific needs/wants.

Cheers!

FrankM
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Strategic tension

If the cards have actions that trigger as soon as they are drafted, then there's no way to have truly hidden hands. You can make the opponents rely more or less on their memory, but no one can truly keep anything hidden.

An alternative might be to draft a card into a face-down state, but reveal it to use its action. Every draft has an opportunity cost as before (drafting one card means forgoing others)... but now every action has a cost as well, namely revealing a part of your hand.

I'd recommend constructing the actions in such a way that it's essential that the player perform at least a few actions during the ten rounds.

questccg
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Yes... I agree with FrankM

If the "Actions" on the cards FORCE you to reveal part of your hand... Well maybe having several of these "Actions" be constructed in such a way that those cards are necessarily "revealed".

And for the general "drafting" part, that the cards be drafted secretly and put into play "Face Down" meaning that they are "Perfect Hidden Information" until someone decides he should PLAY one of the "Actions" on one or more cards (to either provoke something or to counter something, etc.)

And I agree whole heartily with @FrankM that you should design the "Actions" to ENCOURAGE players to PLAY those cards as "Actions" rather than keep all of the card in your "Build" HAND secret.

So the amount of SECRET cards and deciding to REVEAL cards (because of Actions) is somewhat an interesting strategic choice to make. And I think this solves the WHEN "to reveal" (whenever you want to play an Action)...

Otherwise the cards stay hidden from the opponents.

GTRichardson
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awesome thanks for all the

awesome thanks for all the advice!

I agree that a pair is almost too easy to get and thus i might drop it all together.

as for things being hidden or revealed they are going to be revealed every time, as A. the action that is on the card is the main point of the game, and B. because blocking is an intended part of the game.

I'm going to start playtesting soon so i'll let you all know if i have any major revelations.

Thanks again,

Graham

questccg
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Please feel free to share more about your game!

GTRichardson wrote:
...as for things being hidden or revealed they are going to be revealed every time, as A. the action that is on the card is the main point of the game, and B. because blocking is an intended part of the game...

It's your game... but a game of "frustration" because nobody get's any good hands — might not be all that FUN to play. Of course this will require your own playtesting to see how the game goes. I personally like games with "conflict" but I don't necessarily like it to be "all-encompassing", know what I mean?!

In my own games, I like to be some kind of "interaction" with the opponent and so I usually don't play light to medium Euros — because of the lack of interaction.

I also like a BIT of "Take-That", the instantaneous countering by one party and then a counter by another and so forth... It's a minor source of frustration when a player "out-thinks" you using his Tactic Cards.

But I don't like games where the goal is to "screw-over" your opponents. And with the way that you've described your game... I didn't get that vibe from it. But revealing and "blocking" opponents as a STRATEGY sounds okay ... but as a "game" ... well I'm not sure. It might be too cut-throat for my own personal tastes.

I guess you could start a BLOG on BGDF and tell us more about your game, what are some of the "Actions" and maybe see if we can "relate" to your design. I personally blog about my WIP (Work-In-Progress) because I have yet to put all the pieces together. So I'm still "designing".

Anyhow the point is by sharing more information, we can get a better feel for the TYPE of game you are trying to design.

Cheers!

questccg
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Replace one pair by two, no?

GTRichardson wrote:
I agree that a pair is almost too easy to get and thus i might drop it all together...

Perhaps you can replace "A Pair" by "Two Pairs" which might be still relatively easy and could go on to becoming a "Full House"... As the next step, so to speak...

GTRichardson
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So a quick update:I've put

So a quick update:

I've put together a prototype and run 2 playtests so far and both have been successes (both groups said that they felt the game was already good and look forward to it becoming even more refined)

In my playtest i have found like people had suggested that a pair is super easy to get, and Three of a kind isn't much harder. because of this a Full House is also very easy to get and so i had it over powered which i will take down.

Also a Straight is an interesting thing in a hand drafting game like this as you can get the straight by play 5, and then can keep it going very easily seeing as you can use one card up, one card down, or even one card inside the straight (as each time you add a card that would be a part of a poker hand you get the benefit)

So the "value" of the poker hands in a game like this seems to be:

Pair ----------------------- 2
Three of a Kind-------- 3
Full House ------------- 4
Straight ----------------- 5
Flush -------------------- 6
Four of a Kind -------- 8
Straight Flush -------- 10

The revealed nature of the hands seems to work well. it seems to add a bit of tactics to what actions you choose to draft, but there is enough in the game that will make you want to grab certain actions that it just makes it a more rich choice .

So all that being said, Thanks again for all your advice everyone!

I'll write back if there are any other revelations.

Graham

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