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PokerChess. PokerChess is a 2 player board game employing the mechanics of chess and poker.[All Comments] [Add Comment or Rating]
Susannah Thorarinsson wrote on 2017-12-08 UTC

I'm glad you're enthusiastic but 5 of a kind unfortunately it is not a thing in PokerChess. If you are fortunate enough to queen a pawn and draw 4 queens (and hold on to them for the duration of play) you have a VERY high probability of winning in the High Hand Showdown following Checkmate. Hope that answers your question. 


pokeraficiado wrote on 2017-12-04 UTC

Hey, just recognized, that 5 Queens are possible, are five queens stronger than a Royal Flush


JT K wrote on 2017-12-03 UTC

I see, yeah I’d play a game with Crown Victory as the main objective.  My strategy would be to collect Aces in hand and not use them on the board since they’re only bishops...


Susannah Thorarinsson wrote on 2017-12-03 UTC

Hi Jeffrey thanks for your questions. 

I think the answer you're looking for is Crown Victory- where by one's king lands on the opposing players homerow crown. If you want to win the game based on your chess “prowess” you win with a crown victory. If you think you have the upper hand, and want to leave the game up to a little chance, checkmate and high hand showdown is the way to go. Chess players have the advantage in this game, but there are so many variables that the game can take many twists and turns with the placement of a card or a pawn turning into a queen. 

Part of the challenge of the game is choosing what strategy to focus on and keeping up your defenses. Also when you draw a really good hand to start it’s hard to play that hand because you risk losing those cards. Having four kings on the board and in your hand is a very high hand but a hard hand to play. If you draw four Aces, playing them on the board risks losing your primo hand. 

We also found that the 4 x 5 board is perfect for the game we wanted to create. It’s complex enough but also simple enough to keep most games between 5-30 minutes. We actually tried a lot of different iterations before honing in on this version of the game. The challenge we have been working on is a multiplayer version. 


Susannah Thorarinsson wrote on 2017-12-02 UTC

Hi Ben,

Thanks for your questions. I will answer them one by one... 

Can you play an additional king to the board?  

Yes. You could play with all 4 kings on the board, though that probably wouldn’t be wise. 

If so, how does check/mate work? 

Check is when ANY king on the board is in check. CHECKMATE occurs when ANY king of the board is in checkmate. All kings are equal even if they don’t start on the Crown Square. 

Do queened pawns count as suit-less queens for the poker hand?  [It seems you can't under-promote?] 

Yes! While being promoted they lose their suit. Whatever they were before they were a queen is forgotten. 

The instructions video says the responses to a raised bet are "fold, call, see", but aren't the latter two the same in usual poker?  

In PokerChess when your opponent raises the bet and you CALL, you match the bet and play continues. If your opponent raises and you SEE, you match the bet and then lay your cards down and see who has the highest hand, ending the game. 

In the video after "see" the players' hands are revealed; does that mean "see" is actually ending the round? 

Yes. 

Does the response "call" also take that player's turn? 

When a player raises the bet, they are using their turn to do so. Matching that bet does not count as a turn, and therefore play continues with the player who matched but did not raise the bet. If a player matches the bet AND raises, then the player who initially raised would be the next to take a turn after matching the bet. 

It might make sense for giving checkmate to actually provide a benefit; maybe even a small one like "draw a card"?  Anyway, that's a suggestion with no playtesting on my part. While I think that's a very novel idea, we have tried a lot of different iterations of this game and came to the conclusion that if you’re ready to checkmate someone you better already believe you have the high hand. 

Believe it or not, this game is fun and hard! Any game is “defeatable” on a long enough timeline, but I think it will be a long while before computers can “officially” beat humans at PokerChess. By the way, the main creator of the game also helped create the online game Kung Fu Chess many years ago. He’s an experienced chess player and an experienced programmer, and believes computers simply don’t have the processing power right now to compete. But who knows.


JT K wrote on 2017-12-01 UTC

I haven't had a chance to play this yet, so I refrain from a rating at this time.  It looks really cool though, as I love both chess and poker.  I personally tried to come up with a combination game like this, but didn't come up with anything this good.  It's quite interesting for sure.

My only concern, as Ben sort of hinted at, is the way that the game ends.  I would personally prefer if the betting was on entirely what happens in the chess game (the checkmate), not on the comparison of cards.  Each "hand" would be really just a quick game of chess, and you'd bet (or fold) based on what's happening on the board, which becomes more and more clear as you go on. 

As it exists now though, the end result of cards doesn't seem to be something that builds predictably over time, where you can predict what their opponent might hold.  It seems so random, like: "I've been collecting four 8's in my hand, and my opponent collected four 5's, so I win."  I wouldn't even care what happens in the chess game.  I would just hold off until I have a decent poker hand, letting my opponent checkmate me.  You see what I mean?

So anyway, the general gameplay of betting and drawing, and setting up a very complex position would be a lot of fun.  I might even expand the board size if it was about checkmate alone.  But it's your game, not mine :)


Ben Reiniger wrote on 2017-11-19 UTC

Can you play an additional king to the board?  If so, how does check/mate work?  Do queened pawns count as suit-less queens for the poker hand?  [It seems you can't under-promote?]

The instructions video says the responses to a raised bet are "fold, call, see", but aren't the latter two the same in usual poker?  In the video after "see" the players' hands are revealed; does that mean "see" is actually ending the round?  Does the response "call" also take that player's turn?

It might make sense for giving checkmate to actually provide a benefit; maybe even a small one like "draw a card"?  Anyway, that's a suggestion with no playtesting on my part.

Lastly, your introductory video makes a case for this game being computer-resistant.  We've had such discussions on this site before, and I would be hesitant to say that this game can actually hold its own against computers, if any programmers got the mind to work on it.  [Poker pros were recently beaten by computer, and the hard part there is the uncertainty and bluffing.  Since chess has been CPU-winnable for a while, I would expect it wouldn't be hard to teach the poker-AI to win this game.]


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