Check out Glinski's Hexagonal Chess, our featured variant for May, 2024.

This page is written by the game's inventor, Susannah Thorarinsson.


PokerChess is played on a 5x4 board with playing cards instead of chess pieces. At the start of the game each player gets 5 poker chips and one deck of cards. Each player then removes one king from their deck and places it on the center crown of their home row. Players then shuffle their deck and draw 5 cards. White typically goes first by placing one chip in the blind circle as the ante. The other player then matches the bet, raises the bet or folds. When betting is over, the game play begins. Players take turns during the round. When it is a players turn, they may: place a card from their hand onto their home row, draw a card if they have less than five cards in their hand, move a card that is already on the board, or raise the bet. Game play alternates until one player is in checkmate at which point players reveal their best 5 card poker hand based on any cards in their hand or active cards on the board. However, if a player is able to move their king to the opponents home row king space, it is an automatic win and what's called a Crown Victory.


The setup differs in large part because the game is played with 2 decks of 52 cards, each with a corresponding chess piece. The board (5 x 4) is empty at the start of the game except for the two opposing kings on the board. Players shuffle their decks after removing and placing a king on the center crown space of their home row. Players then draw 5 cards and start the betting round. Following better, game play commences like in chess with players placing cards/ pieces on the board when it is their turn. They may also use their turn to take a card or raise the bet.


2-9 are pawns 10s are Rooks Jacks are Knights Aces are Bishops Queens are Queens Kings are Kings


It follows the rules of chess and includes queening, but does not include en passant or castling. One of the major distinctions is that you can win by moving a king onto the opponents home row crown space. We found this helps speed up the game and adds to the complexity.


The game is launching on kickstarter soon, we are still working out some of the manufacturing. If you sign up for updates we are planning to send out the rules to anyone who has signed-up.

This 'user submitted' page is a collaboration between the posting user and the Chess Variant Pages. Registered contributors to the Chess Variant Pages have the ability to post their own works, subject to review and editing by the Chess Variant Pages Editorial Staff.

By Susannah Thorarinsson.
Web page created: 2017-11-14. Web page last updated: 2017-11-14