Round Table Poker - a guide
In the recesses of Meridell and in the shadow of King Skarl's castle, there is a small band of people who sit in a dimly lit room. There are four of them sat at a five-sided table, and the last place is for you to take. These people win more than they pay, but also lose more than they win; this is a game that needs a high ante, and it is obviously going have high rewards and high risks. A little known part of the games room, it's time for us to examine the intricacies of Round Table Poker.
Many people think Poker is all luck and no skill, and it just depends on all the cards you draw. That, of course, is not true. While it's true that a good hand has much to do with you winning, a buffoon can ruin all his chances of winning while a skilled poker player can make their chances.
So, let's start with the basics. Akin to Cellblock and Invasion of Meridell, this game is non-flash. However, you need to pay an ante, but what you win is thrice the amount you pay.
When you complete all the levels, you are awarded a Runner-up medal in this game, regardless of score. You can then play for money and regular trophies, and at this point all games are the full sixteen rounds. To earn the regular trophies, you then have to play for high score, i.e. the amount of NP on hand at the end of all sixteen rounds.
The first elementary rounds that you play for the runner-up trophy are relatively simple; the ante increases every time you proceed to the next round, and so does the amount you win, when finally, your ante is 10,000 NP for a 30,000 NP prize. All the rounds have relatively the same game play: you have five cards, you can discard four cards maximum and there are two rounds of betting. Therefore, I'll simply introduce to the game in general.
The bare basics of the game is that you get five cards in each deal, and you can get dealt up to sixteen rounds of cards. In each round, you have two rounds of betting, and one round of discarding in between betting. In the first round of betting, there is the option to bet 10 NP, and in the second round, 20 NP.
In each round you're dealt cards you need to throw 10 NP into the lot regardless, so the minimum pot for each round is 50 NP if there is no betting. When someone else bets, you then have the option to raise their bet if you think you have a good chance of winning, otherwise you either call (bet the same amount) or fold (a refusal to bet; you forfeit your hand for that entire round).
When discarding cards, you can discard up to four cards or discard no cards at all. If you look below at the various hands, you can deduce what cards to discard, and there will be more help on discarding after I've introduced each possible hand.
Continuing with the details, let's examine the suits: Heart, Diamond, Spade and Club. In order from highest to lowers, their rankings are
In poker, you have different hands. Assuming you know a little bit about card games already, I'm going to jump right into explaining the hands. From worst up to best, here are the hands with their descriptions:
Hand of X high
This just refers to the highest card you have on hand, so for example, hand of Queen high would mean that your Queen is the highest card you have. Nothing special, no specific combinations, this is the lowest hand and the highest version you can get is a hand of Ace high.
Two of a kind (pair)
A pair of the same card, e.g. pair of Jacks. This hand is quite common, and the highest version you can get is a pair of Aces.
2 Two of a kind (two pairs)
Two pairs of the same card, e.g. two Jacks and two threes, and this would be known as "two pair, Jacks over Threes". The fifth card is irrelevant here.
Three of a kind (triplet)
Three of the same card, e.g. three Kings. The other two cards are irrelevant, but if they are a pair your hand would be a full house (see below).
Sometimes called a snake as well, a straight is all five cards in consecutive order, e.g. Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven, Six, and they can be any combination of all suits. Note that while they appear jumbled on screen, as long as you have the right cards it is still a straight, e.g. your hand be arranged as Seven, Ten, Six, Eight, Nine, but it is STILL a straight. This particular hand would be known as "Ten high straight".
All five cards are the same suit, e.g. Queen, Two, Five, Ace, Ten all of Hearts. This particular example would be known as "Queen high flush".
Full House is a combination of three of a kind and two of a kind, so e.g. three Queens and two Threes, and this would be known as "full house, Queen over Threes".
Four of a kind
All four suits of the same card, e.g. four Aces. The other card can be any random card, so that's not a matter of importance.
A straight and a flush, e.g. Five, Four, Three, Two, Ace, and ALL of the same suit. This particular hand would be known as "straight flush to the Five". Hardest to get, this is the highest hand possible, and the absolute highest hand you can get in this game is: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Ten and all of Spades.
Now that you've learnt the hands, here are some general tips for your overall game play tactic.
*Discard wisely. If you have two pairs, then discard one card in hope of a full house. If you have three or four cards of the same suit, discard the remaining non-compatible cards in hope of a flush IF you do not have other combinations. If you have four cards of consecutive numbers, discard one card in hope of a straight.
In this later case, if you have (as an example) Ace, King, Jack, Ten, Three, I would not advise discarding the Three in hope of a Queen, because even in a perfect world, you have a one out of thirteen chance of getting that Queen. However, if you have King, Queen, Jack, Ten, Three, discard the three in hope of an Ace or a Nine, because - again, in a perfect world - you now have two out of thirteen chance of completing your straight, which isn't much more, but still better.
*Look at how many cards everyone else discards: seeing how many cards the other players discard is crucial, since it allows you to deduce their hand. It isn't 100%, of course, but it works most of the time.
Generally, this is how it happens. If they discard:
- 3 cards, then they originally had two of a kind, OR just a hand of X high
- 2 cards, then they originally had three of a kind
- 1 card, then they originally had two pairs of two of a kind OR four of a kind
- 0 cards, then they originally had full house, straight, flush or straight flush
Note: no other player will ever discard more than three cards.
*Read your opponent's expressions carefully. Usually, you can figure out when they are faking it, but the times when their expressions are genuine are 1) when cards are first dealt each round and 2) when all cards are discarded and the second round of betting is initiated. There is an exception to the second case, and that is if the player is the last to discard their cards at the beginning of the second betting, then their expression is more usually a bluff.
*Fold at the right times: if you think that you've got a losing hand and someone made a bet, then fold. Keeping your 20 NP is better than risking it if your hand is pretty bad. However, if you think you have a losing hand and someone hasn't bet, then don't fold or bet, simply check. You never know if your pair of Jacks or hand of high Ace will win.
*Is bluffing a good idea? Well, more often than not, your bluff is called by another player here. However, this game is all about taking and making chances. If there aren't any players with ecstatic expressions in the second betting, it is time time bluff. At this point, there are usually a few two of a kinds floating around, so if you have a pair of Aces/ Kings, it would be a good idea to bet. There are instances where, when you've betted, all four other players fold and you win by default.
*Know when to bet. This is really crucial, and it's all timed by reading your opponents' expressions. A relatively common case is at the beginning of the second round of betting, another player has an 'ecstatic', so to say, expression on, but does not bet. This is because they are waiting for someone else to bet so they can raise the bet and get more NP.
But lastly, you must remember that this game is a gamble! You can't expect to earn 30k each day from this game, no matter how good a poker player you are (or think you are, in many cases). Personally, I play because this game goes easy on my three year old laptop, because it's relaxing, and because I'd like a gold trophy. *shakes fist at bronze* Don't go playing this game thinking you'll make more than you pay, and instead this guide is for people who want a trophy in this game.
Good luck and Fyora speed!