Thinking Out Loud about Game Design

A blog where I just vent my thoughts about certain game design challenges and talk about unfinished game design ideas
 Thumb up

A better dice-based poker game

Niko Lepka
flag msg tools
Board Game Designer
SirenRPG Designer
Microbadge: 2022 Silver SupporterMicrobadge: Card Games fanMicrobadge: Schafkopf fan - Die Alte treibt die Buam zamMicrobadge: Modern abstract games fanMicrobadge: Pyramid Arcade's Martian Chess
My GF and I have been playing a lot of dice games lately.
Spanning from Yahtzee, to Perudo, to Poker Dice to simply Texas Hold'Em with dice.

The last one here works surprisingly well, but I'm wondering if there isn't a better way to do this with specialised dice.

Looking at Poker with standard d6 dice you have the following combination (weakest to strongest):
- High Die
- One Pair
- Two Pairs
- Three of a Kind
- Straight
- Full House
- Four of a Kind
- Five of a Kind (Yahtzee)

Notably, what's missing here are the Flush and the Straight Flush, but to get this to work, you'd need to include suit information on the dice.

My initial thinking for an easy solution: Use special d12s, which are labelled 1-6 twice, once in red, and once in black.

Doing this gives us the following new poker hands (in no particular order):
- Flush
- Flush Pair (flush including a pair)
- Flush Triple (flush including a 3-of-a-kind)
- Straight Flush
- Flush House (flush including a full house)
- Flush Quad (flush including a 4-of-a-kind)
- Flush Yahtzee (flush including a 5-of-a-kind)

But why stop at a d12?

With a d20 you can have
- 1-10 in red and black
- 1-5 in four different suits (less than ideal imo)

But with a d24 you can have either
- 1-Q (or 2-K) in red and black
- 1-8 (or 7-A) in 3 different suits (personal fave)
- 1-6 in four different suits

Only issue is that d20s and d24s are rather large dice (which makes them not very well suited for dice cups), and they have rather small faces (which makes them unsuited for people with poor eyesight).

I haven't yet crunched the numbers on the various probabilities, but I could definitely see a d24 with red, green, and black numbers labelled either 1-8 or 7-A make for a fun poker style game.

Currently three games exist here on BGG, which try to emulate a real deck of cards and the probabilities that follow:

- 8-Sided Poker Dice Game, which tries to cram 40 playing cards (5-A in all four suits) onto 5d8.
- Royal Poker Dice Game, which gives you a full 52 card deck + 8 wilds/jokers on a set of 5d12.
- Square Shooters, which has a full 52 card deck and two jokers on 9d6.

While all of these (likely) succeed in one thing: namely to mimic the distribution of actual playing cards, they don't retain the one aspect that (imo) makes playing poker with dice interesting: the non-uniqueness of the dice rolls.
Being able to roll not just pairs, but identical pairs has potential to create more unique and varied games, where say a pair of 2s would be worth less than a pair of identical 2s.
With these existing sets, you also cannot add the flushed series of rolls as possible hands, something which I think is a desirable trait.
Twitter Facebook
Subscribe sub options Mon Aug 8, 2022 10:52 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}