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Doomtown: Reloaded» Forums » Rules

Subject: Brain fart over "Hand Ranks" vs Hand Ranks rss

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Barry Miller
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Have you ever understood something last week but don't, today? Well, I'm having one of those moments and cant get past it. I'm getting ready to show Doomtown to a friend by walking through the learning scenario. In reviewing he "script" for the scenario, something about determining the Lowball winner caught my eye...

Bottom Line Up Front: The term, "Hand Rank" means two different things in the rulebook, and I find it confusing.

In the learning scenario, for the Gambling Phase, the Sloan Gang presents a pair of fours, while the Law Dogs a pair of Aces. OK, we all know that the Law Dogs win the Low Ball in this case. BUT, the rulebook specifically says that the winner of the Low ball is the player with the lower "Hand Rank". The problem is that the game assigns a "Hand Rank" of "2" to a pair, regardless of value.

IOW, a pair of Aces has the same "Hand Rank" as a pair of fours per the Hand Rank table. So the way the rules read, both pairs are tied.

But of course, they're not. That's because a pair of Aces has a lower hand rank than a pair of fours!

Did you see what I did there? When referring to the Doomtown term, "Hand Rank" I put it in quotes. Whereas when referring to the normal term, hand rank, I didn't. The rules are conflating a hand's ranking per the Doomtown "Hand Rank" chart with a hand's ranking per the way the cards read.

Let's look at a Shootout, where it's actually a bit clearer... but only a bit... the WINNER of a Shootout is the player with the higher ranked hand. But then, after determining who has the higher hand rank, both players refer to the "Hand Rank" chart to see who has the higher "hand rank", for CASULATY purposes. It could be that player A has the higher hand rank (for winning), yet both players have tied "Hand Ranks" (for casualties). The concept is actually pretty straight forward, but the interchangeable use of the term "hand rank" (or more specifically, "rank") is confusing.

So back to the Low Ball rules... again, the rulebook says that the player with the lower "Hand Rank" is the winner. But which "hand rank" are they talking about? The hand rank as the cards read, or the hand rank according to the table?
We all intuitively know the answer to that. But where in the rules does it make that clear?

Whew, thanks for your patience as I try to come to grips with this concept I understood a while ago, but am brain-farting now!


 
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Harlath
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I think the rules don't specifically lay out for you that a pair of threes is lower than a pair of Jacks (for example) as this is assumed knowledge, in the same way as it doesn't lay out for you that you can't "wrap" a straight J-Q-K-A-2.

So the two low ball hands in my example above have a lower hand between the two of them (the pair of threes) even through both hands are rank 2.

Sorry if I've misunderstood the question.
 
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soulblight
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I suppose it's implied:

http://pineboxentertainment.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/d...

Quote:
Unlike other Doomtown draw hands, the lowest hand rank wins. Players with exactly tied hands (e.g. both players reveal 2♠, 3♦, 4♦, 5♣, 7♣) draw new five-card lowball hands to break the tie.


So if you tie exactly, you redraw. Otherwise, there must be a winner/loser.
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Eric Jome
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bgm1961 wrote:
But where in the rules does it make that clear?


Here.
 
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Barry Miller
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Harlath wrote:
So the two low ball hands in my example above have a lower hand [rank] between the two of them (the pair of threes) even through both hands are rank 2. Sorry if I've misunderstood the question.

Harlath,

Yeah, my question was somewhat misunderstood... but that's my fault! I'm not confused over who wins... I've been a Poker player for many, many years before discovering Doomtown (though, let's keep in mind that many new DT players have no prior understanding of Poker as you're well aware). My angst is over the game's vocabulary... specifically, how the game uses the term "hand rank" for two different purposes while interchanging them in a very casual manner. (You even did that unknowingly in your reply, which I'll get to in a second).

I’ll cut to the chase and say that things would be much clearer if they called the ranks on their Hand Rank Chart, "Tiers", instead of "Ranks". This way, to use your low ball example for instance, while a pair of threes would have a higher "hand rank" over a pair of jacks, both hands would be at the same "Tier" on the Doomtown chart ("Tier 2"). Confusion avoided.

To illustrate:
You'll notice that I took the liberty of rewriting your reply by inserting, "[rank]". I did that because the rulebook quite often uses the term, "hand rank", to both talk about how hands compare to each other for winning/losing and also, about how hands compare to each other on their "hand rank" chart, where a pair of threes and a pair of Kings are completely equal!

Here's the excerpt about how to determine the winning hand for Low Ball, from the July 2015 rulebook:
"...unlike other Doomtown draw hands, the lowest hand rank wins."

So with that excerpt before us, now step back and re-read your reply with my modification... By adding "[rank]", I rewrote your paragraph to match exactly the way the rulebook tells us to determine who wins at low ball. (It says, lowest "hand rank" wins). But then your reply went on to say that, both hands are rank 2"!
So how can the pair of threes be the better hand rank, yet both pairs be of equal rank ("2") at the same time? (That's a rhetorical question, BTW)

It's this conflation of the term "hand rank" is where my issue lay! Again, I have no misunderstanding of who wins a low ball hand between a pair of threes and a pair of Jacks. But when the rulebook says that the lowest hand rank wins, but then elsewhere says that those same two pairs have the same hand rank per the chart... well, hopefully you see the point I'm trying to make. Again, to alleviate such confusion, I propose that the rankings on the “Hand Rank Chart” should be called “Tiers” instead of “Ranks”.

Anyway, thanks for listening!


 
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Barry Miller
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cosine wrote:
bgm1961 wrote:
But where in the rules does it make that clear?


Here.

Thanks for that. But I don’t have a question about who wins low ball per normal poker rules. My issue is that the Doomtown rulebook says, "the lowest 'hand rank' wins". The problem is that per the RAW, all pairs have the same rank per the Doomtown Hand Rank Chart. I go into more detail above about why the rulebook’s interchangeable use of the term, “hand rank” leads to this confusion.

 
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soulblight
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I guess you could say that the lower rank does win, it just happens to be the same rank on the chart as the losing player. Unless the contents of the hands are exactly tied, though, then there must be a winner/loser.
 
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Teeka
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FWIW, I asked a similar type of question 2 years ago. Maybe that discussion will help a bit.
 
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Barry Miller
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Teeka wrote:
FWIW, I asked a similar type of question 2 years ago. Maybe that discussion will help a bit.

Yeah, thanks... I saw that thread before posting mine. I guess my point is more about the vocabulary the game uses, rather than how to actually determine a winning hand.


 
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Teeka
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bgm1961 wrote:

Teeka wrote:
FWIW, I asked a similar type of question 2 years ago. Maybe that discussion will help a bit.

Yeah, thanks... I saw that thread before posting mine. I guess my point is more about the vocabulary the game uses, rather than how to actually determine a winning hand.

I know, it's just that my confusion also got caused by a certain lack of clear definition in the rulebook.
 
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