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Havoc: The Hundred Years War» Forums » Variants

Subject: Change of Ranking? Addition of 3 and 4 card combos. rss

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Shawn Low
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Hi,

In response to Derek Carver's posting about the potential problem with rankings, I gave it some thought and think that adding 3 and 4 card combos (flush and straights) might allow the bluffing aspect to really shine. This also allows people with 5 and 6 card flush and straights to win a battle without using their entire hand if possible.

Another way to simplify the game is to remove an entire suit and reorder the rankings to top off with 5 cards (but this might change the spirit of the game too much).

I would appreciate any thoughts and feedback.

Revised Ranking order.

1. 6 Card Straight Flush (all same color–highest hand)
2. 6 of a Kind
3. 5 Card Straight Flush (all same color)
4. 5 of a Kind
5. “Big House” (4x + 2x)
6. 4 of a Kind
7. “Trios” (3x + 3x)
8. 6 card flush (all same color)
9. “Full House” (3x + 2x)
10. 6 Card Straight (not in same color)
11. 5 Card Flush (all same color)
12. 3 Pair (2x + 2x + 2x)
13. 5 Card Straight (not in same color)
14. 4 Card Straight Flush (all same color)
15. 4 Card Flush (all same color)
16. 4 Card Straight (not in same color)
17. 3 Card Straight Flush (all same color)
18. Triplet (3x)
19. 2 Pair (2x + 2x)
20. 3 Card Flush (all same color)
21. 3 Card Straights (not in same color)
22. 1 Pair (2x)
23. High Single Card (lowest hand)

NOTE: Several people have asked how I came up with this order. Well, to be honest, I'm no maths genius. I went with a combination of gut feel, some poker knowledge and several games of Havoc under my belt.

I only spent 5 minutes on these rankings and they can definitely be tweaked further. However, if Derek Carver gives it a thumbs up, it's ok in my books! Enjoy!
 
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Mark Crocker
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Flawed. A pair, and even a single high card such as 17 or 18 are harder to get than a 3-straight or a 3 flush. I also contend that 2 pair or 3 of a kind are harder to get than any 3 or 4 card flush or straight hands.
Y'know, there is nothing to stop a player from bluffing with those 3 and 4 card hands, but they deserve absolutely no ranking. You can really screw this game up by messing with the rankings. They are just fine as published.
 
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Richard Rutten
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I have to agree with Mark. There's nothing wrong with the rankings. Leave them as they are and simply enjoy this great poker variant.
 
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Derek Carver
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We have now tried Shawn's new ranking system. Although we previously enjoyed the game (there are always six of us) we now enjoy it far more. Many more players join the battles and it is all good nail-biting stuff as we were never sure what players' ultimate strength was as cards were gradually added to the table.

Ours is a critical group but it was universally agreed that the game benefitted. We had found that saving (and often 'spoiling') one's hand endeavouring to get Flushes and Straights (under the original system) wasn't beneficial due to the fact that they had no value unless all five cards were played (often putting you out of the game for the next few battles) - card management being important to Havoc whereas it isn't to Poker.

However, I speak only for our own crowd who now would not play the game any other way.

I'm sure there could be debate as to whether Shawn's ranking is a correct one. We simply played to it and there were no complaints (apart from the fact that a 4 card flush appears at positions 15 and 17; we took position 15 to be correct and deleted 17).

 
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C.K. Au
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In a 5- or 6-card flush (or straight) set, you can only play this 5- or 6-cards. In the new 4-card straight, can you play more than 4 cards ie. can I play 6 cards where 4 of them are straight and the other 2 are not?
 
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Derek Carver
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jack208 wrote:
In a 5- or 6-card flush (or straight) set, you can only play this 5- or 6-cards. In the new 4-card straight, can you play more than 4 cards ie. can I play 6 cards where 4 of them are straight and the other 2 are not?


We stuck to the original rules regarding straights and flushes so we played that you couldn't.

But I think you are right. There's certainly a case to be made for allowing it considering that in other combinations 'bluff' cards can be played to hide one's final intentions. In fact, the inventors specifically mention this tactic.
 
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Shawn Low
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jack208 wrote:
In a 5- or 6-card flush (or straight) set, you can only play this 5- or 6-cards. In the new 4-card straight, can you play more than 4 cards ie. can I play 6 cards where 4 of them are straight and the other 2 are not?


I'd say that you can play more than 4 cards with the other 2 cards being tie-breakers as well as bluff cards.
 
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Derek Carver
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shawn_low wrote:
jack208 wrote:
In a 5- or 6-card flush (or straight) set, you can only play this 5- or 6-cards. In the new 4-card straight, can you play more than 4 cards ie. can I play 6 cards where 4 of them are straight and the other 2 are not?


I'd say that you can play more than 4 cards with the other 2 cards being tie-breakers as well as bluff cards.


I have to say that that thought occurred to me, which takes it closer to poker. But because the inventors of HAVOC obviously rejected this system in favour of their alternative, we stuck with what they stated in the rules. Not that it made any difference because to date we've never had a tie, but I guess they can occur.
 
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Scott Russell
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Quote:
Y'know, there is nothing to stop a player from bluffing with those 3 and 4 card hands, but they deserve absolutely no ranking.


But there's no real bluff because if someone has a pair down, they can drop (not add any more) and still beat a four card flush. So the bluff doesn't exist.

Possibly some tweaks in the rankings are needed, but I like the concept and we may try it next time we bring this game out.

Even adding four cards and not three cards would make flushes and straights a lot more useful.
 
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I think adding 4 card straight / flush is a good idea for the reasons stated, but 3 card straights and flushes are a bad idea because :

a) That would make for very complicated combos like double straight or flush or a straight with a pair or a flush with three of a kind...

b) You're evaluating the 3 card straight & flush too high. Both are easier to achieve than a pair I think.

4 card straight and flush is still a good idea. This would add only 3 formations for an elegant total of 20 possible combos.

I don't know whether you calculated the odds of the new formations but I think you're off track. Foremost, I noticed that you counted the 4 card flush twice, on spots 15 & 17. I haven't checked the odds but I believe that this is a more correct ranking order. I may have placed the new formations (in bold) a bit too low, but better too low than too high, and it's still better to have a 4 card straight / flush option than no option at all.

HIGH
1. 6 card straight flush
2. 6 of a kind
3. 5 card straight flush
4. 5 of a kind
5. big house (4+2)

MID-HIGH
6. 4 of a kind
7. trios (3+3)
8. 6 card flush
9. full house (3+2)
10. 6 straight

MID-LOW
11. 4 card straight flush
12. 5 card flush
13. triple pair (2+2+2)
14. 5 card straight
15. 3 of a kind

LOW
16. 4 card flush
17. double pair (2+2)
18. 4 card straight
19. pair
20. high card

What do you think?
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A L D A R O N
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Sort of relevant: H:tHYW hand ranks with relative probabilities of those hands (as dealt in Poker) that are Poker hands indicated—the shaded portion of the bar for a given hand corresponds to the entire bar for the hand below.



EDIT: Fix garbled English.
 
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Quote:
Sort of relevant: H:tHYW hand ranks with relative probabilities of those hands (as dealt in Poker) that are Poker hands indicated—the shaded portion of the bar for a given hand corresponds to the entire bar for the hand below.


We know the havoc ranking order. That's not a poker ranking. Poker otoh only plays with 5 cards, 4 suits and 13 cards per suit. If you change any of these variables, the odds of getting a certain hand changes and the ranking order you posted isn't relevant.

What are you trying to say?



 
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-xXx- wrote:
What are you trying to say?

The relative gap between hand likelihoods is preserved though, isn't it? That's all this shows (I thought): the spots where you could insert hands. Maybe not.

More importantly, I was showing what one has for Poker but you haven't produced for this discussion: the probabilities of the hands you're talking about, given the different pool of cards being used.
 
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OK I see the bar now. If I understand your bars correctly, getting full house is relatively easy but holding a 5 card straight isn't very efficient. That's a rather displaced proportionality.

Anyway, here's an interesting link to poker odds:

http://www.pagat.com/vying/pokerprob.html

Can someone tell me where the following hands would fit in standard poker using a single deck (52 cards) with no wild cards?
4 card straight flush
4 card flush
4 card straight

 
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Mark Crocker
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Depends on what those four cards are as to whether they beat a single high card, but each and every one of those 4 card combos are EASIER to draw than any single pair. That's why those hands have no rank in poker. And in the wild west, a "four flusher" perhaps got shot or hung, or at the very least run out of town.
 
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Crockerdile wrote:
Depends on what those four cards are as to whether they beat a single high card, but each and every one of those 4 card combos are EASIER to draw than any single pair. That's why those hands have no rank in poker. And in the wild west, a "four flusher" perhaps got shot or hung, or at the very least run out of town.


I seriously doubt whether a 4 card straight flush is easier to draw than a pair.

 
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Mark Crocker
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I know that the math is more complicated than this, because when you deal out cards, the deck keep shrinking, but look at it this way.You are playing a new solitaire game. You only deal yourself 5 cards. from a standard poker card deck of 52 cards. You are dealt a heart on your first card and the rules of this game says that you MUST try for a heart 4 card straight-flush, or you MUST try to pair up your first card. There are no other choices in this game. Out of the 51 cards left in the deck, there are 6 cards remaining in the deck, if your 1st card is 4 through 10, that can help you get that 4 card straight-flush. (5 cards if your number is 3 or lower/J or higher). So there is a minimum of 5 cards left in the deck that can help you. If instead, you are compelled to pair up the first card you were dealt, then there is only a maximum of 3 cards left that can help you acheive this.

Like I said, the math becomes more complicted, as the cards get dealt out. But those are the begining odds. I can't speak for using a Havoc deck.
 
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The reason why there are exactly 17 formations is because that's the amount of 12-point lines which fits on a card. The designer says that he did add 4 card flushes and straights at first but had to cut the amount of options, like he explains here:
http://pdxgaming.blogspot.com/2005/10/daddy-where-did-havoc-...

Instead of adding 4 card straights & flushes, you can also reevaluate straights & flushes by removing some other hands like big house and full house. This also simplifies the ranking:

HIGH
15. 6 card straight flush
14. 6 of a kind
13. 5 card straight flush
12. 5 of a kind
11. quads

MID
10. double trips
9. 6 card flush
8. 6 card straight
7. 5 card flush
6. triple pair

LOW
5. 5 cards straight
4. trips
3. double pair
2. pair
1. high card
 
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On second thought, there would be much less fuss when using 5 card poker hands or even better, 4 card poker, instead of 6 card hands. The ranking would be less complicated, gameplay would be more tense and in the end, the game as a whole would be more elegant.

 
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