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I came up with a card game variant, combining Texas Hold 'Em and Cribbage, with a friend. You basically follow Hold 'Em play mechanics, and the best hand at showdown is the 5 card hand (2 hole cards + 3 board cards) with the highest cribbage score (counting runs, pairs, 15s, and 1 point for having any Jack. 4 and 5 flushes are allowed if both hole cards are used).

I ran several Monte Carlo simulations and there are definitely advantages to certain starting hands.

So, the questions:

  1. What else do I need to think about/test to call this game final?
  2. How can I determine the optimal betting structure, one that promotes skill over luck (limit/no limit/pot limit)?
  3. How can I best share my game with people who will play it?
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p.s. If you decide to talk about/play this game, I really love the tongue-in-cheek name "Gamblin' Cribbage Hold 'Em". –  Chris Marasti-Georg Dec 20 '11 at 13:23
    
Wow. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who's considered this! –  Iszi Feb 24 '12 at 4:35
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1 Answer 1

I'll try to answer the two first questions :

  • What else do I need to think about/test to call this game final?

Try to keep it simple. The more complicated your rules are, the less entertaining it will be. Remember this famous phrase about poker : "It takes five minutes to learn, but a lifetime to master."

Generally this can be applied to every popular board and card game. Introducing too many variables will also confuse the players, who will find it harder to think about the current hand.

Don't give too much informations. If there are too many cards shown (like in 5-stud) the strategy will be easy, and boring. But if there are not enough cards shown (like in 5-draw) then there is no real strategy at all. Visible cards are not the only source of informations, there is also the number of common/private cards, the number of betting rounds, ... Texas Hold'em became popular because it achieves a very good balance here.

  • How can I determine the optimal betting structure, one that promotes skill over luck (limit/no limit/pot limit)?

Just try them all. But I don't think you have to choose now. Your players will choose it for you, and the optimal betting structure will become the popular one. Think about Omaha, which was first played in no-limit. Now almost everyone plays Omaha in pot-limit, because there is a better skill/luck balance.

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