I have created a simple card game called Poker Auction.


All players are dealt 2 cards each facedown. They have a fixed amount of money (say 1000 pts.) A card is opened from the deck, and auctioned to the highest bidder. Minimum bid is 50 pts. (unless you have less than 50, in which case you can go all-in as a bid) and any increment of 10 is allowed. Bidding is in cyclic order starting with the left of the dealer (which changes every game), and a person can place upto 3 bids. You may place a bid that is impossible to beat. Players who lose an auction get back their money, the winner loses money equal to his bid.

This process is repeated until every player has 5 cards (or the deck finishes, and it is a draw). If all but one player have 5 cards, and 5 cards have been 'passed out of the game' with no bids, this last player is obliged to take the next card(s) till he has 5 cards.

Person with the best hand (poker-style) wins the game. In the rare occurence that the first 5 'passed out cards' form a better hand than every player, it is a draw.


So far it works almost fine. The problem is that some hands (such as straight) are nearly impossible, and others become easier the usual (flush maybe easier than 3 of a kind, I'm not sure). Does this change the required precedence of hands? Maybe some maths will show, please help.

  • 1
    Have you looked online for this games rules? From a quick search it seems that there are games like this already out there and they do not change the order of precedence. Besides unless you are finding that players are splitting the pot and all bidding equal amounts (so that their money is staying stable) then it shouldn't be an issue. If you do get a split more often then it is likely to benefit the player who is being smart with their bids rather then just bidding high.
    – Joe W
    Apr 8, 2015 at 12:10
  • I'm tempted to say that this question is about probability, and would maybe suit better over on math.stackexchange.com? My guess is that the probability of each hand would stay exactly the same as any other form of poker, and hence the precedence of hands would stay the same.
    – AndyT
    Apr 9, 2015 at 11:34
  • The probability could only be determined by player's liklihood to bid on cards, though. So unless you run it through a massive meta-game simulator (1000 actors, machine learning, etc) you'll be hard pressed to find the right probabilities without also discovering the strategies too.
    – corsiKa
    Apr 9, 2015 at 15:47
  • A straight should not be harder to make than a flush. Bid does change the number of ways to make a hand.
    – paparazzo
    Jan 15, 2017 at 17:05

2 Answers 2


As the creator of the game, you can certainly change whatever rules you want. But consider that people will value the various cards on the relative strength of the hands they could go for. If you change the strengths, then they will change their betting patterns to adjust.

Ultimately, however, the real question is - do you need to change it? And by that I mean, as you playtest your game, do you identify that the precedence needs to change? When you're designing a game, you have to playtest, and then playtest some more, then make some tweaks and playtest some more. Game design is about 20% design and 80% playtesting. So what did your playtesting tell you?


That the ranking of hands corresponds to the chances of getting them is convenient, but quite arbitrary. There's no inherent reason why it has to be that way.

For instance, you could play a version of straight poker where a pair of red twos beats everything. Even though getting that hand is far more likely than a royal flush, it could still be an interesting game.

People are used to the standard ranking of hands. Without some very good and specific purpose, it would only detract from your version if the ranking were changed to a non-standard order.

In your version the real issue isn't with the probabilities of random distributions though, but with the play itself. Once you see someone bid on a 3♣, you know that the player is collecting 3s or clubs, and that will significantly affect the play, far more than the actual mathematical odds.

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