Every player begins with $10,000/$20,000. Someone is given the dealer chip, which determines who will pay the blinds for that round. Two cards are dealt to each player, and the two players to the left of the one with the dealer chip pay the blinds, which are to ensure that the pot actually has some money to begin with. The blinds at the start of the tournament are $100 for the first (little) blind and $200 for the second (big) blind. The big blind's value is also the minimum betting amount for all betting rounds until the blinds increase.
Once the blinds are paid and the cards examined, players then decide whether they want to call (match the big blind, which is the starting ante or minimum requirement to play), raise (increase the ante), or fold (simply quit for the round). If all the players besides the blind payers call, the person who paid the little blind will only need to pay the other half the blind to match the ante. The second blind payer then has the choice to check (pay no extra money to continue) instead of calling as they have already paid the ante. If any of the players makes a raise, all other players must pay the extra raise to match the ante in order to continue or choose to fold. Any player can add more raises for the others to match, but the minimum limit to reraise is the amount of the last raise. Once the ante has been called or raises have been matched by everyone and there is at least two players playing for the pot, the game continues. If, instead, all but one player is left due to everyone else folding, that player automatically wins whatever is in the pot; this applies for all rounds of betting.
The dealer discards a card from the draw, and then lays out the first three community cards known as the flop. The players can now begin formulating hands with these cards with the two cards they already own. Based on these hands, the next choice of action is decided. The player left of the dealer (the one who paid the little blind) begins that round of betting; they can either check, bet (pay an ante to increase the pot), or fold. Should they check, the next player has the same options. If they bet, the next player instead can call, raise, or fold. The betting round ends once everyone has checked or all bets and raises have been called. If everyone checks, the pot has not increased in value but the players gain a free card as a result.
If a bet higher than the minimum or a raise was made in an earlier round (this includes the pre-flop round), that number is the new minimum for the rest of the hand.
Another card is discarded by the dealer, and the fourth community card called the turn appears. A new round of betting is done in the same way as above. Afterward, the final card called the river is placed down and the final round of betting is done.
Using the five community cards shown on the table combined with the two cards in hand, the best five-card hand is made. The hand is compared with the hands of other players in a showdown where all players remaining for the round show their hands, and the best hand wins the pot.
During the betting rounds, a player can opt to raise high enough that all the money owned can be bet; this is called going all-in. If all the players playing for the pot also go in as a result of calling, or only one person has money left over after calling, an automatic showdown occurs and the players immediately show their cards once everyone's finished betting. Any community cards left needing to be shown will automatically be revealed.
If there is more than one player still with money against the player(s) who went all-in, there is no showdown yet and the other players continue making their own bets within themselves. Any bets made by these players are put into a separate side pot. This side pot cannot be won by players who have gone all-in prior to the formation of the side pot, and multiple side pots are possible. The only pots they are allowed to have are the main pot and whatever side pots they may happen to become a part of. However, if a player who is a part of all the pots wins, they obtain the money from all the pots. The game will announce the winners of first the main pot and then the side pots.
Once the pot has been taken, a new round starts with the dealer chip moving to the left by one player. All steps above are repeated throughout the entire game.
After a certain amount of time has passed, the first blind is increased by $100. Since the second blind is twice the amound of the first, the second blind increases by $200. The game proceeds as normal until another increment is made, and so forth.
The amount allowed for betting and raising are dependent on the current blinds and what the current bet value is. For example, if the betting round in question is the one prior to the flop, players can choose to call the big blind or raise. The minimum raise requirement is the big blind's value, but has no maximum limit. If the example round has $200 as the big blind, a player must raise to a value at least $400. If we assume a player decided to raise to $1000, the next player now has to raise by a minimum of whatever the previous player raised by. In this case the first player raised the bet from $200 to $1000, meaning the raised value was $800. Therefore the new minimum raise requirement is $800, and the next player must bet at least $1800 in order to make a raise. Anytime new community cards appear, a new betting round begins and the minimum bet/raise limit is reset to $200.
When a player no longer has any money, they are knocked out of the game. The last player remaining after all the others have been eliminated from the tournament wins the game and all the money from the players.
Card HierarchyEditIn a standard deck of cards, there are 13 values given to the cards with 4 suits. The values are ranked by their number (2-10), with the royalties in order of Jack, Queen, then King. The Ace is a special card, in that it can be used as a 1 or as the highest card above a King (as it historically represents/symbolises the removal of the nobility and the promotion of the common man). The suits are not ranked in poker games, so no one suit is better than another.
There are a total of ten combinations of cards with value, called hands in poker. When determining the value of the hand against a hand of similarity, the hand with the highest card value wins. The Ace automatically becomes the highest card in many of these cases. In all hands that involve 4 cards or less, a kicker is used to determine a winner if both players have matching hands (see below). If, however, some players have the exact same hand, the pot is split between all the players with that matching hand (of course, that hand must also be the winning hand).
The hands are, in order from weakest to strongest:
- High Card
- This is simply the highest card that a player has in their hand, with no significant combination otherwise. As the weakest hand, it is very risky to play with.
- A pair is two cards that are of the same value, such as two Kings. While a pair is the second lowest hand, it is by far the most common hand to be played and bet with due to its ease of obtaining and a good chance of beating someone else's pair.
- Two Pair
- A two pair is simply what it is: two pairs of respectively equal values within the pairs. When facing a player with another two pair, the highest pairs from the two hands are evaluated. If they match, then the second pairs are checked. If both are the same, then the kicker determines the winner.
- Three of a Kind
- A three of a kind is three cards of the same value. The higher valued three of a kind wins in a match against another three of a kind.
- A straight is five cards that have consecutive values, such as a hand with a 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. If an Ace is used in a straight with a 2, 3, 4, and 5, it is no longer considered the highest card and can lose to any straight beginning with a 2 or higher. As a result, the ace can not be used to make a looping straight such as a Queen, King, Ace, 2, and 3 for there is no real way to determine its value.
- A flush is five cards that all have the same suit, such as all hearts. The values of the cards do not matter unless another player has a flush, in which the better value is determined in a similar fashion to a high card match.
- Full House
- A full house is a combination of a pair and a three of a kind. In a match between two full houses, the three of a kind is evaluated first. If they're the same, the pair is then checked.
- Four of a Kind
- A four of a kind is four cards of the same value. The higher valued four of a kind wins.
- Straight Flush
- A straight flush is a combination of a straight and a flush: five cards with consecutive values and all having the same suit. The value of the hand is determined in the same fashion as a straight. Note that in Poker Night at the Inventory, if you do get a straight flush, Winslow will just announce it as a flush.
- Royal Flush
- Also known as a "Royal Straight Flush," this is simply the highest straight flush possible. It requires a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace with all having the same suit. Due to the fact this hand asks for a specific kind of straight flush, it is nearly impossible to achieve. Incidentally, due to it being an end straight flush, it has the same chances of showing up as the lowest straight flush with an Ace, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
Various hands are required to obtain an achievement. See Achievements.
The odds of having each possible hand at each betting stage are:
|Royal Flush||1 in 649,740||1 in 108,290||1 in 30,940|
|Straight Flush||1 in 72,193.33||1 in 12,293,79||1 in 3,590.57|
|Four of a Kind||1 in 4,165||1 in 1,388.33||1 in 595|
|Full House||1 in 694.17||1 in 122.65||1 in 38.52|
|Flush||1 in 508.80||1 in 98.93||1 in 33.05|
|Straight||1 in 254.80||1 in 56.30||1 in 21.64|
|Three of a Kind||1 in 47.33||1 in 27.81||1 in 20.70|
|Two Pair||1 in 21.04||1 in 8.04||1 in 4.26|
|Pair||1 in 2.37||1 in 2.09||1 in 2.28|
|High Card||1 in 2.00||1 in 3.07||1 in 5.74|
The Kicker CardEdit
When the hands are shown, it is possible that two or more players will hold the same hand. In this case, the kicker card determines the winner. This does not apply with hands that involve five cards (straight, flush, full house, or straight flush), as there is no kicker available.
For example, two players both have a pair of Kings. One player has, along with the King pair, an Ace, 7, and 4. The other has a Queen, 10, and 9. The kicker is the highest card that follows the actual hand, which in this case is the Ace from the first player and the Queen from the second. Since the first player has a Ace which beats the Queen, they have the higher kicker. If both players have the same first kicker, the next highest card in the hand is checked; if they're the same then the last card is checked. Should all cards be the same, then both players have the exact same hand. In this case, there is no winning kicker card and the pot is simply split between the players.
Omaha Hold 'EmEdit
Poker Night 2 also includes the Omaha Hold 'Em poker style. Omaha is mostly identical to Texas Hold 'Em, but with two key differences: each player is dealt four cards at the beginning of the game, and must use exactly two of those cards and three cards from the table to determine their hand. The first means many more hands are possible, to the point that even seasoned players sometimes need extra time to figure out their position. The second means that unlike in Texas Hold 'Em you cannot add a single card of your own to four on the table to complete a hand, making flushes, straights and full houses harder to get than they may appear.
In all poker games, bluffing is a very prominent aspect. Bluffing is when a player makes a bet that implies a good hand is being held when the hand is actually much less in strength. This act encourages the player's opponents to fold to the player, as they may believe the player indeed has a good hand and would not want to challenge that hand, and the player then wins the pot due to their opponents folding. Should someone call their bluff and continue playing, the bluffing can backfire and the bluffer will end up losing a large amount of money.
However, this can lead to double bluffs if a player does not make a careful judgment. If an player bets high, and another believes them to be bluffing and calls the bluff, the second player may suddenly discover that the first actually has a strong hand and that first high bet was simply a lure to trick opponents into thinking they are bluffing. Bluffs can also suddenly become a very lucky risk if the five cards shown can suddenly create a hand that makes the original far stronger than any of the players would've expected. This psychological aspect of poker is what makes poker not only a game of luck, but a strategic game about knowing your opponents and how they think in order to make them play into your traps or to avoid theirs.
When trying to figure out what an opponent is thinking, there is the idea that a player may reveal what kind of cards they may hold or whether they're bluffing or not by their body language. A tell is a particular body movement that a player does involuntarily that can give away information that they never intended to show. For example (not based on any character of the game), if someone scratches their ear after looking at their cards and they are known to do that when they have a bad hand, it can be determined their hand is bad. Of course, if a player is well aware of their own tells, bluffs can be made by faking a tell to throw off their opponents into believing it. Whether or not tell bluffing is present in Poker Night is unknown, though it is probably unlikely.
See Tells for a list of tells for all the characters in Poker Night.