Round Table Poker
Your fate in the game rests with your hand, or the cards you are dealt. Below are listed the ten different classifications of poker hands, from best to worst, descriptions and examples of each, and the odds and percent chance to be dealt each one in the initial deal.
Ties within a classification are broken by the cards which do not contribute to the classification of the hand. For example, if one player has a hand of A, A, J, 8, 7 and another has A, A, K, 3, 2, the second player would win--the two Ace-pairs are removed, and the rest of the hand is treated as a High Card hand. For hands like straights or flushes, the highest card of the hand determines the value (i.e., an Ace-high flush would defeat a Jack-high flush)
|Name||Odds and % Chance||Description||Example|
|An honorary classification given its own name because of its rarity, but technically just a Straight Flush. The best possible poker hand, consisting of a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of a single suit.|
|The highest-ranked classification of poker hands. Consists of any five cards in numerical order within a single suit.|
|Four of a Kind||4164:1
|The second-best classification of poker hands. Consists of all four cards of a single value.|
|Consists of three cards of a single value and two cards of another value. It is referred to by the phrase model "three-of-a-kind-value over pair-value" (e.g., Aces over 3s).|
|Consists of five cards of a single suit.|
|Consists of five cards in numerical order (not of the same suit, or you'd be a lot happier).|
|Three of a Kind||46.3:1
|Consists of three cards of a single value. Often mistaken as being lower-ranked than the Two Pair for some reason.|
|Consists of, well, two pairs (of different values, or you have a Four of a Kind).|
|Consists of two cards of the same value.|
|The default hand if you have nothing better. Not a good hand, but can sometimes win if no one else has anything either. Ranked by the highest of the five cards, then the highest of the remaining four, and so on.|
Playing the Game
At the beginning of each round, every player has to "ante up" (that is, put a certain defined amount of NP into the pot; in this case, 10). This ensures that there's something to win even if no one bets a single neopoint. To begin the round, all players are dealt five cards each by the dealer, and the first round of betting begins based on the hands dealt.
Betting works like this: each player is given one of three options:
Check: Check means that you neither bet nor fold and is only available when you've bet the same amount as everyone else before you, such as right after the ante and dealing.
Bet: Bet allows you to place a bet (increments of 10 NP), which requires the other players to follow suit or forfeit the round.
Fold: Fold means that you decide not to meet the current bet and thus forfeit the round.
A few tips: If no one has bet before you, don't fold. There's no reason to, since you won't be paying any more money than you were to begin with, and you may win unexpectedly. If you have an excellent hand, you may want to wait for someone to bet first so that you can raise the bet when it is again your turn. If you're currently in the lead (have the most money), especially by a lot and especially toward the end of a tournament, and are unsure of your chances, fold. There's no reason to chance it and lose the lead you have.
Once someone has made a bet, the three options change, and the betting continues until everyone has placed the same amount of money in the pot or chosen to fold. The three options are now:
Call: Call means that you bet the same amount as everyone before you.
Raise: Raise means that you bet whatever the current rate is and add some more, forcing everyone to put more money into the pot or fold.
Fold: Fold means exactly the same as before--to forfeit the round in lieu of losing money.
A tip: Raising serves two purposes--because it shows that you think you have a very good hand, it can force people to fold out of fear (this is where bluffing comes in), and it can drive up the pot amount so that you win more NPs (this is what you want to happen when you know your hand is not likely to lose).
After the first round of betting concludes, players are given the chance to discard up to four of their cards and receive new ones in exchange. This is the heart of the game, for players bet in the first round based on the hand they could have after discarding, as well as the hand they are guaranteed given the original cards dealt. Basically, the point is that you want to get a better hand.
When it is your turn to discard, simply click on a card to discard it. You'll see the text 'Discard' underneath it. When you're finished selecting, click the 'DISCARD' button to receive your new cards.
Your new cards will show up and discarding will continue while you ponder your new hand and how to bet on it. If you have a really fantastic hand to begin with, you don't actually have to discard any cards. So, if you have something like a Straight or a Flush from the get-go it might not be a good idea to discard anything at all. If this is the case, simply click 'DISCARD' and affirm that you do indeed think your hand is fantastic.
After discarding, you will hopefully have a better hand; unfortunately, the other players might as well. The second round of betting begins and operates exactly like the first one except for one change: the increment is now 20 NP. A tip: If your hand after discarding is a High Card hand and any player bets anything, fold. It's not worth the tiny chance you might still win to place a bet.
After the second round of betting, the player with the best hand wins the pot (which contains everyone's antes and bets from that round). Keep in mind that if you folded a better hand than any of the other players had, you won't win because folding constitutes forfeiting. When that happens, you'll know better for next time how to judge your hand and whether or not the other players are bluffing.
Here's a list of the players you'll face during the tournament in the order they appear. In each round, you'll face four of them, and you'll have to earn a larger amount of NP than every one of them to move on to the next round. In the final round, you'll face a second edition of Nigel of Meridar, rather than a different character.
You may know that keeping an expressionless "poker face" is an important part of successfully playing any version of poker. This is no different--each of the players maintain a poker face for most of the game, but will occasionally break it, intentionally or not. And the further in the tournament you go, the less often they'll show expressions.
Often, they will be bluffing, but there are two specific occasions when you should watch the players' expressions for clues to their cards: when a hand is dealt and when everyone has finished discarding (note that this is after everyone is done, not in between each discarding). But more on that later.
|Nigel of Meridar|
As I mentioned earlier, there are two occasions when you want to watch the faces of your opponents, and two occasions only: when a hand is dealt, and when everyone is finished discarding (not after each person discards). Any time besides these, you can assume that the players are faking the break in their pokerface. Sometimes it's pretty obvious they're faking--they all feign sadness when they bet to encourage you to think they're bluffing about their hand.
You want to watch for both happy faces and sad faces during the two occasions for face-reading, but we'll deal particularly with the happy faces, as those give away a lot more information.
At occasion 1, a happy face means the player has a good hand (i.e., not a High Card hand, and often at least a Two Pair). Watch these players--if they do not bet in the first round, they are likely bluffing. The only exception is that a player who bets first or second might, if they have a very good hand (at least a Three of a Kind), wait and hope someone else bets first so they can raise the bet. Note also that no computer player will fold on a 10 NP bet in the first round of betting, no matter how bad their hand.
You can guess the type of hand the players have based on how many cards they discard. (Note that they will never discard four cards, but you may.) If they exchange one card, they have a Two Pair or a good chance for a Flush or Straight. If they exchange two cards, they have a Three of a Kind. If they exchange three cards, they most likely have a Pair. If they don't exchange anything at all, they probably have at least a Straight, and you should watch them carefully.
No he can't read my pokerface!
Remember how you were watching the number of exchanged cards? When you watch the faces of the players in occasion 2, you'll see whether they were successful in acquiring a good hand (usually at least a high Pair). If they had a Pair, they're looking for a Two Pair or Three of a Kind. If they had a Two Pair, they're looking for a Full House, and so on.
The ones you really want to watch are the ones who had a normal expression at occasion 1, exchanged only one card, and smiled at occasion 2. These are the ones who have really good hands like a Flush or Straight.
Once again, if a player smiles but does not bet, they're probably faking; on the other hand, if they bet (especially if they're one of the first to bet) and didn't smile, they're probably faking. Another thing to note about betting in the second round is that most players will not bet even if they have a high Pair unless they are fourth or fifth to bet.
Much of the information on the players habits is courtesy of this NT article by aquariss. Many thanks to the author!
You earn me after completing Level 5!
Best of luck with all your poker endeavors here on Neopets! If you do well, you may earn yourself a Runner-Up Medal. If you do really well, you might earn yourself a high score table trophy! (The high score tables are unlocked when you reach level 6 and are scored by your total winnings at the end of the 16 hands of the tournament.)
This game guide was written by: Patrick & Zelda