Turkish Poker

With thanks to Burçin Kerem Seyis for the information on which this page is based.

Introduction

Türk pokeri (Turkish poker) is a 5 Card Draw poker variant played with a short deck of 36 or fewer cards. Each player receives five cards and up to four can be exchanged.

Players and Cards

The minimum number of players is 2 and the maximum is 5. Small cards are removed from a standard 52-card pack to make a pack of 24 to 36 cards, depending on the number of players. The cards used for play are:

  • 2 players : 24 cards : A-K-Q-J-10-9
  • 3 players : 28 cards : A-K-Q-J-10-9-8
  • 4 players : 32 cards : A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7
  • 5 players : 36 cards : A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6

The Ace is normally the highest card, but can be used as a low card to make a straight (or straight flush). When used as a low card the Ace ranks immediately below the lowest card in the pack - for example with four players the Ace ranks immediately below the 7 and 10-9-8-7-A is a straight.

The rank of the suits, from high to low, is: Hearts heart (kupa) > Spades spade (maça) > Diamonds diamond (karo) > Clubs club (sinek).

Names and Ranks of Hands

Note that there are four important differences from international poker:

  1. A flush beats a full house (flushes are more difficult to make with a shortened deck).
  2. Three of a kind beats a straight (I do not know the reason for this, but it is the rule in Turkey).
  3. Aces are considered consecutive with the lowest card of the deck when making a low (minor) straight.
  4. In other cases, suits are used to break ties between otherwise equal hands.

Here is a list of the hand types in order from highest to lowest, with their Turkish names, and notes on how to compare them when two or more players have the same type of hand.

Floş Royal (Royal Flush): the top 5 cards of a single suit, for example diamondA - diamondK – diamondQ – diamondJ – diamond10. If two or more players have royal flushes the higher suit is better.

Floş (Straight Flush): five consecutive cards of a suit, not including the Ace - for example spadeK – spadeQ – spadeJ – spade10 –spade 9. When comparing straight flushes, first compare the rank or the highest card.

Minör Floş (Minor Straight Flush): the lowest four cards of a suit with the Ace of the same suit - for example in a three-player game heartJ - heart10 - heart9 - heart8 - heartA. If two players have minor straight flushes, the higher suit is better.

Kare (Four of a Kind): four equal ranked cards, with any fifth card, for example heartK - spadeK - diamondK - clubK - spade9. When comparing these, the higher set of four is better.

Renk (Flush): any five cards of the same suit, such as clubA – clubQ – club10 – club9 – club7. When comparing tow flushes, compare the rank of the highest card, then the second highest and so on down; if all five cards are equal the suit decides. For example clubA – clubQ – clubJ – club8 – club7 is better than heartA - heartQ - heart10 - heart9 - heart8 because the Jack is higher than the 10.

Ful (Full House): three cards of one rank plus two cards of another rank, such as spade8 – diamond8 – club8 – heartJ – clubJ. When comparing these, the higher three of a kind is better.

Üçlü (Three of a kind): three cards of the same rank plus two unequal cards, such as heart9 – diamond9 – club9 – spadeJ – diamondQ. When comparing these, the higher three of a kind is better.

Kent (Straight): five consecutive cards of mixed suits, such as clubA - diamondK - spadeQ - spadeJ - heart10 or diamondQ – diamondJ – spade10 - club9 - heart8. The straight with the higher top card is better.

Minör Kent (Minor Straight): a card of each of the lowest four ranks, plus an Ace - for example in a four-player game diamond10 - heart9 - club8 - heart7 - clubA. Compare the suit of the highest card

Doper (Two Pair): two cards of one rank, two cards of another rank, and one other card - for example clubA – spadeA – heartJ – diamondJ - club8. First compare the higher pair, then the lower pair, then the odd card. Only if all five cards are equal, compare the suits as explained below.

Per (Pair): two cards of the same rank and three odd cards. For example heartQ – diamondQ – clubK – spade7 - diamond8. Compare the rank of the pairs, then the rank of the odd cards, beginning with the highest. Only if all five cards are equal, compare the suits as explained below.

Yüksek Kart (High Card): five cards that do not form any of the above combinations - for example spadeA – heartJ – club10 – spade8 - heart7. Compare the rank of the highest card, then the second highest and so on.

If two players have hands that are equal apart from the suits, the suit ranking is used to determine which is higher, as follows.

  • Between otherwise equal flushes or straight flushes the higher suit wins.
  • Between equal straights the suit of the highest card determines who wins.
  • Between equal ranked two-pair hands (the same ranked pairs and the same ranked kicker), the hand that has the heart card in the higher pair wins, even if the rank of the kicker is higher.
  • A similar rule applies to equal pairs when both hands have the same three kickers. The hand with the pair that contains the heart wins.
  • Between two high-card hands, the one whose high card is in the higher suit wins.

Deal and First Betting Round

The first dealer is chosen at random and the turn to deal passes to the left after each hand. Before each deal all players must ante an equal amount to the pot.

The cards are shuffled, cut, and dealt clockwise one at a time until each player has five cards.

At this point there is a round of betting, in which the minimum requirement to open (oyunu açmak) is a pair of Kings. Players who have less than this must pass (pas), and players are allowed to pass even if they meet the opening requirement.

Once a player has opened, other players can call (görmek), raise (arttırmak) or re-raise (tekrar arttırmak) even without a pair of kings. Players who do not wish to match the latest bet can fold (çekilmek). They throw in their cards face down, take no further part in the hand, and cannot win the pot. Note that if the opener folds, he or she may be required to show enough cards to prove that the opening was legal - i.e. that the hand was higher than a pair of Queens.

If all players but one fold, the sole survivor wins the pot immediately (if it is the opener, the winner may be required to show cards to prove that the opening requirement was met). Otherwise, the betting round continues until the stakes of all surviving players are equal - see the poker betting page for a fuller explanation of betting procedures.

If nobody opens, the cards are thrown in. The pot stays, the players ante again and there is a new deal by the next dealer.

Draw and Second Betting Round

If more than one player is still in the game after the first betting round, the players have an opportunity to improve their hands by drawing cards.

Beginning with the player to dealer's left each player states how many cards, from 0 to 4, he or she wishes to exchange, discards that number of cards face down and is given replacement cards by the dealer from the top of the undealt part of the deck. If the cards run out, the discarded cards are shuffled and reused. If a player wishes to change four cards, only three are given initially; after all the players have been served, the players who asked for four cards are given their last replacement card.

As in standard draw poker, it is legal for the opener to discard part of or all of the combination that qualified the hand to be opened. In this case, the player must announce that the opening combination is being discarded, and the dealer must keep that player's discards to one side, so that it can be proved if necessary that a pair of kings or better was held.

After the exchange of cards are there is a second round of betting begun by the player who opened the first round of betting, or if this player has folded by the next player in clockwise order from the opener who is still active. This player may check (bop), leaving his or her stake as it is, or bet (bahis koymak), putting some additional money in the pot. If everyone checks, the showdown follows immediately. If a player bets, the other players have the usual options to fold, call or raise.

If all but one player fold, the sole survivor takes the pot immediately. Otherwise, the betting round continues until the stakes of all surviving players are equal, and then the cards are shown.

As in the first betting round, if the opener folds or wins because everyone else folds, he or she must show cards on request to prove that the opening was legal.

The Showdown

In the showdown, all surviving players show their hands, and the player with the highest ranked hand wins the pot. Please note the differences between hand rankings in Turkish Poker and International Poker explained above.

Software and Online Games

Tolga Özdemir has published a Turkish Poker game on facebook.