Domino Poker

Domino Poker is an adaptation of Straight Poker using a double six set of dominoes from which the [1-1] and all blank tiles have been removed. This leaves 20 tiles in the set.

Players

The game is for two, three or four players.

The Deal

Before dealing the hands, each puts a small predetermined amount of money into the pot; this is his ante. The hands are then dealt and they are always five tiles, regardless of the number of players in the game. The remaining tiles are left face down.

The Play

The play is same as Straight Poker. Play rotates to the left, beginning with the eldest hand. Each player may in his turn do one of the following:

  1. Check. This is done to stay in the game, without adding any money to the pot. This can only be done on the first round of betting, when no one has yet bet.
  2. Fold, which is to drop out of the game and lose any claim to the pot. A player who folds must not show his hand.
  3. Bet. The player adds some money to the pot. Usually a minimum and maximum size of bet is agreed in advance. This can only be done on the first round of betting, when no one else has yet bet.
  4. Call. The player puts in enough money to bring his contribution to the level of the other players. When a point is reached where everyone who has not folded has stakes the same amount of money, the betting ends.
  5. Raise the bet. This can only happen after another player has bet or raised. The player in more money than would be required for a call. The extra money is the amount of the raise, which the player must announce. This increases the amount of money the other players must add to stay in the game. Usually, players agree in advance a minimum and maximum limit on the size of a raise.

Scoring

The hands are exposed and the highest ranking hand wins the pot. Hands are ranked from highest to lowest as follows:

9) Royal Hand or Invincible.
A hand with all five doubles (2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6); note that a round can have only one such hand because the double one and double zero have been removed.
8) Straight Sixes.
A sequence in the suit of sixes. You cannot have a tie in Straight Sixes because there are only two ways to get this hand:
    [2-6], [3-6], [4-6], [5-6], [6-6]
    [1-6], [2-6], [3-6], [4-6], [5-6]
7) Four of a kind.
A hand with any four doubles; note that only one player can have such a hand.
6) Straight Fives.
A sequence in the suit of fives. You cannot have a tie in Straight Fives. There are only two ways to get this hand:
    [2-5], [3-5], [4-5], [5-5], [5-6]
    [1-5], [2-5], [3-5], [4-5], [5-5]
5) Full House.
Three doubles and two of any suit. For example: [1-1], [2-2], [4-4], [5-3], [5-1].
4) Straight Fours.
A sequence in the suit of fours. You cannot have a tie in Straight Fours. There are only two ways to get this hand:
    [2-4], [3-4], [4-4], [4-5], [4-6]
    [1-4], [2-4], [3-4], [4-4], [4-5]
3) Three of kind or triple.
A hand with any three doubles; note that only one player can have a triple because the double one and double six have been removed, leaving only ficve doubles in the set.
2) Flush.
Five tiles in the same suit, but not in consecutive order.
1) One pair.
A hand with any two doubles. Ties are settled in favor of the highest double (i.e. 6-6 and 2-2 will beat 5-5 and 4-4).
0) High card.
When none of the other hands apply, the winner is determined by the highest double. If no hand has a double, the winner is determined by the highest pip within the highest suit.

Comments & Strategy

This is really a weak form of Poker, transferred from cards to dominoes. You might have an advantage if you do not know how to play Poker because the ranking of the hands retains some of the names of Poker hands but not the same values. Unlearning a game is difficult.

There is a problem with the fact that Straight Sixes, Straight Fives and Straight Fours are all equally likely, but are ranked differently. In real Poker, the ranking of a hand corresponds to inversely to its likelihood.

There are 1,860,480 possible hands in the game and only five doubles in the set. Having certain hands precludes anyone from getting Royals, Straights and other combinations which depend on one or more doubles. You will find this to be a game with a lot of bluffing in it.