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Old 10-01-2008, 06:57 PM   #1
Azinctus
 
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Default How do I run a Poker game?

In this thread. Kromm said you need Gambling and Games (Poker) to play and win money at the poker table.

We'll be starting a Wild West game soon and all the PCs want to play poker. How do I run a game of poker using both skills? Acting, fast Talk, Detect Lies and Body Language should also be useful.

I was thinking of having a contest of Poker (Games), then a roll of Gambling. The winner of the first roll won the game (or just the hand), the second roll determines how much they won or lost.

But I'm not very clear on the details, I want this to be playable and exciting. Since most of the group will be involved I don't mind if it takes a bit of time. And I'd like for it to come to some tense moments so PCs or NPCs will be tempted to go for their their guns.

Getting out real cards might add some atmosphere, but I don't want the evening to degenerate into a poker night.

Any help or suggestions would be most welcome thank you.
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:41 PM   #2
Midnight
 
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Default Re: How do I run a Poker game?

Your idea seems reasonable. You could have the Games skill default to Gambling, but only if the speciality of Games is one that usually includes gambling. (Hmm, I might be remembering that from Basic, come to think of it)

Do note that a lot of people, myself included, can play poker, but don't have even a point in Gambling.

As far as tense poker games go, I'd just have the players roll per X hands with a winner after Y rounds won. That way it doesn't take forever, but there is some tension as they see the results.

Or, if you want to be silly, have each poker player have a point of "HP" per Z amount of money. Every lost round costs the losers one HP.

Hmm... GURPS National Poker Championship (GURPS NPC?). I'll leave poker techniques to more experienced poker players.

Hope that helps.
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:48 PM   #3
Ze'Manel Cunha
 
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Default Re: How do I run a Poker game?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azinctus
Getting out real cards might add some atmosphere, but I don't want the evening to degenerate into a poker night.
Well, I would break out the real cards, 'cause every time I've done it with just die rolls it got a bit boring.

Deal out hands, then roll skill, add skill success or failure to hand and voilá.

1 - low card < 7
2 - mid card < 10
3 - high card J+
4 - 22 to 66 (low pair)
5 - 77 to 1010 (mid pair)
6 - JJ to AA (high pair)
7 - 2 low pairs
8 - low & mid pair
9 - 2 mid pairs
10 - high low pair
11 - high mid pair
12 - 2 high pairs
13 - low trio
14 - mid trio
15 - high trio
16 - low straight
17 - mid straight
18 - high straight
19 - low flush
20 - mid flush
21 - high flush
22 - low low full house
23 - low mid full house
24 - mid mid full house
25 - high low full house
26 - high mid full house
27 - high high full house
28 - low four
29 - mid four
30 - high four
31 - low straight flush
32 - mid straight flush
33 - Royal Flush
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Old 10-01-2008, 07:53 PM   #4
MIB 1473
 
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Default Re: How do I run a Poker game?

You might deal real poker hands to the players and for the NPCs, and then use skill rolls to allow characters to determine what hands the other characters hold.

Bluff and Detect Bluff are probably techniques from Games (Poker), but you might allow Acting (for Bluff) and Body Language or Detect Lies (for Detect Bluff) to be used instead. Other possible techniques: specific varieties of poker (Omaha, Texas Hold'em, Five-Card Stud), Count Cards (depending on the variety of poker being played), Deceptive Dealing (for which Sleight of Hand might substitute), and Tilt (being annoying enough to cause other players to make poor decisions).
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: How do I run a Poker game?

I just ran the poker game. None of the characters had any relevant skills, so I just let them use their supernatural abilities (telepathic communication, one of them able to mind-read and influence the other players) to cheat like mad.

Probably not what you're hoping for, though.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:20 PM   #6
Kelly Pedersen
 
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Default Re: How do I run a Poker game?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azinctus
I was thinking of having a contest of Poker (Games), then a roll of Gambling. The winner of the first roll won the game (or just the hand), the second roll determines how much they won or lost.
Actually, I'd probably only roll against Gambling, but I'd have it capped at your Games (Poker) skill. So if you've got Gambling -15 and Games (Poker) -13, you'll only be rolling against 13 for your Gambling.

As for the other skills, I'd allow all the players to roll against a quick contest of their "bluffing" skill - probably Acting, although Intimidation could be an interesting alternative, against their best "counter-bluffing" skill (Body Language, Detect Lies, Psychology, etc.). The person with the best margin out of everyone would get +1 to the Gambling roll, or +2 if the margin was +10 or better, and the person with the worst margin would get -1, or -2 if the margin was -10 or worse.

If the players are really having fun, play it out hand by hand. I'd probably play it out with fewer rolls, though - something along the lines of one roll for the early game, one for the midgame, and one for the endgame. Possibly give bonuses or penalties on later rolls for big wins on earlier ones. Minor games, of course, can be played out in a single roll.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:37 PM   #7
arnej
 
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Default Re: How do I run a Poker game?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azinctus
Any help or suggestions would be most welcome thank you.
I'll second the suggestion to use real cards. In a Hero Wild West game a while back, we all would make Gambling rolls, then whoever won would get 2 extra cards. Whoever took second got 1. So, the better gambler(s) tended, over the long run, to get better hands and win more often, but the "kid" could still get lucky and pull 2 pairs of tens... ;)

A
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: How do I run a Poker game?

You've got several solutions.

1- The fastest one: Quick contest of skills.

Each player says how much money he risks and roll against his Game (poker) skill. The one with the higher margin of success wins the money.


2- A longer one: Regular contest of skills.

Each player says how much money he puts on the table and rolls against his Game (poker) skill. A miss mean that the character doesn't have a good hand and loses. All those who have succeeded their roll can go on putting money on the table and rolling again, untill only one of them miss.


3- A use of several skills.

Each player makes a roll against his Game (Poker) skill and the margin of success (or failure) gives the value of the hand. Then, every one do a regular contest of Gambling, or Psychology skill, with a bonus (or a penalty) equal to his margin of success (or failure), and must put money on the table for each roll.


4- Using one of the solution given in the replies above.

With true cards, which give bonus or penalties to the rolls, or the contrary, rolls which give more or less cards...


5- Something crazy.

Since it seems to be very important for your world, you can also create rules like the combat ones, with a pool of HP, as written above (the money you have, for instance), attack rolls (Game (poker) skill), defense rolls (Gambling or Psychology skills), damage depending on the amout of money put on the table at the beginning, and maneuvers which give you bonus and penalties: normal game, bluff, try to guess the adversary's game...

Last edited by Gollum; 10-02-2008 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: How do I run a Poker game?

There have been a number of Pyramid articles on gambling in GURPS. If you subscribe it might be worth your while to check these out:

Gambling and Dice Games gives a few ideas for non-poker games. Worth looking at for some additional ideas.

Bet On It offers some mechanics for abstracting longer games and clearly had all night poker games in mind. I'd strongly recommend checking this one out.

The Gambler in GURPS builds on "Bet on It." Poker games were very much in mind when it was written. (full disclosure: this one is mine...)
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:47 AM   #10
Azinctus
 
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Default Re: How do I run a Poker game?

Great suggestions everyone thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobKamm
The Gambler in GURPS builds on "Bet on It." Poker games were very much in mind when it was written. (full disclosure: this one is mine...)
Rob I like your article, I will use it and Bet on It as the basis for my poker games. I have a couple of questions though, is Games (Cards) more appropriate than Games (Poker)?

You mention Acting-2 vs Body Language why just those? What about Fast Talk and Detect Lies?

I'm planning to use the system as written in the Pyramid articles and then have "special events" where we zoom in on one hand, this will be the opportunity to psyche the other's out or crack and go for your guns.
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