Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Yahtzee! Poker

It's almost too good to be true -- the combination of both Texas Hold 'em and Yahtzee, also known as The Best Game Ever Made. Don't mess with Yahtzee. The Dice Gods will mess you up.

Sham got me Yahtzee Hold 'em (or whatever the hell it's actually called) for Christmas. It's a perfect gift for me.

Matt, Brandie, Marie and I tried out Yahtzee Hold 'em on Friday night. The rules of the game are just like you'd imagine. Each person has a starting chip stack, and it's a 10/20 limit game. There are 20 dice, five of each color. Each color represents a suit. The dealer gives each player two "hole" dice, which are like their down cards in hold 'em. Then three dice are rolled as a "flop," one more for the turn and a final die for the river. Then you make the best five-dice hand, and the winner collects the pot.

The hand values are a little bit screwy. The best hand is a Yahtzee Flush, which is all the same number on all the same colored dice. A straight beats a full house because it's harder to get in this game. All the hand values are printed out in the rules.

The thing that surprised me most about the game is that it's so identical to poker. Really, the rules are pretty much self-explanatory.

I want to figure out the odds better. Because each die only has six sides, the possibilities of making a good hand are much more limited. No starting hand has significantly more preflop value than any other because just about everything is dependent on the flop. That's when your hand is truly defined and when you can start to really bet. My impression was that preflop bets and raises in Yahtzee Hold 'em are mostly a wasted effort. For that reason, the betting feels a little bit like stud games, where you want to bet when the betting limits go up so that you can punish your opponents and maximize your chance of winning the hand.

It's weird to me to think of dice rolls in terms of outs. I don't know if that even really works because any die could hit a one through six on any roll. There is not such a limited supply of each card type. For example, with 20 dice, you could roll a one on each die if you tried long enough. In a regular deck, there are only four Aces.

Anyways, we didn't play for too long. After we got the hang of the game, we boosted up the betting limits to 10/20 no limit. That brought some action!

It's hard for me to say how much I actually like the game itself. It's certainly interesting, but it's hard to gauge how engaging it will be on a second or third try. I think I'll like it a lot more if I can find people to put real money on the line instead of just playing for chips!

The Dice Gods love the action.

1 comment:

Jason Schneider said...

This game sounds fun. Id rather play hold em but for the people who dont play cards would be more likely to play this with me...