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H&S Hold’em

Originally described in the book "1729 il numero di Mr. 17-29"


A fictional skill game mainly based on Texas Hold’em plus asymmetric points distribution. It is played with only 28 total cards: every spade, every heart, the King of diamonds and the King of clubs. The points can be achieved using 5 cards (whatever) among the 4 common cards plus the 2 personal ones.

All the cards are hidden (in analogy with the Texas Hold’em) and the players have no explicit info about opponents sitting at their table.

The maximum number of players at the same table is 10, while the minimum is 2 opponents (heads-up mode). The technique to take the “Flop”, the “Turn” and the “River” is identical to the Hold’em.

You can play using tournament rules or the cash game ones. H&S would be a “pot limit” Hold’em game, but it could be played in the most aggressive way through the “no limit Hold’em” configuration.


Playing rules 

2 personal cards for each player + 2 at the Flop (common cards) + 1 at the Turn (common) + 1 at the River (common). Each player has 6 total cards and his point is given by the best combination composed using 5 cards.

This is the ranking of the possible points achievable:

  • High Card
  • Pair
  • Two pair
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three-of-a-kind (3 K)
  • Straight Flush (five trails cards of the same suit)
  • Full House (3 K + one pair)
  • Four-of-a-kind (4 K)
  • Royal Flush” (this points is “nuts”)

Obviously, the particularity is in the fact that the value of the combination is not always (in all the cases) linked to the rarity of the underlying point. So, a good strategy is to play (mainly) to close a Flush (or a Straight Flush). The playing strategy is different depending if you are playing in a tournament or in a cash game. Remember that this is a game created (in the first hand) for the cash game version, so the better implementation is this one (cash)!


Playing strategy

The basic strategic notions include a good knowledge about the chances to achieve a given point, before the Flop or at the Turn+River.

A few examples are as follows.

Let we have A+card (suited) of spades. The Flop is a 4 of spade plus a 10 of spade: 76.6% to get the nuts Flush. Thus, calling an all-in will be an easy EV++ choise. If we play with KK in our hands, 32.7% to get 3Ks using the 4 common cards (tricky move, mainly useful in a cash game) plus 0.923% to reach the poker.

The case of a Straight draw at the Flop is quite interesting: let we have J-T (off-suited). The Flop is composed by 9-8: 34% to close the Straight, but, if the Flop is formed by Q-9, we will get 51.1% to close the point (because there are 4 Ks inside the deck so we get 2 more outs on each remaining street).