A new poker game, Full-Deck Poker, developed by David Hammerback and Gale Rakshys is currently on trial run at the Sahara, through Sept. 3.
Full Deck Poker is designed to challenge poker players. It is played by a minimum of two players and maximum of four players.
The game is played with a single 52-card poker deck; no jokers or wild cards are used. Each player is dealt 13 cards. The challenge to players is to develop three separate poker hands per deal: a 3-card hand and two 5-card hands.
Each deal provides an opportunity for poker strategy and raise betting on each of the players’ three hands.
"If you like Chinese Poker and Pai Gow Poker, then you may enjoy this game," said Fred Masters, Sahara poker room manager.
Antes and deal
The antes are separate and progressive for each hand of every Full Deck Poker deal. All players must ante on all three hands before the cards are dealt.
After the antes are placed for all three hands, the dealer collects the antes for the first hand, shuffles, and deals the cards, face down to each player spot on the table.
A button labeled dealer is placed next to the first player to the dealer’s left.
Setting and hands
After the cards are dealt the players begin to set up their hands. The cards are arranged into one 3-card hand and two 5-card hands.
Hands are ranked according to traditional rules for poker: Ace high; one pair; two pairs; three of a kind; straight; flush; full house; four of a kind; straight flush; and royal flush. There is no rank assigned to 3-card straights or 3-card flushes in the 3-card hand.
Players determine how to develop three poker hands, how to divide the cards, and where to play the best of the 5-card hands.
A significant aspect of the playing strategy is the creation and placement of the hands themselves. As the players create their hands, they may place them in the areas designated on the layout.
During the hand setting, a player may put some of his cards down and pick them up, may rearrange his hand, or move a 5-card hand from one to the other designated rectangles on the table. Once all the cards are set and placed face down in each designated rectangle, the game begins with the player to the left of the dealer button.
The player with the dealer button has the option to bet or check. Bets and raises may only be made in dollar amounts from one dollar up to the amount of the ante. The hand then plays as a traditional poker hand.
The game continues until all bets and raises are called or players fold. When the betting is concluded, the winner is determined using traditional poker ranking.
At the conclusion of the 3-card hand, the player with the dealer button begins play on the first of the 5-card hands. Again, the players may pick up only the cards in play for this hand.
At the end of play of this hand, the winner is determined and paid. The third hand of the deal is played in the same manner as the preceding hands.
At the conclusion of the last hand of the deal, the dealer moves the dealer button to the next player clockwise from the dealer. Players again ante for all three hands, and the entire procedure repeats itself as the game continues.
Full Deck Poker can be played 24-hours a day in the Sahara’s poker room.