Poker Holdem at FICGS


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Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-19)
Poker Holdem at FICGS !!!

Finally, one of the biggest update this year !

Poker Holdem (or Poker Texas Hold'em) is available at FICGS !

This should be a start for long discussions... It was quite complicated to implement so I hope there will be no bug (please report if necessary). Please do not forget to read the complete rules here :

If you estimate you're an experienced player, please just let me know (through the form in My account) and I'll update your "poker holdem ELO" to 1800.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-19 10:13:34)
First poker holdem game

You may now see the very first poker holdem game played at FICGS :

Of course, many players will prefer the bullet time control (10 minutes + 20 seconds / move).

Michel van der Kemp    (2008-11-19 13:35:44)

Gratz on implementing. I might give it a go, as long as I am not robbed from my pants.

Benjamin Block    (2008-11-19 16:21:10)

It will be funny!
There is no computer in Poker?

Michel van der Kemp    (2008-11-19 16:29:09)
Poker e-mails

Hi Thibault, Thanks for adding this game. One questions/feature I am looking for: would it be possible to hold e-mails for these poker games alone, when I still receive e-mails for chess (or go if I were to play go games).

Benjamin Block    (2008-11-19 16:45:12)
Limit poker?

Is it limit poker? If not how do i change how much i want to bet.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-19 16:49:54)
Poker emails

Hello Michel, you mean you don't want to receive poker emails, right ? Well, maybe poker emails aren't as "important" as chess emails, as their volume should increase quickly players. So FICGS may filter all poker emails, what do you think ?

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-19 16:51:37)
1st FICGS poker standard tournament

The very first Poker Holdem round-robin tournament just started, you may observe the games here :

Michel van der Kemp    (2008-11-19 16:53:18)

It's what I meant. For the time being I have solved it in my mail client to send all poker mails to garbage bin, but it's best to control it on your server. Bandwidth is never unlimited :)

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-19 17:24:00)
No poker emails

Thanks for the good suggestion, Michel. After a while, I decided to block email notification for Poker Holdem games, but for the start of the games (updated).

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-19 19:36:35)
No limit poker

Sorry Benjamin, I missed your post. No, it is NO LIMIT poker, you can bet from 1 chip to all your chips whenever. You can change it in the form before to send the move.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-19 23:06:24)
Games restarted

Sorry to all... I realized too late that there was a special rule in heads up situation : The dealer is always of small blind, I forgot that :/

I had to reinitialize all Poker Holdem games that started until there... (~30)

Sorry again...

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-19 23:51:41)
Dealer -> Small blind

Why I restarted the first games :

The question was : In heads up, who is in the big blind, the dealer or the non-dealer ? What is the order of play pre-flop and post-flop ?

The answer : " In heads up holdem, the dealer button has the small blind and the other player has the big blind. The dealer button gets dealt the first card (because he is the small blind), then the big blind gets his/her first card. Then after the players get their cards, the preflop betting starts with the small blind -- the dealer button. After the flop is shown, now the player on the dealer button is last to act (like normal). So preflop the dealer has to act first and gets the small blind, after the flop -- flop, turn and river betting -- the dealer is second to act. The reason this is like this is because if the dealer button had the big blind, it would be too much power -- the dealer would have the big blind (already a lot of money in) plus position for every betting round. This would make heads up play really tight with the small blind only playing with premium hands (in which case the dealer would most likely fold). So by giving the small blind to the dealer button, it is more balanced and a better game."

Don Groves    (2008-11-20 00:15:55)

Since no ePoints are required to enter a standard tournament, how are chips allocated?

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-20 01:23:06)

Hi Don, here are the current FICGS rules :

"d. Rules for Poker Holdem (or Poker Texas Hold'em) are official rules. Both players must play until one resign, or game is adjudicated (when one player wins 3 rounds). A poker holdem game is played in 3 winning rounds of 100 chips by player, played in "no limit" mode. The minimal bet is always 1 chip and does not depend on the blind's value. The small blind's value is doubled after the 50th hand, then after the 70th, 80th, 90th and 100th hand (the big blind then is 64 chips)."

No epoints in these tournaments, we play for the rating only.

Don Groves    (2008-11-20 09:58:15)

I'm trying to play my poker games but even after I send my move, nothing happens and it's still my move. Am I doing something worng?

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-20 10:55:47)

Which games are you referring to ? (and which move ?) Sometimes you have to play twice in a row, this is normal (according to the button position).

Don Groves    (2008-11-21 00:15:03)
Poker interface

It seems there is an unnecessary extra step. When we choose our play and press "Move," why isn't that sufficient? Why must we later press "Send?"

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-21 00:21:52)
Slow moves / Fast moves

You must be using the slow interface (the fast one is great ;)) .. anyway, I'll try to improve it, at least to make it faster for poker.

Don Groves    (2008-11-21 00:33:56)
Fast moves!

I've switched to fast moves. For sure much better ;-)

Don Groves    (2008-11-21 01:18:22)
Two consecutive plays?

I don't understand how it can happen that one player plays twice in a row.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-21 19:58:44)
Two consecutive plays

Wikipedia will explain it better than I can do :)

In brief, after the flop (1st, 2nd & 3rd card), the turn (4th card) or the river (5th card), the first player to bet is always the one following the dealer, whoever played just before.

Don Groves    (2008-11-21 22:19:57)
One more question

Thanks, Thib, for the previous explanation.

My other question concerns checking before the flop. It seems to me there should be no option to check on a player's first play. The pot has already been "opened" by the blinds, so the first player to act can only fold, call, or raise. Is this different in the "head-to-head" game?

Don Groves    (2008-11-21 22:24:50)
An example

See game 26250. My opponent has bet 1 unit on his first turn and yet I am offered the option of checking. How can this be?

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-21 22:33:58)

This is normal, just like Texas Holdem with more than two players : One player is in the big blind.. all other players may call, then the player in the big blind may bet.. and of course he is not obliged to raise, so he may check.

Don Groves    (2008-11-21 22:39:08)

I was forgetting that I am the big blind. Obviously, I'm not used to playing head-to-head -- merci!

Ben Milton    (2008-11-22 11:32:04)

Good evening, I would like to count myself as an experienced poker player, however that is only true when i play face to face and can read the other players, however playing on the websites such as or here is quite different. I was wondering if there was a way for me to increase my poker rating thibault? If a world poker champion is 2500 rated and a beginner is 1500 i think id categorize myself as 2000. Regards

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-22 12:56:48)
Poker rating

Hello Ben, I've updated your poker rating.

To answer your question in the chat, it is possible to win epoints by winning some free chess or Go tournaments with epoints prizes... (see Waiting lists details) See also 'My account' page for other ways.

Ben Milton    (2008-11-22 17:00:41)


Ben Milton    (2008-11-22 18:13:24)

Also is there a way for me to increase my chess rating? since i am a centaur player using Rybka 3, fritz, zappa, with strong opening books such as perfect 15 (tuned) and at this rating many of my opponents are not even using engines and it the games are not challenging. Regards

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-22 22:43:23)

Chess ratings increase quite quickly here, once you reach 2000-2100, every player most probably use chess engines, but there must be such rules (max. provisional rating) to guarantee the quality of the games at a higher level. It shouldn't take more than 4 or 6 months to reach a 2200 level. Correspondence chess is a game of patience :)

Ben Milton    (2008-11-23 18:16:39)

How random are the cards being dealt?

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-23 19:35:06)

Probabilities are equal for all cards, what do you mean ?

Don Groves    (2008-11-23 23:02:52)
One request

Thibault, Poker is great -- I think I'm addicted ;-)

But one change please, when a showdown happens, please expose the cards in their original positions so both players can know what the other's hole cards were, and which cards completed the common five -- just like it would happen at the table.

Without this, we have no way of "reading" our opponent to help determine how he/she plays out hands. A big part of the game's strategy is lost.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-23 23:45:53)

Hi Don. That's now implemented, but it will be online tuesday in the morning only.

Ben Milton    (2008-11-24 08:58:34)

I predict that poker will become more popular than chess in the future ;)

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-24 14:32:29)

My hope is that more poker players will play chess, and that more chess players will play poker (the same for Go, big chess...)

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-25 18:15:35)
Pocket cards

The update occured, now you'll see your opponent's pocket cards at showdown. I had to restart Game 26250 after this update (a few moves only were played).

Don Groves    (2008-11-26 05:04:17)
Pocket cards

But if the best hand contains one of the hole cards, which it almost always will, then we don't see *all* the cards. Can't you simply reshow the previous screen shot with both sets of hole cards exposed? Then the view will be just as it is at a real table.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-26 11:04:55)
Pocket cards

As it is a turn based server, not so easy to see 2 full tables in a single screen also without creating confusion IMO :/ .. That's a problem, thinking about it.

Thibault de Vassal    (2008-11-26 16:27:34)
Community cards

Ok, the community cards are now displayed at showdown. Thanks all for your suggestions :)