What are the best card games for gambling?
As a newly started business aiming to expand the online multiplayer gambling scene beyond Texas Hold’em, research indicated that card games require a certain nature to be prone to gambling. The three most important aspects (in my opinion) are:
- There has to be an element of psychology in it, so that there is no “optimal gameplay” that can be recreated in bots.
- The mix between skill and luck has to be perfectly calibrated, to the extent that you will feel “in control” when you play, but anyone can still win.
- The game needs to have a gambling model.
Fortunately, the second point is true for most card games (except maybe the pure-luck ones). The first one however, is a bit more unusual. At first, I thought that to achieve an appropriate psychological element, the no limit bet/raise/call model was more or less required, but when I saw the success of Open Face Chinese Poker (more specifically Pineapple OFC), I realized that this model of betting isn’t a must.
With all my experience in the card game industry, the card games that have more aspects than just doing the best you can with your randomly dealt hand are very few, but they are also the ones played the longest.
I quickly fell into the trick-taking game group, where I considered Bridge, Whist, Hearts and of course Oh Hell, among other games. The nature of some of these games is that they are played 2 vs 2, and while this is an area I’d like to explore for online gambling in the future, it may not be the best game to start your site with.
Oh Hell – a trick taking game where you guess how many tricks you can take based on your hand and on your opponents’ guesses – turned out to be a pretty good fit for gambling. But it was missing a component: The gambling model. When creating the Stackpot™ model with this game in mind, I wanted to eliminate some of the downsides of the scoring system in Oh Hell (for instance, the zero-bidding being a lot safer and rewarding than bidding higher, and having to play 20+ rounds in a single game), while at the same time adding a betting element. The model turned out really well, and is now suitable for cash games, Sit & Go’s and tournaments (with the Burning Pot™ extension).
Other card games I have on my todo-list are Hearts, French Tarot, Liar’s Dice (although not a card game) among others.