The Chess Variant Pages

This page is written by the game's inventor, Susannah Thorarinsson.

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Susannah Thorarinsson wrote on 2017-12-02 UTC

Hi Ben,

Thanks for your questions. I will answer them one by one... 

Can you play an additional king to the board?  

Yes. You could play with all 4 kings on the board, though that probably wouldn’t be wise. 

If so, how does check/mate work? 

Check is when ANY king on the board is in check. CHECKMATE occurs when ANY king of the board is in checkmate. All kings are equal even if they don’t start on the Crown Square. 

Do queened pawns count as suit-less queens for the poker hand?  [It seems you can't under-promote?] 

Yes! While being promoted they lose their suit. Whatever they were before they were a queen is forgotten. 

The instructions video says the responses to a raised bet are "fold, call, see", but aren't the latter two the same in usual poker?  

In PokerChess when your opponent raises the bet and you CALL, you match the bet and play continues. If your opponent raises and you SEE, you match the bet and then lay your cards down and see who has the highest hand, ending the game. 

In the video after "see" the players' hands are revealed; does that mean "see" is actually ending the round? 


Does the response "call" also take that player's turn? 

When a player raises the bet, they are using their turn to do so. Matching that bet does not count as a turn, and therefore play continues with the player who matched but did not raise the bet. If a player matches the bet AND raises, then the player who initially raised would be the next to take a turn after matching the bet. 

It might make sense for giving checkmate to actually provide a benefit; maybe even a small one like "draw a card"?  Anyway, that's a suggestion with no playtesting on my part. While I think that's a very novel idea, we have tried a lot of different iterations of this game and came to the conclusion that if you’re ready to checkmate someone you better already believe you have the high hand. 

Believe it or not, this game is fun and hard! Any game is “defeatable” on a long enough timeline, but I think it will be a long while before computers can “officially” beat humans at PokerChess. By the way, the main creator of the game also helped create the online game Kung Fu Chess many years ago. He’s an experienced chess player and an experienced programmer, and believes computers simply don’t have the processing power right now to compete. But who knows.

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