Dec 132017
Poker Solitaire. A more playable version of a very addicting game.
File 1POKER14.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
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Poker Solitaire. A more playable version of a very addicting game.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
1POKER.DOC 18990 6710 deflated
1POKER.EXE 61226 40631 deflated

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Contents of the 1POKER.DOC file


Release 1.4 September 1991

Gellman Software
431 Fifth Street, S.E.
Washington, DC 20003

(C) Copyright Robert Gellman 1988-1991

POKER SOLITAIRE is a solitaire version of five-card draw poker. The
object of the game is to place 25 cards in a 5 by 5 grid in order to make
poker hands horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. Each hand is awarded
a point value, and the total score is based on the sum of the value of all
12 hands. The goal is to make the highest possible score. The game is
simple but challenging!

POKER SOLITAIRE was selected by the Public Software Library as one
of the best new shareware games in 1988. The Library's address is listed
later in this file for those who want to write for the catalog of shareware
and public domain software.


To start the program, move to the drive and directory containing the
1POKER.EXE file and enter 1POKER at the DOS prompt. Hit ENTER at the first
screen, and the program will explain the rules of the game. If you hit the
SPACE BAR at the first screen, you can begin play immediately. Try some
hands and you will catch on very quickly.

A brief but understandable explanation of the rules is provided in a
help screen that is available at the beginning and throughout the play of
the game. You do not have to read this document to learn how to play.
Start the program now if you like, and come back and read this file later.
Once you see how the game works, the explanation will become clearer and
probably superfluous.

The program will run under DOS 2.0 or better. The program requires
less than 256 K and is compatible with both color and monochrome monitors.
A graphics card is not needed.

This file is meant to be read once or twice, but it may not be worth
printing. It was created with margins at 5 and 75, and form feeds have
been added approximately every 60 lines.


You will be offered 25 playing cards one at a time from a randomly
shuffled deck. Place the cards in a 5 by 5 grid by entering the grid
number that appears on the screen. The object is to make 12 poker hands.
There are five hands across, five hands down, and two diagonals. If this
is the least bit confusing, it won't be after you play the game once.

Each of the 12 hands is then evaluated by the computer, given a score,
and the scores are totalled. The value of each poker hand is:

Straight Flush 100
Four of a Kind 65
Straight 55 *
Full House 45
Three of a Kind 30
Flush 25 *
Two Pair 15
One Pair 5
Bust 0

scored on the difficulty of actually making the hand and the cost of
failure. The assessment is based on the difficulty of completing hands in
POKER SOLITAIRE and not in regular poker. The differences are highlighted
on the chart with an asterisk.

A straight has a higher value than a full house because a straight is
hard to complete and because the cost of failure is high. A failed
straight usually ends up as a bust or a pair. A failed full house,
however, is either two pair or three of a kind. That is why it ranks lower
than a straight. A flush ranks below three of a kind. Flushes are not
that difficult to make.

The program treats an ace as either a high or low card, whichever is
most favorable. This only matters in making a straight or straight flush.


Poker Solitaire is a game of choices. The placement of each card
opens some options and forecloses others. This is especially true as the
game progresses. The basic strategy is to think at all times. The game
requires concentration! Keep as many options open as possible for as long
as possible. Don't be too stubborn waiting the right card to appear. Pay
attention to the mix of cards remaining in the deck. Remember that the
diagonals count. When choosing between two alternatives, consider the
point values of the hands you are making and the values of the hands that
you might make with the next card.

A good score is anything over 200. Scores under 100 are pretty bad,
and scores over 300 are excellent. Scores over 400 are rare. The highest
verified score reported to me is 460 (by BC of VA). RB of California has
five scores ranging from 400-455, with 380 has the lowest score on his
all-time score table. Very impressive. I have only broken the 400 point
barrier once.

Scores over 500 seem only theoretically possible. I can construct a
hand worth 900 points (4 straight flushes, 6 fours-of-a-kind, and two
straights), but don't hold your breath.

My own all-time score table no longer includes any scores below 360.
This is mostly the result of lots of playing and a fairly well-developed
strategy. In fact, my strategy is good enough to support a consistent
average in the range of 230-260. If you can do better on a regular basis,
let me know how you do it! The Californian mentioned above has reported a
very clever strategy, an average of 250-265, and a replay high of 470!!!
Can anybody verify a score over 500? Print out the screen and send it in.


If the score of the current hand is greater than 110 percent of your
average score, you will be offered an opportunity to reply the same hand
you just played. The replays do not count in the daily or all-time
high-score tables. This game has SOME standards. The replays are just for
fun. Frequently, the replay score is actually lower because you build a
straight flush or other cute hand and neglect basic good hands.

If you don't qualify for a replay of your last hand, you will be
offered the option of playing the next hand in the hidden mode. Card are
visible until they are assigned to a box in the grid. The box is filled
with a ghost card so that you know the box is no longer empty. The
challenge is to remember which cards are in which boxes. This training may
help you someday to remember the cards played in a real poker or bridge
game. Once you figure out a solid strategy for the basic game, it won't be
difficult to cope with the hidden mode.

If neither of these options interests you, you may ignore them. The
regular game is always available.

Don't like the way a hand is developing? New with version 1.4 is the
ability to terminate a hand and move on to a new hand. Just hit X at the
game prompt. There is a reminder on the screen.

There is another challenging way to play Poker Solitaire. Try to make
a low score rather than a high score. It is possible but not easy to have
a score of zero. In order to succeed, you have to place cards carefully
and be lucky with the last card. Each card in a row or column is in line
with 8 other cards. Card are a diagonal can match up with even more cards.
That's why the last card is so important. While the program does not
recognize or reward low scores, "lowball" Poker Solitaire can be just as
satisfying as the regular game.


Poker Solitaire is an old game, but it is one that is really suitable
for a computer. After all, who wants to sit and add up scores by hand?
I wrote the program in early August after seeing a similar game running as
a live door on a bulletin board.

I had previously written a program that plays draw poker. (See the
list of other Gellman Software products below). Since I already had a
routine that evaluated poker hands and drew cards on the screen, this
program was relatively easy. I included the diagonal hands in the scoring,
allowed aces to be high or low, and played around with the point values.
The values are, of course, totally artificial.

After I released the game, I learned that there are two formal
versions of Poker Solitaire, American and British. Each uses a different
scoring method. The American version ranks hands in standard order, with
values ranging from 2 to 100 (Royal Flush). The British version follows
the order I have used, but the values range from 1 to 30 (Straight Flush).
My scoring is, in essence, a combination of the two methods. For more
details, see Moyse, "150 Ways to Play Solitaire" (U.S. Playing Card
Company) (1960).


The program is written in Microsoft's QuickBASIC (version 4.5) and
uses a variety of programming tools from the PROBAS library. PROBAS is a
product of Hammerly Computer Services, Laurel, Maryland. Poker Solitaire
was written under DOS 3.1, but it should run under DOS 2.0 or later. I
don't know the exact memory requirements, but 256K is definitely more than
enough. The program does not require color or graphics.

The program will maintain a high score table as a separate file
(1POKER.HGH) in your default directory. After the first hand of each
session, you are asked if you want to create a high score file. If you
already have a high score file in your default directory, you are asked if
you want the scores from the current session to be added. This allows you
to let your 8-year old brother play the game without worrying that he will
wipe out your hard-earned high score achievements.

This flexibility was included because I don't like programs that
insist on writing high score files to my disk whether I want them or not.
Yet I find that some games are much better when a scoreboard is maintained.
When you play Poker Solitaire, you get to decide whether a high score table
is worth the space it takes on your disk.


This program and accompanying documentation are provided "as is"
without warranty of any kind. The entire risk of using the program is
assumed by the user. Gellman Software disclaims all warranties, either
express or implied. In no event shall Gellman Software be liable for
any damages whatsoever arising out of the use of or inability to use
this program.

This program is freeware. You are licensed to use the program and
to give copies to others. You may upload the program together with this
documentation on computer bulletin boards anywhere. No registration or
other fee is owed to the author. However, both the program and this
documentation are copyrighted by Robert Gellman. No one is authorized to
make changes to either. Also, no one is authorized to sell the program
except as specifically provided in this documentation.

The program may be distributed by software clubs, computer bulletin
boards, and shareware/freeware libraries at a standard charge for media
and distribution. The maximum charge permitted without specific written
permission from Gellman Software is $6.00. No other forms of distribution
for money are authorized.


If you find any errors in the program or the documentation, please
let me know. Please be as specific as possible in describing the problem.
I would also appreciate any other comments -- favorable or unfavorable --
from users. All suggestions will be considered. Authors of freeware
programs do not ask you to pay for their work. A little feedback would
be nice. If you find a bug or make a suggestion that I adopt, I will
send you a copy of the new version.


As of the date of this file, Gellman Software has released these
freeware games:

POKER567 - Head to Head Draw Poker (freeware)
1POKER14 - Poker Solitaire (freeware)
CALC14 - Calculation Solitaire (freeware)
LABELLE3 - La Belle Lucie Solitaire (public domain)
SIXLTR41 - Six Letter Word Game (freeware)

The last two programs were coauthored by other programmers.

In addition, Gellman Software has published two shareware programs:


This program stores, manipulates, and prints records needed to
manage a portfolio of stocks. STOCK PORTFOLIO RECORD MANAGER totally
replaces or supplements paper records. It provides powerful reports
about your portfolio, transactions, and dividends. Both laser and dot
matrix printers are supported. Anyone who has investments in the
stock or bond markets should consider using this program.


If you own a house, condominium, cooperative, house trailer, or
any type of residence, you need HOME BASIS RECORD MANAGER. This
program will help you keep track of the basis (or cost) of your home.
This information is vital when you sell your home. By using the HOME
BASIS RECORD MANAGER, you can be certain that you will have all the
information necessary to minimize the taxes due on the profits from
the sale of your home.

These programs are available from the Public Software Library, P.O.
Box 35705, Houston, TX 77235. The latest versions are normally sent to PSL
as soon as they are released. I recommend PSL to anyone interested in
shareware or freeware. Gellman Software programs are also available on
finer computer bulletin boards in the Washington, DC area and elsewhere.
The bulletin board that is the home base for the shareware programs is THE
MARKET in Potomac, Maryland. The number of THE MARKET is 301-299-8667.
All users of THE MARKET must be registered on that system. This means that
you cannot download on your first call.

Copies of all programs are available from Gellman Software. Send a
self-addressed, stamped mailer and disk to the address on the first page.
State which programs you want. IMPORTANT: Please indicate if you know how
to handle ZIP archives. If you want all programs, send one 1.2 Meg disk,
two 360K disks if you can unZIP, or three 360K disks if you do not
understand ZIP archives. There is no charge if you supply the disk, the
mailer, and the postage.


Version 1.4 - Restart switch added. This permits bailing out in the
(9/2/91) middle of a game. The summary screen now shows the number
of restarts in the current session. The audible reminder of
replay rights has been removed. The replay option is made
apparent by the use of color and blinking. A new closing
screen was added.

Version 1.3 - Pop-up help screens added. Speeded up screen displays.
(9/16/89) High score table not rewritten to disk unless it has
changed. The file date for the high score table will now
reflect the date of the last new high score rather than the
date you last played. Minor revisions to several screens.
Assorted undetectable internal efficiencies added. Revised

Version 1.2 - Hidden mode option added to the game along with explanatory
(9/27/88) options screen as the fourth introductory screen. The grid,
rules description, and display elements have been modified
slightly. All these changes are visual; no substantive
changes were made. The program's sounds have been modified.
Finally, the internal workings of the program have been made
slightly more efficient.

Version 1.1 - Lots of minor changes made and a few subtle errors fixed
(9/5/88) The size of the high score file reduced by 20 bytes to 150.
The value of hands is displayed on the main screen. The
average score displayed. Screen displays have been revised
and refined. Replay option added.

Version 1.00 - This is a full working version of the program but does not
(8/21/88) include all of the planned bells and whistles. I am
releasing it in this form in the hopes of getting some
feedback from users.

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