Classic Computer Magazine Archive START VOL. 3 NO. 9 / APRIL 1989



by Carolyn Rogers

What card game can you play alone where Four of a Kind beats a Full House? Poker Solitaire, of course. This slick little program by Carolyn Rogers pits you against one of the greatest card-sharks of them all: yourself. It was written in Modula-2, a START first.

No betting or bluffing? File POKER.ARC on your START disk. Color monitor required.

It's Friday night, you're feeling lucky and you're in the mood for a good game of poker. But after you make a few calls you can't find anyone available to play. What are you going to do?

With Poker Solitaire you need never again worry about impromptu poker parties falling through, because all you need to play is you and your ST. It's a variation on a theme, giving you the relaxation of solitaire while losing none of the high-paced excitement of poker.

To run Poker Solitaire, copy the files POKER.ARC and ARCX.TTP onto a blank, formatted disk. Un-ARC POKER.ARC following the Disk Instructions elsewhere in this issue. Set the computer to medium resolution and double-click on POKER.PRG to start the game. Make sure that the files CARD.SC1, LOGO.SP1 and POKER.SC1 are in the same directory. Poker Solitaire will create the file HIGH.SCO which contains the name and the score of the top five players. The program was written in Modula-2 by TDI Software.


On the left side of the Poker Solitaire screen are 25 empty card slots. On the lower right-hand side of the screen is a face-up card; this is the top card in the draw deck. Point to one of the card slots and press the left mouse button (you may have to hold it down for a second). The card will move to the slot you selected and a new face-up card will appear on the top of the draw deck. You may play a card on any open slot, but once played a card cannot be moved.

Poker Solitaire calculates hands on two fronts: vertically and horizontally. The object of the game is to make as many high-scoring poker hands as you can in both directions. For example, the same card can be used to make a Full House on the top row and a Straight Flush in the third column.

Poker Solitaire doesn't rank hands like the regular game; it ranks them according to how difficult they are to make within the limits of the program. See the sidebar for a quick course on the various poker hands used in Poker Solitaire.

Each hand is scored as follows:

Straight Flush
Four of Kind
Full House
Three of a Kind
Two Pair
One Pair
30 Points
16 Points
12 Points
10 Points
6 Points
5 Points
3 Points
1 Point

When the last card has been played your score will be tallied and displayed under the Rows and Columns box on the right side of the screen. If it's one of the top five scores you'll be allowed to enter your name. High scores will be saved to disk automatically when you exit the program.

pokersol.jpg In Poker Solitaire
you try to make the
best twenty-five
hands by placing
cards one at a time
on this five-by-five
grid. One strategy
is to try to fill each
row with a Full
House or Three of a
Kind while filling the
columns with
In Poker Solitaire you try to make the best twenty-five hands by placing cards one at a time on this five-by-five grid. One strategy is to try to fill each row with a Full House or Three of a Kind while filling the columns with Flushes.

Just above the draw deck you'll see the Options menu. Click on New Game to play again, or click on Exit to return to the Desktop. Click on Help for quick instructions for gameplay. When you click on New Game the draw deck is automatically reshuffled.

Deal Me In!

So, when you're in the mood for some poker playing but worthy opponents are nowhere to be found, why not play against yourself? With Poker Solitaire and your ST, you'll have hours of poker-playing fun--and that's no bluff.

Carolyn Rogers lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas where she is a programmer for the Veterans Hospital. This is her first program for START.


Modula-2, $99.95. TDI Software, 10355 Brockwood Road, Dallas, TX 75238, (214) 340-5256.

Poker Solitaire, Hand-by-Hand

Those of you who might have forgotten how the various poker hands are determined will find the following hand-by-hand rundown helpful when playing Poker Solitaire. The list goes from highest to lowest hand. Unlike regular poker the value of the cards doesn't matter. For instance, a hand that contains three twos is worth the same as one containing three tens. Because of this, the game treats a Royal Flush the same as a Straight Flush.

Straight Flush: Five cards of the same suit in sequence.

Four of Kind: Four cards with the same value (for example: four aces).

Straight: Five cards in sequence; suits can be mixed.

Full House: Three cards of one value; two of another.

Three of a Kind: Three cards with the same value.

Flush: Five cards of same suit, sequence doesn't matter.

Two Pairs: Two different pairs (for example: two queens and two threes).

One Pair: Two cards of same value.