Game Rules Specified for a Poker-Like Finnish 27 ™ Game

Game Rules

Additional Information

Objective

In the Poker-like Finnish 27 ™ game, the objective of the player is to make a five-card-poker hand, but the number of cards the player can draw is limited by the player’s hand total; so that if the player’s hand total exceeds twenty-seven points, then the player loses the game. I know of no other card game wherein; the objective of the player is to make a five-card-poker hand, but the number of cards the player can draw is limited by the player’s hand total. This aspect of the game creates some interesting situations wherein; the player must weigh the benefit of making a five-card-poker hand against the risk of losing the game.

If both the player and the dealer make a five-card-poker hand, then the hands are compared to a predetermined hierarchy of five-card-poker hands, the hand with the highest rank wins, and ties are a stalemate.

If the player makes a five-card-poker hand and the dealer does not, then the outcome of the game is the player’s hand wins.

If the dealer makes a five-card-poker hand and the player does not, then the outcome of the game is the dealer’s hand wins.

If neither the player nor the dealer makes a five-card-poker hand, then hand totals are compared to a target-numerical-sum of twenty-seven points, the hand closest to twenty-seven points without going over wins, and ties are a stalemate.

In any case, there are never more than five cards in a hand. If a hand consists of five cards, then the holder of the hand must stand.

The mechanism of play of the Poker-like Finnish 27 ™ game is otherwise similar to a game of Blackjack. The player makes a game wager. If the outcome of the game is the player’s hand wins, then the dealer pays the player. If the outcome of the game is the dealer’s hand wins, then the dealer collects the game wager. If the outcome of the game is a stalemate, then the dealer returns the game wager to the player.
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Number Of Decks, Composition Of Each Deck, And Shuffling Procedures.

The dealer uses a six deck shoe. Each deck includes thirteen ranks
of each of four suits and two Jokers. The thirteen ranks are Two,
Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Jack, Queen, King,
and Ace. The four suits are Spades, Clubs, Hearts, and Diamonds. The
dealer shuffles the cards before the first round of play. The dealer
reshuffles the cards after the shoe is depleted of about four and a
half decks. The player is notified whenever the dealer reshuffles.
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Scoring

Points are totaled for each card in a hand. Face cards (Jack, Queen, and King) count respectively as 11, 12, and 13 points. If an Ace can be counted as 14 points without causing the hand total to exceed 27 points, then the Ace counts as 14 points. Otherwise, Aces count as 1 point. If a Joker is the second card dealt to the hand, then the Joker counts as any number of points required to make a hand total of 27 points. Otherwise, Jokers count as 0 points. All other cards are counted according to their numeric value.
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Playing Card Indices

Each card bears Finnish style indicia. The Finnish style has
indices 1, 13, 12, 11 appear on the Ace, King, Queen and Jack;
has no indices appear on the Joker; and has indices corresponding
to card rank appear on each of the remaining cards.

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Betting

To begin a round, the player places a bet.
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Dealing Initial Hands

After the player places a bet, the dealer deals initial hands. The dealer forms the player’s initial hand and the dealer’s initial hand by dealing a first card face up to the player, dealing a first card face down to the dealer, dealing a second card face up to the player, and dealing a second card face up to the dealer.
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Hard and Soft

There are two basic types of hands. If a hand includes an Ace counted as fourteen points, then the hand is a “soft” hand. Otherwise, the hand is a “hard” hand. If the sum of the point values assigned to the cards in a hard hand does exceed twenty-seven points, then the holder of the hand does bust. However, if the sum of the point values assigned to the cards in a soft hand does exceed twenty-seven points, then the value of the Ace counted as fourteen points changes to one point, and the soft hand becomes a hard hand.

A hand total is equal to the sum of the point values assigned to the cards in a hand. There are two basic types of hand totals. The rules describe the hand total of a soft hand as a soft total. For example, the rules describe the hand total of a soft hand consisting of an Ace of Spades and a Jack of Diamonds as “soft twenty-five”. The rules describe the hand total of a hard hand as a hard total. For example, the rules describe the hand total of a hard hand consisting of an Ace of Spades, a Nine of Diamonds, and a King of Clubs as “hard twenty-three”.
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Initial Hands That Have A Value Of Twenty-Seven Points

Any initial hand that includes a Joker as a second card has a value of twenty-seven points.

Therefore, the following are the three different types of initial hands that have a value of twenty-seven points:

  • A “Jo Jo” is an initial hand consisting of a pair of Jokers,
  • A “Finnish 27” is an initial hand consisting of an Ace and a King,
  • A “Joseca” is an initial hand that includes a Joker as a second card and a card of any rank other than Joker.

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Insurance

If the dealer’s up card is an Ace, then the dealer offers the player “insurance”. This is a side bet equal to half of the player’s original bet. If the player buys insurance, and if the dealer has Finnish 27, then the player is paid 11 to 1 odds on this side bet. If the player buys insurance, and if the dealer does not have Finnish 27, then the side bet is lost. In either case, the round continues as before with the player’s original bet.
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Determine Whether A Predetermined Outcome Occurs

After the initial deal, the dealer determines whether a predetermined outcome occurs in accordance with the following set of rules.

  • If the player’s initial hand has a value of twenty-seven points, then the player’s hand is a predetermined-winning-complete hand.
  • If the player’s hand is a predetermined-winning-complete hand, then a predetermined outcome does occur. The outcome of the game is the player’s hand wins.
  • If the dealer’s initial hand has a value of twenty-seven points, and if the player’s initial hand does not have a value of twenty-seven points, then the dealer’s hand is a predetermined-winning-complete hand.
  • If the dealer’s hand is a predetermined-winning-complete hand, then a predetermined outcome does occur. The outcome of the game is the dealer’s hand wins.

If a predetermined outcome does occur, then the dealer displays the first card dealt to form the dealer’s initial hand in face up position.
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Form The Player’s Complete Hand

If a predetermined outcome does not occur, then the dealer forms the player’s complete hand in accordance with the following method of play.

The player and the dealer take turns playing their hands. The player goes first. If the player must play the player’s hand a certain way, then the dealer does not consult with the player for a decision on how to play the player’s hand. Otherwise the dealer does consult with the player for a decision on how to play the player’s hand. If the dealer does consult with the player for a decision on how to play the player’s hand, then the player has the following options.

The player has the option to stand.

If the player stands, then the player’s hand is complete.

The player has the option to hit.

If the player hits, then the dealer deals one additional card to the player’s hand thereby adding to the player’s hand total.

The player must play the player’s hand a certain way under the following circumstances.

  • If the player’s hand does not consist of five cards, and if the player’s hand total is less than a hand total selected from a group consisting of hard fifteen and soft twenty-four, then the player must hit .
  • If the player’s hand is a soft hand, if the player’s hand consists of four cards, and if the player’s hand total is less than soft twenty-seven, then the player must hit.
  • If the player’s hand does consist of five cards, then the player must stand.
  • If the player’s hand total is at least equal to a hand total selected from a group consisting of hard twenty-five and soft twenty-seven, then the player must stand.

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Determine Whether A Predetermined Outcome Occurs

After the dealer forms the player’s complete hand, the dealer displays the first card dealt to form the dealer’s initial hand in face up position. Afterward, the dealer determines whether a predetermined outcome occurs in accordance with the following set of rules.

  • If the player’s hand total is equal to twenty-seven points, then the player’s hand is a predetermined-winning-complete hand.
  • If the player’s hand is a predetermined-winning-complete hand, then a predetermined outcome does occur. The outcome of the game is the player’s hand wins.
  • If the player’s hand total does exceed hard twenty-seven, then the player busts.
  • If the player does bust, then the player’s hand is a predetermined-losing-complete hand.
  • If the player’s hand is a predetermined-losing-complete hand, then a predetermined outcome does occur. The outcome of the game is the dealer’s hand wins.

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Form The Dealer’s Complete Hand

If a predetermined outcome does not occur, then the dealer forms
the dealer’s complete hand in accordance with the following
predetermined strategy.

  • If the dealer’s hand consists of two cards,
    and if the dealer’s hand total is less than a hand total selected from a
    group consisting of hard twenty-three and soft twenty-five, then the
    dealer must hit.
  • If the dealer’s hand consists of two cards, and if
    the dealer’s hand total is at least equal to a hand total
    selected from a group consisting of hard twenty-three and soft
    twenty-five, then the dealer must stand.
  • If the dealer’s hand consists of three cards,
    and if the dealer’s hand total is less than a hand total selected from a
    group consisting of hard twenty-three and soft twenty-six, then the
    dealer must hit.
  • If the dealer’s hand consists of three cards, and if
    the dealer’s hand total is at least equal to a hand total
    selected from a group consisting of hard twenty-three and soft
    twenty-six, then the dealer must stand.
  • If the dealer’s hand consists of four cards,
    and if the dealer’s hand total is less than a hand total selected from a
    group consisting of hard twenty-three and soft twenty-seven, then the
    dealer must hit.
  • If the dealer’s hand consists of four cards, and if
    the dealer’s hand total is at least equal to a hand total
    selected from a group consisting of hard twenty-three and soft
    twenty-seven, then the dealer must stand.
  • If the dealer’s hand consists of five cards, then the
    dealer must stand.

If the dealer hits, then the dealer deals one additional card to
the dealer’s hand thereby adding to the dealer’s hand total. If the
dealer stands, then the dealer’s hand is complete.

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Determine Whether A Predetermined Outcome Occurs

After the dealer forms the dealer’s complete hand, the dealer determines whether a predetermined outcome occurs.

If the dealer’s hand total does exceed hard twenty-seven, then the dealer determines whether a predetermined outcome occurs in accordance with the following set of rules.

  • If the dealer’s hand total does exceed hard twenty-seven, then the dealer busts.
  • If the dealer does bust, then the dealer’s hand is a predetermined-losing-complete hand.
  • If the dealer’s hand is a predetermined-losing-complete hand, then a predetermined outcome does occur. The outcome of the game is the player’s hand wins.

If the dealer’s hand total does not exceed hard twenty-seven, then the dealer determines whether a predetermined outcome occurs in accordance with the following set of rules.

  • A predetermined set of hand-ranking rules does specify ten categories of five-card-poker hand and assigns a rank to each so that when arranged in order from lowest ranking to highest ranking the ten categories of five-card-poker hand are high card, one pair, two pair, three-of-a-kind, straight, flush, full house, four-of-a-kind, straight-flush, and five-of-a-kind. The predetermined set of hand-ranking rules does rank individual cards so that when arranged from lowest ranking to highest ranking the individual cards of each suit are 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. An Ace can appear as the lowest ranking card as when part of a hand selected from a group consisting of an Ace-2-3-4-5 straight and an Ace-2-3-4-5 straight-flush. The predetermined set of hand-ranking rules does specify the use of individual card ranks to rank hands in the same category. The predetermined set of hand-ranking rules does specify use of suits to determine whether a hand belongs to a category of five-card-poker hand selected from a group consisting of a flush and a straight-flush. The predetermined set of hand-ranking rules does specify the step of assigning a wild card value to each Joker in a hand so that the point value of said each Joker remains zero points, and so that said each Joker can be used to perform a function selected from a group consisting of represent an Ace, complete a straight, complete a flush, and complete a straight-flush.
  • If the player’s hand does consist of five cards, then the player’s hand includes a qualifying-five-card-poker hand.
  • If the dealer’s hand does consist of five cards, then the dealer’s hand includes a qualifying-five-card-poker hand.
  • If both hands include a qualifying-five-card-poker hand, then the dealer uses the predetermined set of hand-ranking rules to identify the highest-ranking-five-card-poker hand that can be made from the five cards in each hand wherein:
    • If the player’s highest-ranking-five-card-poker hand does outrank the dealer’s highest-ranking-five-card-poker hand, then the player’s hand is a predetermined-winning-complete hand.
    • If the dealer’s highest-ranking-five-card-poker hand does outrank the player’s highest-ranking-five-card-poker hand, then the dealer’s hand is a predetermined-winning-complete hand.
    • If the player’s highest-ranking-five-card-poker hand has the same rank as the dealer’s highest-ranking-five-card-poker hand, then the dealer’s hand is a predetermined-stalemating-complete hand.
  • If the player’s hand does include a qualifying-five-card-poker hand, and if the dealer’s hand does not include a qualifying-five-card-poker hand, then the player’s hand is a predetermined-winning-complete hand.
  • If the dealer’s hand does include a qualifying-five-card-poker hand, and if the player’s hand does not include a qualifying-five-card-poker hand, then the dealer’s hand is a predetermined-winning-complete hand.
  • If the player’s hand is a predetermined-winning-complete hand, then a predetermined outcome does occur. The outcome of the game is the player’s hand wins.
  • If the dealer’s hand is a predetermined-winning-complete hand, then a predetermined outcome does occur. The outcome of the game is the dealer’s hand wins.
  • If the dealer’s hand is a predetermined-stalemating-complete hand, then a predetermined outcome does occur. The outcome of the game is a stalemate.

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Determine The Outcome Of The Game

If a predetermined outcome does not occur, then the dealer determines the outcome of the game in accordance with the following set of rules.

  • If the player’s hand total is closer to twenty-seven points than is the dealer’s hand total, then the outcome of the game is the player’s hand wins.
  • If the dealer’s hand total is closer to twenty-seven points than is the player’s hand total, then the outcome of the game is the dealer’s hand wins.
  • If the dealer’s hand total is as close to twenty-seven points as is the player’s hand total, then the outcome of the game is a stalemate.

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Resolution Of The Game Wager

The dealer resolves the game wager in accordance with the following set of rules.

  • If the outcome of the game is the player’s hand wins, then the dealer pays the player one to one odds on the game wager.
  • If the outcome of the game is the dealer’s hand wins, then the dealer collects the game wager.
  • If the outcome of the game is a stalemate, then the dealer returns the game wager to the player.

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Bonus Payouts For Predetermined Combinations Of Cards

If the outcome of the game is the player’s hand wins, then the dealer examines the player’s hand in search of a predetermined combination of cards wherein:

  • If the player’s hand consists of an Ace and a King, then the dealer finds the player’s hand does include a predetermined combination of cards.
  • If the player’s hand consists of a pair of Jokers, then the dealer finds the player’s hand does include a predetermined combination of cards.
  • If the player’s hand does consist of a card assigned a value of eight points, a card assigned a value of nine points, and a card assigned a value of ten points, then the dealer finds the player’s hand does include a predetermined combination of cards.
  • If the player’s hand does consist of three cards, and if each of said three cards is a card assigned a value of nine points, then the dealer finds the player’s hand does include a predetermined combination of cards.
  • If the player’s hand does consist of five cards, and if the player’s hand total is twenty-seven points, then the dealer finds the player’s hand does include a predetermined combination of cards.

If the outcome of the game is the player’s hand wins, and if the player’s hand does include a predetermined combination of cards, then the dealer pays the player a bonus in accordance with the following pay table.

Predetermined Combination of Cards Bonus Payout
5-card 27 1:2 odds
Finnish 27 (an Ace and a King) 1:2 odds
Jo Jo (a pair of Jokers) 2:1 odds
8-9-10 mixed suits 2:1 odds
8-9-10 same suit $90
9-9-9 mixed suits $90
9-9-9 same suit $990
9-9-9 and any 9-9 initial dealer’s hand $9,990

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House Edge

The house edge is the average portion of the game wager that the house can expect to retain in the long term with strictly average luck. The house edge is expressed as a percentage of the game wager. A positive percentage indicates a long term gain. A negative percentage indicates a long term loss.

A game played with this particular set of rules gives the House an edge of as little as 0.7%. Accordingly, each ten dollar bet would cost a player about seven cents on average. That is true in the long run, if the player consistently uses the playing strategy described below to make decisions on how to play the player’s hand.
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Basic Strategy

The basic strategy is the strategy for the play of the player’s hand that loses the least amount of money to the house in the long term with strictly average luck.

The basic strategy varies in accordance with the number of cards
in the player’s hand, and varies in accordance with the rank of
the exposed card in the dealer’s initial hand.

If the player’s initial hand consists of two cards, then the basic
stategy for the play of the player’s hand can be summarized by the
eight rules and three exception rules displayed in the following set of
tables.

If the rank of the dealer’s upcard is then hit to target-numerical sums
Ace hard 22 and soft 26 (22/AQ)
2 hard 20 and soft 25 (20/AJ)
3, 4, 5, 6 hard 19 and soft 25 (19/AJ)
7 or 8 hard 18 and soft 25 (18/AJ)
9 hard 18 and soft 24 (18/AT)
10 hard 19 and soft 24 (19/AT)
Jack hard 20 and soft 24 (20/AT)
Queen or King hard 20 and soft 25 (20/AJ)
Exception Rules
Always hit a hand consisting of an 8 and a 10.
Always hit a hand consisting of a 9 and a 9.
Always hit a hand consisting of a 9 and a 10.

In general, the player should use the eight rules and three exception
rules displayed in the set of tables shown above to play any hard hand
consisting of two cards, and any soft hand consisting of two card.

The basic strategy for games wherein the player’s initial hand
consists of three cards, can be summarized using the eight rules
for the play of the player’s hand displayed in the following table.

If the rank of the dealer’s upcard is then hit to target-numerical sums
Ace hard 22 and soft 27 (22/AK)
2 hard 21 and soft 27 (21/AK)
3 hard 20 and soft 27 (20/AK)
4 or 5 hard 20 and soft 26 (20/AQ)
6, 7, 8, or 9 hard 19 and soft 26 (19/AQ)
10 hard 20 and soft 26 (20/AQ)
Jack hard 21 and soft 25 (21/AJ)
Queen or King hard 21 and soft 26 (21/AQ)

In general, the player should use the above eight rules to play
any hard hand consisting of three cards, and any soft hand
consisting of three cards.

The basic strategy for games wherein the player’s initial hand
consists of four cards, can be summarized using the four rules
for the play of the player’s hand displayed in the following table.

If the rank of the dealer’s upcard is then hit to target-numerical sums
Ace hard 24 and soft 27 (24/AK)
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 hard 23 and soft 27 (23/AK)
9 hard 22 and soft 27 (22/AK)
10, Jack, Queen, or King hard 23 and soft 27 (23/AK)

In general, the player should use the above four rules to play
any hard hand consisting of four cards, and any soft hand
consisting of four cards.

In games wherein the basic strategy calls for the player to stand, and the player’s hand consists of four of the five cards needed to make a qualifying-five-card-poker hand, the player should weigh the risk of losing the game against the potential reward of winning the game with a complete hand that includes a qualifying-five-card-poker hand. If the potential reward of winning the game with a complete hand that includes a qualifying-five-card-poker hand appears to outweigh the risk of losing, then the player should override the basic strategy and hit.

Otherwise the player should follow the basic strategy and stand.
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