Seventeen – Instructions

Seventeen Instructions


Seventeen Card Chinese Poker was created by Greg “Fossilman” Raymer in the summer of 2005 in downtown Las Vegas. Fossilman added Badugi and Lowball to the traditional Chinese Poker game.

Each player receives 17 cards and must make four hands. The bottom hand contains 5 cards. It is ranked by traditional poker hand rankings. The middle also contains 5 cards and but
is ranked by 2-7 lowball rules. The top hand contains only 3 cards and must be not be better then the bottom hand. The top hand only ranks high cards, pairs and three of a kind. Straights and flushes do not count. Finally the last hand is a Badugi hand. Badugi hands are ranked first on the number of distinct suits, with pairs not counting as two suits, and then ties are broken by A-5 lowball-style rankings. The best Badugi hand possible is A234 rainbow (all different suits).

To start a hand tap the Deal button on the main screen.

Set Hand View

Your cards are displayed on the bottom of the screen. Outlines for each card in your four hands are displayed on the top of the screen.

Touch, Drag and Release

To move a card simply touch it, drag it until the new location is highlighted in yellow, and then release.

Double Taps

You can also move cards by double tapping the card. If you double tap a card in your hand it will find the first available location from bottom to top. If you double tap a card in the top, middle or bottom hand it will be moved back to the player’s cards on the bottom of the screen. If you double tap a blank card in the top, middle or bottom hand it will take the first available card in the player’s hand.

The “Sort”, “Reset” and “Kickers” Buttons

Tapping the Sort button toggles the sort sort order between three different sorts. The first
will sort your hand by card rank in reverse order. Aces are always ranked high. The second will sort
your hand by quads, trips and pairs. Finally the last will sort your hand by card suit and then rank.
It automatically groups by largest suit first.

If you want to start over just tap the Reset button and all of your cards will be placed back into your hand.

Once you tap the Kickers button the cards will move from the player’s hand one at a time to free spots in badugi, top, middle and bottom hand order.

Play Button

When you have set all four hands the Play button will be enabled. Tap this button when you are ready
to submit your hand against the computer. You will return to the main view where you are scored.

Surrender Button

If you have been dealt a very poor hand you may surrender at any time by tapping the Surrender button. An action view will appear to confirm you really wish to surrender to prevent accidental surrenders.

Seventeen Scoring

Scoring Introduction

There are three scoring options available. You are scored against the other two players separately one at time. It is very possible to win against one player and loss against the second. Unlike traditional Chinese Poker there are no royalties or naturals.

Total points is tracked by scoring option selected.

Default Scoring Method

Each hand is worth 1 point. Ties are worth nothing. If you sweep another player by winning all four hands against them you get 4 extra points.

Extra Card Scoring Method

The game implements this as described by a player who participates in side games at the World Series of Poker.

An extra card is dealt face up after the deal. It is displayed on the title bar. The suit of this card is also displayed next to the lowball hand.

If both players win two hands, then the player with the higher card of the suit of the face-up odd card in his 2-7 lowball hand wins 1 point. If neither player has a card of that suit in his 2-7 lowball hand it is a push.

Wins Ties Loses Points Notes
4 0 0 +7
3 1 0 +5
2 2 0 +3
1 3 0 +1
3 0 1 +3
2 0 2 0 See extra card tie breakers.
2 1 1 +1
1 2 1 0 See extra card tie breakers.
1 1 2 -1
1 0 3 -5
0 4 0 0 See extra card tie breakers.
0 3 1 -1
0 2 2 -3
0 1 3 -5
0 0 4 -7

Surrender is available for 2 points. The AI engine does adjust the play slightly to optimize for this scoring method.

Hand Size Scoring

You get the number of points based on the size of the winning hand. For the bottom five card
hand and the middle 2-7 lowball hand you get 5 points. For the top hand you get 3 points. The
badugi hand is worth 4 points. Surrender is available for 7 points.

The AI engine does adjust the play to optimize for this scoring method. You will find the
5 card hands weighted more than the other hands.

Support and Feedback

This iPhone application was created by Michael Joseph Brennan. For more information please visit You may send support questions, suggestions and feedback to

Copyright 2009 – Michael Joseph Brennan
All Rights Reserved.