Home » Articole » EN » Games » Gambling » Poker » Poker variants » Kuhn poker

Kuhn poker

Kuhn poker is a simplifed form of poker developed by Dr. Harold W. Kuhn, it is a zero sum two player game. The deck includes only three playing cards, for example a King, Queen, and Jack. One card is dealt to each player, then the first player must bet or pass then the second player may bet or pass. If any player chooses to bet the opposing player must bet as well (“call”) in order to stay in the round. After both players pass or bet the player with the highest card wins the pot. Kuhn demonstrated that there are many game theoretic optimal strategies for the first player this game, but only one for the second player, and that played optimally the first player should expect to lose at a rate of −1/18 per hand.In more conventional poker terms:

  • Each player antes 1
  • Each player is dealt one of the three cards, and the third is put aside unseen
  • Player One can check or raise 1
    • If Player One checks then Player Two can check or raise 1
      • If Player Two checks there is a showdown for the pot of 2
      • If Player Two raises then Player One can fold or call
        • If Player One folds then Player Two takes the pot of 3
        • If Player One calls there is a showdown for the pot of 4
    • If Player One raises then Player Two can fold or call
      • If Player Two folds then Player One takes the pot of 3
      • If Player Two calls there is a showdown for the pot of 4


  • H. W. Kuhn, Simplified Two-Person Poker; in H. W. Kuhn and A. W. Tucker (editors), Contributions to the Theory of Games, volume 1, pages 97-103, Princeton University Press, 1950.


This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

  1. Jim Bob Kersh

    Be patience , this story does have a point.
    As for this game, I would rather play it than Bourre.

    About 10 years ago, I purchased a knife at a Gun/Knife Show in Austin, Tx. There was a Knife Collector/Dealer from Ft Worth, who had several knives that I was interested in. One of these was what I classified as a Gambler Boot Knife, because it was long and slim, 9 ½ inches and had one of the Playing Cards Suits on each of the 4 corners of the guard. It has a Gold Heart, Spade, Club and a Diamond on a Sterling Silver Guard, with a Ivory Handle. After many months of negotiating and researching the Name on the Silver Band at the base of the Ivory Handle, I finally broke down and purchased the knife, even though, I still could not trace down any knife maker by the name that was on the silver band around the base of the Ivory Handle.

    For years, whenever, I thought about it, I would still check to see if I could fine the knife maker. Recently, I happen to be watching Pawn Star and they had a Vintage Gambler Travel Box, with playing cards, dice, a Boot Knife, a Colt Pistol as well as many other items, each having the Gambler’s initials on it.

    A few days later, I got the knife out again, and instead of using knife maker, W. Kuhn, I typed in Gambler, W. Kuhn on Google Search, and up came Dr. Harold W. Kuhn. The Good News, It looks as if I may have a Knife that was made for Harold W. Kuhn, Gambler, as well as, Professor of Mathematical Economics Emeritus at Princeton University
    The Bad News, I still don’t know the Knife Maker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *