By: Raymond Miville Deschenes
This program is a very special one... First of all, it was put
together at a breakneck pace in only two weeks! What makes it
even more incredible is that it comes from a programmer with
under a year of GEM and C programming experience, and
from an artist contributing to his first ever commercial
He had in mind to make a noticeable entrance on the marketplace
and we think we did it right. To design this kind
of program is not by itself such a mystery but when you must
go through the testing, debugging and improvements while at the
same time juggling deadlines, something's
gotta give somewhere. Fortunately we stayed in one piece
and we made the deadlines.
We had wanted to include the C language source code for
the poker program on this month's issue but due to the lack of
space, this will be done in a later issue where it will be made
into a kind of tutorial on GEM programming.
HOW TO USE THE GAME.
The game is a simulation of the "bar room" video poker
machine. You play against yourself by trying to get the best
poker hands for the amount you bet. This is a standard five
card, no trump poker.
First of all, run the POKER program directly from the DISK
MAG's menu. After the screen turns red (or grey if you're using
a monochrome system because, yes; the program runs just as good
in black and white) and the mouse pointer stops flickering,
you'll see a screenful of options and five cards facing down.
CLICK BOTH MOUSE BUTTONS TO START. The "Game Over" message
disappears to be replaced by an "Insert coin" flashing
insistently... Use the left and right arrow keys to give
yourself a starting bankroll (from 5 to 200 coins, default is
100 coins or whatever value you indicate). The five columns of
numbers at the left upper part of the screen represents the
amount you can win by betting from one to five coins; you must
click with the LEFT mouse button into any column before you can
get your first cards.
To start the computer dealing cards, click the RIGHT mouse
button. The computer will shuffle if necessary and turn up five
cards in order from left to right. You may discard on the first
turn any of the cards in front of you just by clicking on them
with the left mouse button. (if you have a good enough hand,
just click on the right button to pass). Click on the right
button again to get the new cards. Once you have gotten the new
cards (if you took them), click again on the right button to get
the computer to evaluate your hand. It will then pay you the
amount corresponding to your score and your bet.
The winning hands are displayed on the left of the screen
according to what each particular one is worth in terms of
strenght. According to your hand's value, a message will either
flash below the title indicating an even win situation (JACKS or
better below two pairs pay back the amount that was bet) or in
the winning hands column (the name of the hand you're holding
flashes from yellow to white: STRAIGHT, TWO PAIR, etc...). Start
over again until you either a) run out of money, or b) bust the
bank... (gooood luck!). When you're tired of playing, simply
press the undo key to get back to the News program. It may be
necessary to press the key a few times since the poker program
is always running in a tight event loop and can't always catch