Duplicate poker is a variant of the card game poker. Duplicate poker is based on the principles of duplicate bridge, but it also incorporates some of the rules of pot limit and no limit Texas hold'em.
While the game is more conducive to an automated online format because of pre-set decks and the scoring mechanic, duplicate poker has also been played in a live format. The first duplicate poker tournament was held in April 2007 at the Cherokee Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Duplicatepoker.com, the first poker room to use the format, closed down on October 5, 2008, citing the global financial crisis as the reason for the removal of services.
Duplicate poker is a game in which there are two or more tables, each consisting of the same number of players. Each table uses hands dealt from an identically sequenced deck of cards. Each player holds the same hand as the person seated in identical seats at the other tables. Duplicate Poker was first devised by Californians Bruce Altshuler and Danny Kleinman who memorialized their concept in a lengthy article in Card Player Magazine in the early 90's. The article indicated that for Duplicate Poker to work in a multi-table format, each table had to have the same number of seats with no sit outs on any hand which could distort the final results. The winner would be the player who either won the most chips on a set number of hands and who lost the least amount of chips if the seat had a negative expectation. In theory, a player could win a duplicate poker tournament without winning many hands by avoiding big losses on hands that those holding the same cards at other tables play more recklessly. Under the original concept, Duplicate Poker was envisioned as a Limit game. A no limit or pot limit stake could only work at Duplicate Poker if the chips are re-set after every hand. A set number of hands are played in each round. In a multi-table tournament, the players can be assigned to different tables sitting at different seats after each round. Under Altshuler's and Kleinman's concept, a duplicate hold em team game could be held with a team of 4-9 members of each team each sitting at a different seat at a different table, and the team which ends up with the most chips would win.
Duplicate poker can be played in Hold Em or Omaha where the final hands are fixed, but not in Stud, where a fold alters the order of the cards.
The principal difference from playing standard poker is duplicate poker's measure of results, which are between players sitting at corresponding seats at other tables. Player performance is measured relatively to other players sitting in their parallel seat. The object of duplicate poker is to win more chips than your opponents sitting in corresponding seats at other tables. The winner is the player who has accumulated the best total difference in chips vs. the players in the same seat at the other tables. Conceivably, even a player who loses chips overall can win at the game if that player loses fewer chips than his opponents.
Under the format originally devised by Altshuler and Kleinman in their Card Player article, the team game would consist of up to 8 members, each team player sitting at a different seat at each of the tables. The number of tables would correspond to the number of players on each of the teams. Determining the result of the duplicate team is simple. The team with the most chips at the end of the event is the winner. Again, a limit stake format was envisioned for the team concept.
SkillBet.com launched in July 2012. In this version, two players, sitting at two identical tables, are dealt the same poker hand. They both play against the same five computer opponents. If one player wins $10 with a particular hand, but his opponent wins $15 with the same hand in the same situation, then he’s been outplayed to the tune of $5 for that hand and owes his opponent $5.
In 2011, the International Federation of Poker's announced the "Duplicate Poker Nation's Cup." From around the world 72 players make up 12 national teams with the isolation of the London Eye pods, ensuring that no information can be shared between tables. Those national teams are USA, UK, France, Spain, Germany, Brazil, Denmark, Japan, Ireland, Holland, Australia, plus a team from Zynga.