2Man PokerSort™


Patents Pending
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2Man PokerSort™ Rules

2Man PokerSort™ Rules (adapted from AQHA Ranch Sorting Rules, Section IV – 456). Poker Rodeo™ advocates the ethical treatment of animals. Please refer to AQHA’s rule 441(c) for rules regarding inhumane treatment.

2Man PokerSort™ Summary

2Man PokerSort™ is rooted in the ranching practice of sorting cows from calves or steers from heifers where finesse, agility and cattle working skills excel. Similar to Ranch Sorting, 2Man PokerSort™is a fun and competitive timed event that matches a two rider team against 28 head of cattle tagged with PokerRodeo’s™ specially designed playing cards. The team’s goal is to cut a randomly selected "hole card cow" plus four other "carded cows” and move those five cows through a "gate" to the adjacent pen in the fastest time possible. Scoring is easily calculated with the simple push of a button on the PokerRodeo™ Scoring App. The team's score calculates the value of the "hand" multiplied by the number of seconds left on the clock.

  • Requires 28 cows in a herd, carded with PokerRodeo’s™ specially designed cattle cards, 8’s through aces, all suits.
  • All 2’s through 7’s are removed from the deck -- only 8’s through aces for all suits are included in the deck and attached to the cows.
  • Two riders per team.
  • Time may be set at 60/75/90/120 seconds the producer's discretion. All sanctioned 2Man PokerSort™ events will use a 60 second time allotment.
  • The 2Man PokerSort™ should be configured according to the AQHA standards for Ranch Sorting.

2Man PokerSort™ Hands

2Man PokerSort™ follows the same hand strength rules as a standard five card poker game, with the Royal Flush being strongest and the High-Card hand being weakest.

Please note that a Royal Flush must be ace through ten, same suit and, while a straight flush may be any same-suit consecutive cards, players may not connect the 8 to the ace. For example, a same-suit king, ace, 8, 9, 10 is scored as a flush, not a straight flush. A same-suit 8, 9, 10, J, Q is scored as a straight flush.

Scoring simply multiplies the team’s speed by the value of the penned “hand” for a final score. Please visit our "Scoring" tab to read the logic behind Poker Rodeo’s™ Scoring System (patents pending).

To qualify, the team must pen five cows, including the designated hole card (first), clean in the allotted time. Exactly five cows must be penned. The “hole card” that is announced when time begins must be the first cow across the foul line to qualify. Time stops and the score is calculated once a total of exactly five cows, including the hole-card cow, are penned clean. A sixth dirty cow behind the foul line renders a No-Time for the team.

(a) General Rules

  1. The basic concept of 2Man PokerSort™ is that there are 28 cattle tagged with PokerRodeo’s™ specially designed cards representing all playing card suits, 8’s through aces. The cattle are on one side of a 2Man sorting arena with two mounted riders on the other side. The two-rider team must cut exactly five head clean from the herd and move them to the other end of the arena. The “hole card” cow announced by the judge must be the first sorted into the adjacent pen and must be among the five sorted along with four additional “cards” selected at the team’s discretion. The five sorted “cards” represent a poker hand. Using the Poker Rodeo™ Producer’s Secretary Scoring Application, the value of the team’s hand, multiplied by their speed, produces their score. The highest score wins. 2Man PokerSort™ is a sport of skill, not luck. Speed is the critical multiplier.
  2. The “hole card” is randomly selected by the PokerRodeo™ Producer’s Secretary Scoring Application. The official team order for sanctioned events is prepared by the producers and show management using PokerRodeo’s Producer’s Secretary App before the start of the contest.
  3. All cattle will be bunched and properly settled on the cattle side of the gate within the designated area before time begins. At the conclusion of each run, the judge will designate the need to bunch cattle.
  4. The flagger will raise the flag to signal when the arena is ready. The flag will drop when the nose of the first horse crosses the start/foul line (gate) and the announcer will announce the “hole card” for the team. The hole card must be sorted first and moved to the target pen and must be included in the five sorted cows which comprise the team’s “hand”. Producers/judges/flaggers are not allowed to change the hole card for a team. Any unreasonable delay in crossing the foul line as determined by the flagger may result in a “no-time” for the team. Time stops and score is automatically calculated once a total of five cows, including the hole-card cow, are moved into the adjacent target arena. After the flagger calls time, no cows may pass the gate for five seconds or until the team’s hand is called, otherwise no-time is called. At the time of score, exactly five cows, including the hole card, must have been successfully moved into the target arena within the allotted time. The main herd will not be moved as a whole from side to side between goes.
  5. Once committed to the cattle, the team is responsible for their animals. It is the team's responsibility, before working the cattle, to call for a judge's decision if, in their opinion, there is an injured or unusable animal in their numbered cattle. Once the cattle are worked, no excuses are accepted.
  6. There will be a minimum of one flagger to be positioned evenly with the foul line.
  7. For sanctioned events, all cattle must have genuine PokerRodeo™ back numbers or PokerRodeo neck/back numbers. If any part of a cow crosses the start/foul line, the cow is then considered part of the team’s “hand”. If any part of a sorted cow re-crosses the start/foul line back to the herd, the team will be disqualified. The team must sort exactly five cows into the target pen. Less than five cows or more than five cows sorted into the target pen results in a no-time. While the judge calculates the team’s score based on time and hand value, it is the team’s responsibility to verify that the correct poker hand is called by the flagger. If an incorrect hand value is called by the flagger after time is called, the team must dispute the hand value at that time. Once a team’s hand value and score are entered, they are considered indisputable.

(b) Measurements

  1. To ensure fairness and consistent visibility of the cattle cards, official cards are standardized to PokerRodeo’s copyrighted card design. Cards must be applied to both sides of the animal, high up on its side, with the top near the midline of the animal's back between the shoulder and the hip. Only PokerRodeo’s™ neck/back cards or PokerRodeo’s™ back cards are acceptable for all events.
  2. The number of cattle per herd is 28.
  3. 2Man PokerSort™ will take place between two pens of approximately equal size. Two 2Man PokerSort™ arenas should be configured side by side in a figure-8 format, according to the AQHA Ranch Sorting Standards. Cattle will not be moved back and forth between arenas between goes. Instead, the team’s hand will be returned to the main herd between goes.
  4. Recommended sorting area is to be 50' - 60' in diameter with no 90 degree corners, i.e. 60' round pen or octagonal “stop sign” figure-8 design. The start foul line will be recommended as a 12' - 16' opening between the two pens.

(c) Time

  1. Time limits of 60/75/90/120 may be offered at the producer's discretion, although sanctioned events will always use 60 seconds as the standard for 2Man PokerSort™.
  2. A 30 second warning must be given by the announcer to the team 30 seconds prior to a final time being called. Time will continue until the team produces a five card hand or the time limit is reached, either of which becomes the official time for that team.
  3. Time stops and score is automatically calculated once a total of five cows, including the hole-card cow, are moved into the adjacent target arena. After the flagger calls time, no part of any cow may pass the gate for five seconds or until the team’s hand is called, otherwise no-time is called.
  4. At the time of score, exactly five cows, including the hole card, must have been successfully moved into the target arena within the allotted time.
  5. At no time may more than five cattle be on the pen side of the foul line, otherwise no-time will be called.

(d) Rerun

  1. If there is a malfunction of the PokerSort™ pen or a cow jumps any fence and either leaves the arena or ends up in the opposite pen, but did not pass through the gate, it will result in a mandatory re-ride for that team at the end of the herd, (assuming it was not caused by roughing of the cattle). In the instance of a re-ride and the team will receive a full clock.
  2. In the event the 30 second warning is not given, a rerun may be given at the request of the team.
  3. Should a herd be carded incorrectly or have non-carded cattle, the team(s) will receive a re-ride at the end of that set of cattle.
  4. If an animal leaves the arena, either over or through the fence, the team can either be disqualified for unnecessary roughness, or can be given a rerun, depending on the judge's decision. If a rerun is given, it must be given at the end of that set of cattle.

(e) No Time

No Time will be given:

  1. if more than five cows or any part of a sixth cow moves into the target pen. Time stops and score is automatically calculated once a total of five cows, including the hole-card cow, are moved into the adjacent target arena. After the flagger calls time, no part of any cows may pass the gate for five seconds or until the team’s hand is called, otherwise no-time is called. At the time of score, exactly five cows, including the hole card, must have been successfully moved into the target arena within the allotted time. A cow is considered sorted when the entire cow is completely across the start/foul line.
  2. if any part of any cow moves into or out of the target arena after time is called for five seconds or until the team’s hand is called by the team and acknowledged by the flagger.
  3. if the team calls for time with more than five animals on the target arena side of the foul line
  4. if team exhibits any unnecessary roughness, excessive use of a whip, rope, crop, bat or reins anywhere on the horse.
  5. if more than five (5) head of cattle are across the start/foul line at the same time.
  6. if the team's hole card is not sorted and moved into the target pen (the hole card MUST be first sorted)

(f) Disqualification

Disqualification occurs if:

  1. any delay by the contestants to start is observed
  2. contact with cattle by hands, hats, ropes, bats, romal or any other equipment. No hazing with whips, hats or ropes allowed. Romals or reins may be swung or popped on chaps.
  3. unnecessary roughness to cattle or horses or unsportsmanlike conduct
  4. fall of horse and/or rider shall not eliminate the entry; however any attempt by a dismounted rider to work cattle before remounting will result in a disqualification
  5. disqualification of a team member will result in disqualification of the entire team.

(g) Placing/Ties

  1. In multiple go-round contests, teams that sort in each go-round will beat teams that fail to successfully sort in a go-round. In a multiple go-round contest, teams must successfully sort five head to advance. In multiple go-rounds, scores are accumulated to determine placings. In draw contests, the rider with the highest average score in at least two (2) goes will win. In such contests, the same number of goes must be ridden by each competitor.
  2. As the PokerRodeo™ Producer’s Secretary Scoring App measures time to the thousandth of a second, it is extremely unlikely that a tie will occur. However, should a tie in score occur, the team with the stronger poker hand will prevail. In the case that equal hands are made (all suits are equally valued) and an equal score occurs such that two teams tie, a sudden-death run-off will determine the winner, based on the score for the run-off go.
  3. The score is awarded to each team member individually to count toward his/hers average. The highest average of the event wins. At the producer’s and event manager’s discretion, awards may be given for First Place, Second Place, Third Place, Fourth Place, and Fifth place or any subset thereof.