RESTful Texas Holdem Game

Working with a few very talented designers and developers in Seattle we were given the task of building a Flash-based Texas Holdem game for a competition. The concept was simple: players log in to play with fake money, the contest runs for a few weeks and the player with the highest number of chips wins a trip to Vegas. Holdem has been done in Flash a hundred times or more but this app had a key requirement: it must be cheatproof.

I designed a game logic engine in PHP which provided the Flash UI only enough data to let the user play. Shuffle logic and betting were handled server-side. User activity was compared against the server’s state management to verify that the cards in the hand were the cards the server chose.

Cool features:

  • Game logic secured by RESTful API over SSL
  • Flash UI with animations and sound effects
  • CodeIgniter PHP library for admin and scaffolding
  • Fuzzy betting logic which allowed the AI to play safe, moderate or risky bets