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A fast and lightweight 32-bit Texas Hold'em 7-card hand evaluator written in C++.

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Build Status

How do I use it?

#include <iostream>
#include "SevenEval.h"

int main() {
  // Get the rank of the seven-card spade flush, ace high.
  std::cout << SevenEval::GetRank(0, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24) << std::endl;
  return 0;

The implementation being immutable is already thread-safe. There is no initialisation time.

How does it work?

We exploit a key-scheme that gives us just enough uniqueness to correctly identify the integral rank of any 7-card hand, where the greater this rank is the better the hand we hold and two hands of the same rank always draw. We require a memory footprint of just less than 135kB and typically six additions to rank a hand.

To start with we computed by brute force the first thirteen non-negative integers such that the formal sum of exactly seven with each taken at most four times is unique among all such sums: 0, 1, 5, 22, 98, 453, 2031, 8698, 22854, 83661, 262349, 636345 and 1479181. A valid sum might be 0+0+1+1+1+1+5 = 9 or 0+98+98+453+98+98+1 = 846, but invalid sum expressions include 0+262349+0+0+0+1 (too few summands), 1+1+5+22+98+453+2031+8698 (too many summands), 0+1+5+22+98+453+2031+8698 (again too many summands, although 1+5+22+98+453+2031+8698 is a legitimate expression) and 1+1+1+1+1+98+98 (too many 1's). We assign these integers as the card face values and add these together to generate a key for any non-flush 7-card hand. The largest non-flush key we see is 7825759, corresponding to any of the four quad-of-aces-full-of-kings.

Similarly, we assign the integer values 0, 1, 8 and 57 for spade, heart, diamond and club respectively. Any sum of exactly seven values taken from {0, 1, 8, 57} is unique among all such sums. We add up the suits of a 7-card hand to produce a "flush check" key and use this to look up the flush suit value if any. The largest flush key we see is 7999, corresponding to any of the four 7-card straight flushes with ace high, and the largest suit key is 399.

The extraordinarily lucky aspect of this is that the maximum non-flush key we have, 7825759, is a 23-bit integer (note 2^23 = 8388608) and the largest suit key we find, 57*7 = 399, is a 9-bit integer (note 2^9 = 512). If we bit-shift each card's flush check and add to this its non-flush face value to make a card key in advance, when we aggregate the resulting card keys over a given 7-card hand we generate a 23+9 = 32-bit integer key for the whole hand. This integer key can only just be accommodated by a standard 32-bit int type and yet still carries enough information to decide if we're looking at a flush and if not to then look up the rank of the hand.

How has the project evolved?

Taking v1.1 as the base line, the sampled relative throughput of random SevenEval access has been seen to have changed as follows (a higher multiple is better).

Version Relative throughput Reason                            
1.1                 1.00                                  
1.4.2               1.18 Hashing.                          
1.6                   1.50 Remove branching from flush case.
1.7                   1.53 Reduce the hash table.            
1.7.1               1.57 Reduce the rank hash table.      
1.8               1.93 Index cards by bytes.      
1.8.1               2.04 Simplify flush key. Smaller offset table.
1.9               2.04 Reduce the hash table.

I want to contribute, how might I profile my change?

The project contains a profiler which might be used to help benchmark your changes.

g++ -c -std=c++11 -O3 Profiler.cpp
g++ -o profile Profiler.o

For optimisations this starts to be compelling with consistent gains of, say, 30% or more.