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Your current hand in five-card poker is disappointingly unglamorous with just a measly one pair.

By discarding up to three cards in your current hand (Card 1-5) and swapping them with any of the three cards in the drawing deck (Card X-Z), turn your hand into a glorious straight flush to win and hit the jackpot!

The four suits – Hearts, Spades, Clubs, and Diamonds – do not matter; our game is all about matching numbers. Each description is there to clue you in on the number (1-13) of a given card. What these clues represent have something in common; figuring it out is half of the challenge.

Q. What is your winning hand? How did you logically reach that conclusion?


Card 1 (current hand):

We're sitting in on a casual poker game and here you are waltzing in, wearing a made-to-measure Armani suit...

Card 2 (current hand):

Billy is on a losing streak. He should focus, not putting his hands in his pockets so early on in the game. Lose a couple more games and he'll be in a terrible financial bind!

Card 3 (current hand):

It's been how many years since we last had a nice little reunion like this? I know, it isn't exactly easy, with you guys now living so far apart in France, Canada, and Japan.

Card 4 (current hand):

With such a severe storm, I thought I'd miss my flight and our game. But a miracle happened at the last minute when I was giving up all hope!

Card 5 (current hand):

The last time I played poker, someone was on an uncanny winning streak. But I eventually wised up to his game – cheating. On the plus side, I figured it all out in the end – that's all it counts.


Card X (drawing deck):

Yes! Got it! Loud and clear! Are you listening? I said, "Yes! Got it! Loud and clear!" But don't turn it into a math equation or subtract anything, okay?! Just the first one will suffice.

Card Y (drawing deck):

I thought I'd ordered a total of (???) croissants so we could each eat three between games. A clerk at the bakery must have made a blunder. Lucky me!

Card Z (drawing deck):

Due to my gambling habits, my life is in total disarray. I don't know how to orient myself anymore! I can't afford to be picky, so I'm ready to use whichever repdigit at my disposal!

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    $\begingroup$ "Suits do not matter in our game." Does that include the Armani? (I ask because I noticed the wordplay tag.) $\endgroup$ – Mr Pie Jul 13 '18 at 2:11
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    $\begingroup$ @user477343 Ha-ha. I didn't see it coming! When I say "Suits do not matter in our game, I'm talking specifically about the four suits – "Hearts, Spades, Clubs, and Diamonds". Our game is all about numbers. $\endgroup$ – user50665 Jul 13 '18 at 2:19
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    $\begingroup$ So, if I talk about suits, whattaya gonna do, sue me? See how far that gets you! $\endgroup$ – Chowzen Jul 13 '18 at 3:19
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Dealt Card #1

Nine (9) "... wearing a made-to-measure Armani suit ..." = Dressed to the Nine[s] (This card will be held and become part of the final winning hand)

Dealt Card #2

Eight (8) "... in a terrible financial bind" = Behind the eight ball (This card will be held and become part of the final winning hand)

Dealt Card #3

Four (4) "... living so far apart in France, Canada, and Japan") = "[being] scattered to the four winds" This card will be discarded and will not be in the final winning hand.
(This change [from "four corners of the earth" to "scattered to the four winds"] is in recognition that "scattered to the four winds" is a better choice.

Dealt Card #4

Eleven (11) "... at the last minute ..." = The eleventh hour (This card will be held and become part of the final winning hand)

Dealt Card #5

Four (4): "... I figured it all out" = "I put two and two together" (two plus two equals four) This card will be discarded and will not be in the final winning hand.
This card (a four) together with "Dealt Card #3 (also a four) make up the originally dealt pair, and I think that, in spite the prompt's insistence that "suits ... do not matter*** ...," they both must be discarded to completely address the point (a good one, imo) made by hyst329 in his/her final answer concerning having to "choose a particular [paired card] (whose suit doesn't match to the other [member of the pair], since you're building a straight flush) to win." By discarding both cards making up the pair, the impossible task of definitely choosing the correct one is avoided.
***(Ignoring the existence/importance of suits is fine to a point, but when two [or more] of the same numbered cards are involved and present in a card hand, side-by-side, it becomes [nearly] impossible for me to visualize them as being either "suit-less" or all of the same suit, so I thought: "Why not just discard both/all matching cards to avoid this issue?")

Card X (drawing deck):

Ten (10) "Yes! Got it! Loud and clear!" = "Ten-Four [good buddy]" in CB radio parlance. Without making it an equation and since just the first one will suffice, that gives 10. (This card will be drawn to replace "Dealt Card #3" and it will be part of the final winning hand)

Card Y (drawing deck):

Seven (7) "... must have made a blunder" = "must have been confused/in a state of confusion" = "[be] at sixes and sevens."
The decision to go with the idiom's "seven" (and not its "six") was based on how "Lucky me!" could evoke "Lucky number 7" or even (albeit a tad hyperbolic for this context) "Being in seventh heaven." (This card will be drawn to replace "Dealt Card #4" and it will be part of the final winning hand)
(Taken literally, which I probably shouldn't be doing, your comment: "Funnily enough, though, the numbers for Card Y and Z actually need to be switched around," seems to be saying that Card Y is a "thirteen" and Card Z is a "seven." While I could make Card Y a "thirteen" by adding the six and the seven from the "at sixes and sevens" expression, I really don't see a way to make Card Z a "seven" [short of > contriving something like "'Seven come eleven' minus/disposed of eleven equals seven], so I'll just leave Cards X and Z as they were for now.)

Card Z (drawing deck)

This card's number/value is actually irrelevant because it will not be drawn and it will not be part of the final winning hand. However, its clue could at least explain why the player was seemingly hell-bent on holding/using Dealt Card #4 (an 11, aka Jack, which is the only available "repdigit" card, according to my analysis), in spite of this being a very questionable move in that it required drawing (a ten) to his/her mere beginnings of an inside straight (8,9,11) and then either a 7 or a Queen to complete filling it from the outside (again according to my analysis, the move was the correct one, for a 10 and a 7 were both drawn). To the extent that knowing this card's precise value/number is required for the purpose of knowing what the winning hand is and/or for completely solving this puzzle, I would return to the idiom (all the clues lead to idiomatic uses of numbers) discussed in "Card Y (drawing deck)" (i.e., "to be at sixes and sevens"= state of confusion/disarray), but instead of choosing between the 6 and the 7, for this card I would add them to get thirteen (13) = King.
(Taken literally, which I probably shouldn't be doing, your comment: "Funnily enough, though, the numbers for Card Y and Z actually need to be switched around," seems to be saying that Card Y is a "thirteen" and Card Z is a "seven." While I could make Card Y a "thirteen" by adding the six and the seven from the "at sixes and sevens" expression, I really don't see a way to make Card Z a "seven" [short of contriving something like "'Seven come eleven' minus/disposed of eleven equals seven], so I'll just leave Cards X and Z as they were for now.)


The [final winning] hand:

A Jack-high straight (flush) (7, 8, 9, 10, Jack) of whatever suit that suits you best) (See the reasoning included above to explain why I think this is the case)

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    $\begingroup$ Nice! Now you have nailed Cards 1,2,4, and X. As for Card Y, you're 99% correct; the remaining 1% is throwing you off and leading you to an incorrect winning hand. Each description needs to be converted into a certain something following a pattern which you have no doubt figured out by now. As for Cards 5 and Z, a little bit more flexibility is in order. You're almost there! :D $\endgroup$ – user50665 Jul 18 '18 at 6:34
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    $\begingroup$ Great! You've finally netted yourself the correct winning hand! :) Funnily enough, though, the numbers for Card Y and Z actually need to be switched around. :D As for Card 3, doesn't some phrase that conveys that very idea occur to you? $\endgroup$ – user50665 Jul 20 '18 at 4:32
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Don't have many of them, but I'd like to get an answer started:

1:

I agree with hyst's answer of 3, but am not sure why it's an Armani suit specifically...

X:

King: "Yes! Got it! Loud and clear!" People say K as acknowledgement.

Y:

Queen: They expected a dozen, or 12 croissants - 3 to a person (there are 4 people playing). However, a baker's dozen is 13, so they suspected the bakery counted it wrong.

Z:

Jack: A repdigit is a number made of one digit, like 11. The number 11 can be oriented either way.

The hand:

I suspect the straight flush is a royal flush, since cards X, Y, and Z are 3 of the necessary cards. If this is true, then two of cards 1-5 should be Ace and 10.

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    $\begingroup$ You 99% nailed one of your answers! If you start from there and get on the right track, figuring out the rest of the numbers will become more and more easier. 🙂 $\endgroup$ – user50665 Jul 14 '18 at 2:02
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My try (probably very bad):

Card 1

3 - waltzing in refers to waltz, music which has 3/4 in a measure.

Card 2

2 - 3-2 is one of the worst hands in poker (such as Texas Holdem), and words couple and bind (connect two things together)

Card 3

8 - reference to G8 which Russia have left 4 years ago (G8, now G7, includes France, Canada, and Japan)

Card 4

3 - Category 3 storm is severe, and a miracle is that you finally got a pair (two 3s)

Card 5

1 (ace) - due to the phrase "ace in the hole" meaning cheating

Card X

5 - math equation is probably because 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 are Fibonacci numbers, and a 4 will suffice to complete the straight

Card Y

9 - 9 croissants is probably the right order since 9 is divisible by 3

Card Z (and the final answer)

4 - you got the 1-2-3-4-5 straight, and must dispose an 8 and one of your 3s (exchanging to a 4 and a 5); in both cases you dispose a repdigit (since 8+3=11), but you must choose a particular 3 (whose suit doesn't match to the other, since you're building a straight flush) to win (and probably can't afford to dispose the other 3 instead, since non-flush straight is much weaker).

But unfortunately

I don't see what is common between those clues

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    $\begingroup$ Nice try! Currently far from the answer, but a certain something that you mentioned (which shall remain anonymous) actually happens to hold the key to the answer. You were almost about to get on the right track, only you scratched the wrong surface, a wrong bit. Figuring out just one or two clues will be enough for most people to see the pattern, paving the way for the rest of the deductions. Due to the nature of wordplay, native speakers of English have an advantage here. $\endgroup$ – user50665 Jul 13 '18 at 8:35

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