Costly Mistakes of Russian Poker

Costly Mistakes of Russian Poker

Almost every online casino player knows what the slots are and how to play them. The same applies to classic casino table games such as Roulette, Blackjack or Craps. However, many casinos also offer more exotic games.

The problem with these games is that you can actually make many costly mistakes on them. To put it another way, there is no wrong way to push the spin button when playing slots, but on table games you can easily bet the wrong amount, or double your bet, when you should instead stand or even opt out of the hand.

The games we are talking about include Pai Gow, Craps, Caribbean Stud and Russian Poker. Naturally, we won’t be able to convert you into specialists in just one article, so today we will focus on just one game and will continue the table game series later.

Russian Poker

In this game, you first place an ante bet on the table and get dealt a poker hand consisting of 5 cards. The dealer also gets 5 cards and to give you some information to help you make your decision, the dealer opens their fifth card face up for the player.

First, you decide if your hand has any winning potential — starting hands with at least a medium pair or a strong draw are considered good enough to continue playing. If your hand is just completely uncoordinated nastiness, it’s safer to wait for the next hand and to just give up the ante bet. If you decide your hand is playable, you need to place double the ante amount into the betting pot on the table.

The most common mistake players make with Russian Poker is drawing the wrong number of cards, as, unlike in regular 5 Card Draw poker, you can also draw a sixth card in Russian Poker.

Let us use an example to illustrate. Your starting hand is 8, 9, 10, J (all hearts) and K of clubs. In regular poker you would be throwing away the king and going for a flush draw or a medium pair, but in Russian Poker the correct move is to go for a sixth card instead. This way if you can hit both the straight and the flush, and best of all, in this case you also get paid for both combinations.

The best card to hit in this case would be the Q of hearts, giving you a straight flush from 8 to Queen and also a second straight from 9 to King. In order for two winning combinations to pay out, at least one of the cards used must be different. You don’t use the King to make the straight flush and you don’t use the 8 of hearts when making your king high straight.

So the tip of the day for Russian Poker would be to go for the sixth card if your hand has potential to make two combinations. If your starting hand has a pair of aces and no draws, you throw away the unnecessary 3 cards and go for three of a kind or something even better.

No matter how many cards you exchange, the price is always just 1 ante, so sometimes you will see people at your table who instead of waiting for a better hand and giving up the ante, put up another ante and exchange all 5 of their cards. This is another good example of incorrect play, although if you are very lucky it can sometimes be rewarding.

Remember that in Russian Poker you are playing against the dealer or the house, so there is no way of just outplaying your opponent or bluffing them with your hand, like in Texas Hold’em for example. So while looking like a gambler’s wet dream at first glance, this game is all about making the mathematically correct decision and not giving in to the temptation of gambling without a specific draw or an existing pair.