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Russian Poker Online

There are many versions of online Poker out there, which can be confusing for newcomers.

Fear not, however, help is at hand – in no time at all we’ll iron things out, enabling you to make an informed choice as to which version of Poker is right for you.

Russian Poker is a relatively straightforward game to play, although it does contain some idiosyncracies which set it apart from the other types, so pay attention and it could quite literally pay dividends.

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What you need to know to play Russian poker

The first thing to point out when you learn how to play Russian Poker is that you don’t need other players present in order to participate.

You can play on multiple hands if you wish (as with some versions of online BlackJack), but as you only get to see one hand, there is little point unless you want to take a wild stab in the dark.

In any case, when you play Russian Poker casino games you are playing against the house (similar to Caribbean Stud – in fact Russian Poker bears quite a few similarities with Caribbean) and not other players (as with Omaha).

You will see on the online casino Russian Poker table a box divided into 2 fields.

The first field is for placing the ante, the initial bet you must place if you want to play. The site will usually let you place an ante in various increments, eg. 1, 5, 10 etc. but it can vary.

Don’t worry, the best Russian Poker sites will have everything clearly marked and instructions as to what to do.

Once you have placed your ante in the right field, you will be dealt 5 cards, as will the dealer (ie. the casino) the last of which will be upturned, so you can see it.

This is where it starts to get interesting; you will obviously peruse your hand, plus the one card you know the dealer has, and decide whether to bet, or to fold (ie. quit).

In the latter case, you will lose your ante and that’s the end of that hand. If you decide to bet, you have to ‘up the ante’ by placing double the amount of your ante in the bet field. So, if your ante was 2 and you decided to bet, you would place 4 in the bet field.

Luckily, you don’t have to stick with the 5 cards you are dealt (normal Poker rankings hold in Russian Poker – check out this page for more about poker hand rankings) and have 2 options.

You can exchange a card, or buy an extra, 6th card (incidentally you would do this BEFORE) betting.

In the latter case, the cost is the same amount as the ante.

If you opt to exchange cards, it also costs the same as your ante, but you have the added option of exchanging again and again, until the deck is exhausted.

The only proviso is each time you exchange a card, the cost increase by the amount of your ante; so if you bet 2, your first exchange would cost 2, a second exchange would cost 4, a third 6 and so on.

Once you are done with buying or exchanging, you can decide whether to fold or bet as outlined above.

If you bet, then your hand will be laid out against the dealer, to see who wins.

First of all, the dealer must qualify, for which they need to have a minimum of an Ace-King hand (ie. a high card).

Remember you’ll have seen one of the upturned cards; if it’s an Ace or King you know there’s a higher chance of the dealer qualifying, but on the other hand the dealer doesn’t draw any extra cards, so there’s a strong likelihood that they will not.

In any event, if the dealer does not qualify, you receive only your ante as evens, and not the bet (which effectively means the bet pushes, since your bet will be twice your ante – if your ante was 10, for instance, you would bet 10; if the dealer failed to qualify you’d receive 10 but lose the 10 on the bet).

Effectively the same thing happens if the dealer has the same value hand as you; your ante and bet will push back to you.

Naturally if the dealer has a stronger hand, you lose both ante and bet.

Finally if you do have a stronger hand, your bet will be paid out based on a paytable; online Russian Poker odds are such that the higher hands like a Royal Flush can payout at 100:1 or sometimes more.

The last thing to mention regarding the basic Russian Poker rules is that if you had 6 cards in your hand, you can use the 6th card to make up a second winning combination.

For instance if you had a straight of 2-6 in the original hand, and the card you bought was a 7, you’d have another straight of 3-7, so would get paid out for both of them.

There are a couple of other rules of Russian Poker – if the dealer does not qualify (see above) instead of forfeiting their ante, the player can take a chance on exchanging the dealer’s highest card at the cost of the ante, in the hopes that the new card might qualify the dealer.

This can often be done multiple times, so check the rules with your gaming site, but naturally you are only likely to do it if you have a particularly high-scoring hand.

Another way to avoid the unfortunate situation of having a high scoring hand which doesn’t pay out due to the dealer failing to qualify is to take out an insurance bet, if the casino permits it.

The rules vary depending on the site, so be sure to check out details first, but the bet can vary from the ante amount through to the amount that the player would receive as payout IF their hand won and the dealer qualified, at evens.

There are also bonus bets available where a player can bet on his or her hand being higher than a 3-of-a-kind or similar (BEFORE any buying or exchanging of cards occurs).

Russian Poker tactics for beginners

That’s basically it, but we’ll leave you with a few Russian Poker tips and tricks because, well, we’re like that.

It’s a very basic Russian Poker strategy, since more detail is beyond the scope of this item (we’ve already gone on more than enough!) but you can hardly go wrong with this fun game if you follow these pointers.

First, as you may have divined for yourself, it’s not worth taking insurance out unless you have a particularly high-scoring hand (above 3-of-a-kind, really) AND the dealer’s upcard is not a King or an Ace.

If the upcard is not a King or Ace but you have a high hand, better to forfeit your ante (multiple times if need be) and make the dealer redraw until an Ace or King appears, than to take insurance.

Mimic the dealer – if you have a hand which wouldn’t qualify if the dealer held it, then fold immediately!

On the other hand if you have anything from a pair upward you should always bet, and if you have a straight or flush, it’s worth buying a 6th card, in case you can use it to make 2 winning hands (see above).

And finally, as noted, you can play multiple hands at a time, which is a way of spreading risk, though of course you’ll only be able to see one of the hands at a time.

Finally, it’s worth finding a free Russian Poker online game as a way to try before you buy; you can also in effect play it free by taking advantage of the many Welcome Bonuses and other promos that many online casinos offer – though bear in mind that they will have wagering requirements, meaning you should ‘playthrough’ the bonus money a set number of times before you can claim any winnings.



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