Poker


Like its predecessor, Red Dead Redemption 2 features Poker as a side activity for both earning money and completing various challenges. There are three locations where it is possible to play: the saloon in Valentine, Flatneck Station (after ‘Who is Not Without Sin’), and the saloon in Saint Denis.

Arthur Morgan will also play Poker during ‘A Fine Night of Debauchery’ in Chapter 4 of the main story.

How To Play

All Poker tables in Red Dead Redemption 2 are playing a version Texas Hold ‘Em. There are two possible ways to win a round: have the highest value hand at the end of the round, or be the last player in the round after all other players have folded.

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A round starts by dealing every player two cards. These are known as hold cards and are kept secret from the other players around the table. There will then be the first betting round (see below).

Once the first betting round is completed, three cards known as the flop are turned face up in the centre of the table. These cards, along with another two that will be turned over later, form the second part of your hand alongside your hold cards. With the flop face up, the second betting round will commence.

After the second betting round, the fourth card in the centre (the turn) will be flipped face up and there will be another betting round. Lastly, the fifth card in the centre (the river) will be flipped over and the final betting round will take place.

Once the final betting round is completed, all players still in the game will reveal their hands. The player with the highest value hand is the winner and can claim the pot.

Betting

At the beginning of each round, the player immediately to the left of the dealer is required to put in the small blind, and the player to their left is required to put in the big blind. These bets cannot be avoided regardless of the players’ hands.

Betting then continues clockwise around the players. To remain in the round, each player must either match the value of the current bet, or raise to a higher value. If you have already matched the current bet, you can either raise to a higher value if you have a good hand, or ‘check’, which passes play to the person on your left without raising the bet.

At any point (with the exception of immediately preceding the small and big blinds), a player may fold. This withdraws them from the round permanently, sacrificing whatever money they have already bet up to that point. Once all players in the round have matched the highest bet and checked, or have folded and withdrawn from the round, the betting round is over.

Scoring a Hand

The goal at the end of each round is to have the highest hand. There are 10 possible hands in Texas Hold ‘Em, which comprise of a maximum of five cards that can be made up of any combination of your hold cards and the cards in the centre (although, note that any cards in the centre are shared with all other players). From lowest to highest, they are as follows:

  • High Card – As the lowest hand, this relies on having one card that is valued highly (such as an Ace or a King).
  • One Pair – A single set of matching cards, i.e. two tens.
  • Two Pair – Two sets of matching cards.
  • Three of a Kind – A set of three cards with the same value, i.e. three tens.
  • A Straight – Five cards in numerical order, irrespective of their suits. Note: Ace is always high.
  • A Flush – Five cards of the same suit, irrespective of their numerical value.
  • A Full House – A combination of Three of a Kind and a Pair, i.e. three tens and two fives.
  • Four of a Kind – A set of four cards with the same value, i.e. four tens.
  • A Straight Flush – Five cards in numerical order that are all the same suit.
  • A Royal Flush – The rarest hand in the game, a royal flush is a straight flush made up of the 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace of a single suit.

If two players have the same type of hand, i.e. they both have two pairs, the winner will be determined by the value of the pairs. For example, a pair of Kings will outrank a pair of tens.


Matt Stone

Ever since the original Red Dead Redemption was released back in 2010 and swiftly completed by Matt he has been eagerly anticipating another return to the Wild West. In Matt's totally non-biased opinion the story told in the sequel, Red Dead Redemption 2, is one of the best ever (at least as far as games go). And while some story DLC would be great, Matt isn't counting on it! Matt is on Twitter (but not really active).