Russian Poker: How To Play, Rules, Show-down, Strategies And More

Russian Poker: How To Play, Rules, Show-down, Strategies And More

Table of content:

One of the finest games at a Casino is Russian Poker where the term ‘house wins or house loses’ is as real as it gets.

Russian Poker is a variant of the game where all the players at a poker table play a 5-card draw to beat the dealer instead of each other. Everyone who has a better hand than the dealer wins the amount they wagered.

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Rules of Russian Poker

The rules of Russian poker may seem a little complicated at first, but with multiple hands, you grow accustomed to the following rules:

  • An ante or prior bet is set by each Russian poker player participating in that particular hand.
  • Each player can choose their own betting amount anywhere between the bottom and top limits that the house specified.
  • After the first round of betting, the dealer deals out 5 cards to each player.
  • All the player’s cards are dealt face down whereas the last card for the dealer is dealt facing up.
  • Each player has a box where they place their bets. Based on the amount they wagered, a proportionate amount is doled out in winnings.
  • A player must never issue their turn unless the previous player has finished their exchanging their cards, betting, or folding.
  • If a player folds after seeing their cards, they lose the amount wagered in ante.
  • In Russian poker, players can opt to purchase a 6th card slot by offering an amount equivalent to the ante.
  • The players can also choose to bet the amount of ante again to replace any four cards from their dealt hand.
  • The amount for bets after the cards are dealt is double the initial ante.
  • If a player has a good hand, i.e., anything above a 3-of-a-kind, they can insure half their potential claim with an additional amount. This is done in case the dealer doesn’t qualify.
  • After two boxes, the player is in a Blind position where they must place a bet along with the ante and be disallowed to exchange their cards, buy additional slots, or insurance.
  • If a player has more than one qualifying combo, then their payout is much higher.
  • The dealer must hold an Ace-King for their hand to qualify. The player loses insurance if the dealer’s hand qualifies but if it doesn’t then the player gets the insured amount back plus an equivalent amount on a 1:1 ratio.
  • Players can also pay to exchange the dealer’s unseen cards to improve their odds of qualifying.

Showdown and payout in Russian poker

During a showdown, all players must display their cards to be compared with that of the dealer. If the dealer has a better hand than all other Russian poker players at the table, then the house wins everything. The chances for this are low when there are multiple players at the table.

All the players show their cards together and the ratio of their winnings are based on if they are holding the following hands:

  1. 100:1 for Royal Flush which is a rare hand.
  2. 50:1 for Straight Flush
  3. 20:1 for Four of a kind
  4. 7:1 for Full House
  5. 5:1 for Flush
  6. 4:1 for Straight
  7. 3:1 for Three of a kind
  8. 2:1 for Two pairs
  9. 1:1 for One pair which is pretty common
  10. 1:1 for Ace-King which is equivalent to the dealer’s qualification cards.

A player who has 6 cards is likely to have more than one winning hand although a player with five cards may qualify for combinations as well. In such cases, the payouts are doled out on both hands beating the dealer. If only one hand happens to be better then only the winning hand is paid out despite a combination.

Here are the proportions for combination payouts:

  1. 150:1 for Royal Flush and Straight Flush
  2. 105:1 for Royal Flush and Flush
  3. 104:1 for Royal Flush and Straight
  4. 100:1 for two Straight Flushes
  5. 55:1 for Straight Flush and Flush
  6. 54:1 for Straight Flush and Straight
  7. 51:1 for Straight Flush and Ace-King
  8. 27:1 for Four of a Kind and Full House
  9. 21:1 for Four of a Kind and Ace-King
  10. 14:1 for two Full Houses
  11. 10:1 for double Flush
  12. 9:1 for Flush and Straight
  13. 8:1 for double Straight
  14. 8:1 for Full House and Ace-King
  15. 6:1 for Flush with Ace-King
  16. 6:1 for Flush with One Pair
  17. 5:1 for Straight with Ace-King
  18. 4:1 for Three of a Kind and Ace-King
  19. 4:1 for double Two Pairs
  20. 3:1 for Two Pairs with Ace-King
  21. 2:1 for One Pair and Ace-King

Betting and poker strategies

When betting in Russian Poker, remember, the house is already at an advantage because

  1. They need a qualifying hand of Ace-King, which are high cards.
  2. If they don’t qualify, it is a problem for you.

Therefore, you need to be careful while betting on a round of Russian Poker. We have a few strategies ad tips that can help you determine when it is good to play and when you need to fold.

  • If you don’t have any prayer to a winning hand when the cards are first dealt, just fold. Odds are, your exchange cards can come up the same and you’ll have invested double the money already for nothing. Instead of losing it all, stay to play another hand.
  • If you have an Ace-King when your cards are dealt but no other combinations, keep those two to draw with the dealer and exchange the remaining three cards for better odds.
  • If you have three-of-a-kind and the dealer is not showing the fourth in the suite, then exchange the two remaining cards for odds of making 4-of-a-kind or a Full House.
  • If the dealer’s showing card is anything less than a 5 and you have no possible value-hands, keep the Queen if you have one and exchange the remaining four for better odds. You can also fold if you don’t even have a Queen or higher.
  • If three or four of your cards are already lining towards a royal flush or straight flush, exchange only the remaining one or two cards.
  • If you have a Straight or Flush led by Ace-King, then consider purchasing the sixth card.
  • If you already have a strong hand, i.e., Flush and above, consider buying the sixth card to make a combo, thus improving your winning amount.


If you understand the gameplay of Russian Poker and develop your strategy, you will definitely win more cash than you can count. The important thing for Russian poker players is the same as for Hold ‘Em. You should know when to hold and know when to fold.

Don’t play hands simply because you already invested. Remember, you’re not playing against contestants where you can bluff. The house will ultimately show the cards and determine the winners.

Signup rewards for playing poker on GetMega

The GetMega platform actively encourages players to earn money. To make this process even better, they offer sign-up rewards that players can use in different games such as Poker.

When you sign-up with GetMega, you receive 60 gems, which is equivalent to Rs. 84. You can also earn additional cash in the form of gems by simply referring people. For each referral, you earn 40 gems which are equivalent to Rs. 28. It may not seem like much but it is basically free money that you earn for doing practically nothing but you can use it to play games. Isn’t that cool?

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About The  

Kanchan Sharma
Kanchan Sharma

Kanchan Sharma started her career as a learning designer at an MNC while pursuing poker as a hobby. However, she soon pivoted to becoming a professional MTT (Multi Table Tournaments) player. She is currently a leading player, who has taken the male dominated poker world by storm. During her stint as a poker player, she has bagged many titles including India Online Poker Championship (IOPC) for Rs. 17,98,906, Winter Celebration Series for Rs. 6,62,500 and has final tabled multiple tournaments. She continually seeks to improve her poker game and work on her mindset to win the WSOP title soon. Her journey from being a recreational player to a poker pro is inspiring for many people out there.

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