Poker is a type of card game traditionally associated with betting and gambling. While there are numerous variations of the game, Red Dead Redemption only offers Texas Hold 'Em.
It can be played in multiplayer mode alongside Liar's Dice in the Liars and Cheats DLC. The player can play poker in many different locations including Armadillo, Casa Madrugada, Thieves' Landing, Chuparosa and Blackwater.
The poker rules used in-game are those from no-limit Texas Hold 'Em. You should have at least a passing understanding of the rules as the game does not tell you all of the information on a winning hand, only the primary information. Winning hands (in order from worst to best) are as follows: High card, 1 pair, 2 pairs, 3 of a kind, straight (five cards in sequence such as 9-10-Jack-Queen-King), flush (5 of one suit), full house (three of a kind plus a pair), four of a kind, straight flush (5 sequential cards of the same suit), royal flush (as with straight flush but 10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace).
Players may use any combination of the two cards they hold and the five community cards to form the best five-card hand. The nature of community-card poker games greatly increases the chance of two or more players each having strong hands, thus increasing the level of action (betting).
Poker games all require a "buy-in" payment to purchase the set of chips for betting during play. Different locations have different buy-ins. The higher the buy-in, the tougher the opponents are. For locations that are available in both single player and multiplayer, the buy-in is the same in each game mode.
- MacFarlane's Ranch : $10 (100 chips)
- Armadillo : $25 (250 chips)
- Thieves' Landing : $25 (250 chips)
- Chuparosa : $50 (500 chips)
- Casa Madrugada : $50 (500 chips)
- Beecher's Hope : $100 (1000 chips) - multiplayer only
- Blackwater Saloon : $100 (1000 chips)
- Blackwater Hotel: $250 (2500 chips) (only accessible while wearing the Gentleman's Attire outfit)
In multiplayer, since the player does not carry an inventory or accumulate money, all players are given an initial $200 allowance for gambling, which is shared between Poker and Liar's Dice. If the player wins money, it carries over between multiplayer sessions. If the player's balance drops below the ante required for a game, a new $200 allowance will be provided (limit of once per day).
In each hand of Poker, the pot is started with one player adding the "large blind" and a second player adding the "small blind" (which is half of the large blind). The amount of the blinds varies by location, ranging from $6.00 to $20.00 for the starting large blind. Locations with a more expensive buy-in also have higher blinds.
In single player, the blinds remain consistent throughout the game. In multiplayer, the blinds double after every five hands as a way of speeding up the game. After the blinds are contributed, players are free to bet any amount between the minimum bet (equivalent to the blind) and their maximum available chips (called going "all in").
At any point, the player may quit the game and cash in their chips.
Cheating at PokerEdit
Marston can cheat while playing poker, if wearing the Elegant Suit. When dealing, a minigame will start where the player must control an arrow with the analog stick in the middle of a small arc. If it strays too far from the center it begins to turn red, indicating that other players are beginning to notice the underhanded tactics. If the minigame is completed successfully, a random card from the bottom of the deck is retrieved. Failure will result in a duel.
Marston then holds this extra card (shown separately on the left side of the screen) in an unknown location on his suit, likely in the sleeve. At any time when the player is betting, he can attempt to exchange this card for one in his hand. This uses the same analog balance curve as the initial cheating draw, though it is slightly easier to stay in the middle than when dealing. The cheat card then goes into the hand and the card that was chosen to be replaced then goes into the reserve.
Only one card can be stored at any given time and the reserve card is randomly reset if the player chooses to cheat while dealing later in the game. This opens up possible strategies such as exchanging your reserve card for a card that you feel is superior from your hand, especially if you are planning to fold or your strategy did not play out in the flop.
Note: The higher the buy-in, the higher the probability to be detected by other players (i.e. it is easy to cheat at the MacFarlane's Ranch, but much harder at Blackwater). The more NPC players are in the game, the less likely they'll spot marston cheating even if the player is a bit sloppy during the cheat centering.
In multiplayer, Poker games can be joined either by launching a game from one of the map markers or by selecting the Poker playlist from the multiplayer menu. Poker games take place in a separate game session outside of Free Roam. Cheating is not available in multiplayer poker.
In single player, there is a Social Club Challenge associated with the high stakes poker game at the Blackwater Hotel.
In multiplayer, there are two Multiplayer Challenges associated with Poker, under the Gambling section. Each challenge has five ranks.
- For Walton's Gang Outfit Scrap 3, wait until there are only two or three other people on the table and buy in. Stay in for early hands, never folding, but put in the minimum plus the next highest option. This will keep money on the table and normally in rounds of high betting cause the NPC opponents to fold. Once you get a good hand, put in roughly half of the pot to really amp up stakes without causing an instant fold. Once you have 2-3 times more cash than you started with, you officially control the game. Fold on bad hands and keep bidding minimum+1 on all hands. This will cause you to win and walk out with just over $1000 in poker chips (a very good profit for a $25 buy-in). This method requires no cheating at all, but can always benefit from a little under the table dealing.
- If you are trying to obtain the U.S. Army Uniform by eliminating all competitors in a game of poker in Blackwater, a quick way to achieve this is to push away all but one player, and then run away. Or you could bring out your lasso and everyone will run away. Come back in a few seconds and play against the one player. Just keep going all-in on the first bet of the first hand and you'll win within one or two games. You'll also get the High Roller achievement if you don't have it already.
- Another tactic for the U.S. Army Uniform is to play two games of poker. In the first game, use the Elegant Suit and purposely get caught cheating right away. Complete the duel challenge and immediately go back to the table and play the second game. If you do this quickly enough, there should only be one other player at the table besides you. From here, just play poker without rushing and you will win. You can cheat, but it's not recommended here because if you are caught, you will not be able to play against one opponent and will have to restart the entire process again, which takes a fair amount of time. If you did not succeed in getting one opponent, then just reload the game and try again. It is also possible to slowly "cheat" your way through the game by just getting caught cheating and "eliminating" your opponents in a duel until only one remains to play you in poker.
- In Blackwater, if the player is in a poker game by the saloon, they are much more likely to get caught cheating if the player is "heads up" against only one other player, even if the player does manage to keep the arrow centered.
- If one or more of the players at a table "checks" (chooses not to bet anything), the player should always enter a bet for that hand when their turn comes around. Odds are the player(s) who checked will fold, giving the player a better chance of winning the hand. (Note: This tactic does not work with all players.)
- For a large advantage in High Stakes poker, on the first round, bet $670, and some will call/fold. On the next round of betting, some players will check or bet large amounts. Get them to bet the largest possible amount without them going all in, and then you yourself go all in. The NPC will automatically fold, and lose all their money, and you will gain a lot. This only works on the first round (Confirmed Both Xbox 360 and PS3)
- The mission in Mexico, where you play poker with Landon, is an easy way to earn this Trophy/Achievment. Simply go all in each hand, someone will call most of the time, and leave it to dumb luck. When you win, the Trophy will unlock. If you lose, simply restart the mission
- The in-game cards' faces appear slightly worn and the cards have been said to be sticky and greasy. Along with the fact that cards have squared corners compared to rounded ones, it can be assumed that the cards may be several years old as rounded corners were introduced around the late 1880s to the early 1890s to prevent wear and tear. However, the cards in-game have corner indices (the number or letter of rank in the corners) that were also introduced around the same time as rounded corners, but may be there for gameplay purposes, as trying to count all the pips on a card would prove tiresome and annoying.
- The design of the pictures on the cards seem to be inspired by Mexican-style skull art, particularly the depictions of the face cards.
- In games of Multiplayer Poker with the Liars and Cheats DLC pack, characters at the table are always seen without their hats. While this could be the characters showing proper manners and etiquette, the true reason is most likely that they don't want characters with larger hats (i.e. sombreros) to block large parts of the screen for some players.
- The shuffling procedures are never seen during a game, nor is the process of gathering all the cards at the end of a round, likely to speed up gameplay.
- The only color chips a player has for both Poker and Blackjack are red, blue and green.
- The chip values are inconsistent; for example a player having "3" with a stack of seven chips of various colours. However, the size of one's stack does generally vary somewhat in relation to the number of chips held.
- Chips splashed into the pot will be neatly organized into color coded stacks after the flop, turn and river are dealt.
- In the mission "Lucky in Love", when Ricketts is raking in his pot, there are several white chips scattered within the pile as well, a color of chip not seen in regular gameplay.
- The only way to play high stakes in Mexico is during the quest "Lucky in Love".
- The kick feature in Multiplayer poker (Liars and Cheats) has been removed.
- In single player, when you get a good hand in poker and you raise the NPC players will almost always fold.
- When Marston sits at the table, he will just sit there for 5-6 seconds and then get back up and be returned his money (PS3), or lose it (Xbox 360).
- Upon losing or quitting a poker game, killing the winner does not yield the winnings of the poker game, whether at the table or following them to a dark corner for the murder. This could possibly be because they have not cashed in their chips.
- At the poker table in Armadillo, when the player sits down, there will sometimes be a loud clunking noise which will never stop. (PS3 confirmed only)
- During Multiplayer and Single Player poker games, sometimes the hole cards of characters vanish at the very end of a round or when the blinds are being paid.
- At the poker table, other player's textures and sometimes the table will disappear to reappear on the next hand or not at all. For the Xbox 360 version, this typically happens while it is raining.
- When caught cheating and being challenged to a duel by another character, sometimes that character will be duplicated if they exist in town in another capacity; for example, in Armadillo, the general store owner Herbert Moon might challenge the player to a duel, and once defeated, either by disarm or death, the player can run into the general store and see him working behind the counter at the same time as he lies dead in the road or is fleeing the area. Or the other way around. If you go into the general store, Herbert will be there, then if you run into the saloon and go into the poker room, Herbert will be sitting down playing poker.
- Sometimes during a game, the other players at the table can get distorted faces and hands.
- Rockstar has received several reports of users being unable to have flushes and some straights to count and the game defaults to using the highest card to score. This is a known bug being investigated but no further information as to a fix has been made public yet.
- Even when wearing a gloved outfit, you will be able to see the bare hands of your character.
- If you join a poker game while wearing a bandana, it will miraculously disappear about a second after you accept. It will reappear just as you leave.
- If you manage to knock down/remove at least a single chair away from its default position at the table, the game will not start despite giving you the option and there being up to four perfectly empty seats.
- If you want to double your winnings, when you quit, immediately hit B (360) or O (PS3) again and choose to leave poker again, if you're quick enough, you can even win 5x your winnings.
- Most of the time, if you place really high bets early on in the game, all of the other players seem to fold. This is outlined in the Red Dead Redemption Brady Guide during the mission "Luck in Love". This however, does not work as well in Blackwater Hotel as the stakes there are higher.
The player can participate in a game of Poker to obtain the following Trophies/Achievements:
Win over 2,000 chips in a hand of Poker or Blackjack.
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.
In a full Multiplayer Poker game, beat the table when blinds are at maximum.
XBOX 360 Only
In a Multiplayer Poker game, win a hand by forcing someone with a better hand to fold.
In a Multiplayer Poker game, win a hand on the last card when you were losing prior.
Earn $10,000 in Single Player.