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Rockstar Game Tips: Becoming an Ace Online Poker Player (Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare Collection / Liars and Cheats Pack)

(Six gentlemen gather around a Poker table during a sunny afternoon under the shade of the gazebo in Beecher's Hope.)
 
With Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare coming to stores on disc next week featuring all of the previously released Red Dead Redemption downloadable content in addition to the robust single-player and multiplayer of Undead Nightmare, there will be a whole lot of new players looking to go all-in online with the multiplayer Poker feature originally introduced with the Liars and Cheats Pack.  But of course, not everyone is a seasoned poker player who can come to the virtual table knowing all the rules and nuances of the game.  To help out those poker novices, here's some hopefully helpful details and pro tips on how to play in the world of Red Dead Redemption online.
 
Red Dead's Multiplayer Poker is a game for 2-6 players.  Be sure you know the hierarchy of poker hands so you can understand what beats what.  Table locations, order of rotation, and buy-in amounts are listed below.
  • Armadillo - $25
  • MacFarlane's Ranch - $10
  • Thieves' Landing - $25
  • Casa Madrugada - $50
  • Beecher's Hope - $100
Win at Poker by gaining all of the remaining chips on the table.  Before we get into the actual flow of the game, we're going to define a few terms so you won't be lost later on...
 
All-In: Betting all of your chips, or if you have more chips than everyone else, the all-in amount will match another player.
 
Blind: A certain amount of chips that some players are required to place on the table before anyone sees the cards they'll have in their hand.  No worries as the game takes care of the blinds process for you completely automatically.  Blinds increase as the game goes along to raise the stakes and so that the game doesn't go on for hours.  If you have less chips left for yourself than the required blind amount, the game automatically puts you all-in, so you better have a good hand.  The blinds at the higher buy-in tables can get pretty steep early on, so if you're a first time player or still learning the game, it's probably best to stay at the lower buy-in tables.
 
Call: Matching the current bet.  If there has been a bet of $10 and a raise of $10 then it costs $20 to call.
 
Check: If it's a player's turn to act and there hasn't been any action in front of them, the player can opt not to bet, but rather to 'check' (which is like betting 0).
 
Fold: To throw away your hand when it's your turn to act.  You're out until the next hand.
 
Hand: A new hand occurs every time a dealer deals out two cards for each player.
 
Pot: The total amount of chips that have been bet during one hand of cards.  This is displayed on the screen.
 
Raise: Placing a larger bet by putting down more chips than the previous person.
 
And now, here's the basics on how to play:
  1. At the beginning of a game for the first hand, a dealer deals out two cards for each player.  Other players do not know what cards you are holding at this time.
     
  2. After each person receives two cards, players begin to bet certain amounts of chips.  If they bet a lot (raise) or bet everything (all-in), they could be bluffing and might not have anything.  However, there's always the chance that they're holding a good hand already such as a pair of Kings or Aces.  On many hands, players more than often will call.
     
  3. Some players may decide that they don't feel confident in their first two cards, such as a 2 of Spades and a 4 of Hearts, so they'll quit out of this early hand by folding.  Folding only keeps you from playing in the current hand.  It does not remove you from the game entirely.

(If you're the kind that looks at your cards repeatedly, do it every hand and stay consistent - or others will think something is fishy.)
  1. After each player has chosen to call, raise or fold, three cards are dealt into the middle of the table.  If you're holding in your hand a King and a 2, and on the table there's a 3, a King and an Ace, you currently have a pair of Kings.  That's not bad.  You could raise your bet now with some confidence.  If you go all-in, you'll keep other players from being able to see the two remaining cards that will later be dealt separately onto the table.  If you do decide to do this, other players will now only have two options: they'll go all-in as well or they'll fold.  However, there's an Ace on the table, and someone could be holding an Ace.  Your pair of Kings is no match for a pair of Aces.
     
  2. Assuming no one went all-in, and after all players have chosen to callraise or fold, a fourth card will be placed in the middle of the table.  It's another King, and you now have Three of a Kind with three Kings.  The cards on the table are now a 3, a King, an Ace and a King.  If another player is holding an Ace and a King, they'll have a Full House which would beat your Three of a Kind.  Another round of betting takes place.
     
  3. After each player sees the fourth card and chooses to checkcallraise or fold, a fifth and final card is dealt onto the table.  It's a 5.  You're holding in your hand a King and a 2, and the table has a 3, a King, an Ace, a King and a 5.  You still have a Three of a Kind with Kings.  Still a good hand, but be wary that someone else might have that Full House.  Everyone checks, calls, raises or folds.  It's time to see what everyone has in their hands.  Cards are flipped over and the winner is awarded all of the chips that were bet.
     
  4. New cards are dealt and the process repeats until there is only one person with chips.
Some things to note:
  • Players that go all-in with all of their chips and lose are out of the game.  They can choose to sit and wait for a new game to load, or they can leave the table by choosing an option from the multiplayer playlist.
  • If a player goes all-in with an amount smaller than others before the end of the hand, a separate amount of money is awarded (side pot) followed by the amount bet after they went all-in (main pot).
  • If two or more players have the same hand with the same high card, they all get equal amounts (split pot).
  • If one player is holding a 7 and an Ace and another is holding a 7 and a 10, and both end up with a pair of 7's at the end of the hand, the first person will receive all of the chips since he has the higher card in hand.
  • If all players other than you fold, the game will by default not show your cards.  You can, however, flip your cards over when the prompt comes on the screen.
  • Players that can't afford a buy-in will be given $200 every 24 real world hours.  See here for more on how this works. 
And finally for some tips...
  • Unless you have a really good first hand (example: two Kings or two Aces) before the three cards are dealt onto the middle of the table, it's probably not wise to go all-in.

(If you're going all-in, you better be confident in your hand or that your bluff will succeed.  It's best to go all-in early in the hand.)
  • If you're down to a small amount of chips and other players aren't doing too bad, stay mildly aggressive.  Giving in and folding too much will let them know you're being honest about what's in your hand, and will likely cause a downward spiral leading to you having zero chips.
  • Play it tight, not giving away too much when starting games out.  That way you won't give away any hints to other players, as well as keep your money.
  • View your cards only one time at the beginning of each and every hand to stay consistent with your looking.  If you don't look at your first three hands and then suddenly you're glancing at your fourth hand several times, other players will get the idea that something's up.  Plus remember that when it's your turn to bet or fold at the table, you will be able to see your cards from behind.
  • If you're the chip leader (the one with the most chips at the table) you can bully people by making increasingly higher bets to force a player to show their cards or fold.
  • Players that choose to bet 0 chips (check) later on in each hand likely means they aren't very confident in their hands.
  • Note how long it takes for players to decide what to bet as it could let you know their level of confidence in their hand.
  • Don't stay in on a hand just because you've already put in a good amount of chips.  If you don't have anything, the odds are against you.
  • Don't bluff all-in unless you know your opponents well and you've built up a reputation over at least a few hands.  While it might seem clever to randomly go all-in even when you don't have anything, the odds are against you.  Bluffing all-in makes things more exciting, but that excitement could go away in a matter of seconds if someone calls you on it.
  • And speaking of bluffing, players could be using just about any aspect of the game, and that includes looking at their cards a lot to make others think they've got something.  Stay on your toes.
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