Poker is a type of card game traditionally associated with betting and gambling. While there are numerous variations of the game, Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2 only offer Texas Hold 'Em.
Marston or Arthur can participate in games of poker throughout the game world. The player must always wager, and either earn or lose considerable sums of cash. Saloons prominently feature poker tables. The value of each colour poker chip is as follows: Red($2), Blue($1), and Green($10).
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).
High Stakes Poker
The High Stakes Poker game is the most expensive gambling activity in Red Dead Redemption, requiring $250 to sit in. This is more than double Blackwater's normal Poker Table below the Safe House. The player cannot wear the Elegant Suit to the game, so cheating is not possible; the player must wear the Gentleman's Attire in order to access the game. Starting with a full table, it is possible to make $1250 dollars in one sitting. The player must first unlock West Elizabeth before being able to reach the location of the game. Once unlocked, the player must go to Blackwater and head to the Blackwater Hotel.
Throughout Red Dead Redemption and Red Dead Redemption 2, poker tables can be found throughout multiple locations. Each location varies with its buy-ins and big blinds.
Red Dead Redemption
- MacFarlane's Ranch: $10 (100 Chips)
- Armadillo : $25 (250 chips)
- Thieves' Landing : $25 (250 chips)
- Chuparosa : $50 (500 chips)
- Casa Madrugada : $50 (500 chips)
- Blackwater Saloon : $100 (1000 chips)
- Blackwater Hotel: $250 (2500 chips) (only accessible while wearing the Gentleman's Attire outfit)
- Played during the mission "Lucky in Love" : (2500 chips)
- Beecher's Hope : $100 (1000 chips) - multiplayer only
Red Dead Redemption 2
- Valentine : $2.50
- Tumbleweed : $2.50
- Saint Denis : $5.00
- Flatneck Station : $2.50
- Blackwater : $5.00
- Sometimes available to play with gang members at any camp.
- Played during the mission "A Fine Night of Debauchery"
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, in Red Dead Redemption it ranges from $6.00 to $20.00 for the starting large blind. In Red Dead Redemption 2, it ranges from 4¢ to 10¢, with 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 Poker
Marston can cheat while playing poker in Red Dead Redemption, if wearing the Elegant Suit. When dealing, 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 it 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.
Poker, and any other minigames, are unavailable in Red Dead Online.
In single player, there is a Social Club Challenge associated with the high stakes poker game at the Blackwater Hotel.
- Win 2 pots on a bluff
- Knock 1 person out of the game
- You always bet less than the pot
This cheat allows you to take out enemies with a single punch.
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 at least as far as the "flop" for early hands, at your first betting opportunity never folding or checking, but always calling if you can or making the minimum raise if you must. This will keep money on the table, avoid being nickel and dimed to death on the blinds, and normally cause most NPC opponents to fold. If your hand is weak and an NPC raises big after the flop, go ahead and 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 more than half the cash in the game (the buy-in times the initial number of players), you officially control the game. Fold on bad hands and keep betting minimum+1 on decent hands, raising by half the pot on strong hands in the later betting rounds. This will cause you to win and walk out with just over $100 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 (pulling a gun may attract police or gunfire). 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. To avoid losing money, one can exploit a save/reload using Marston's safehouse upstairs.
- 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 "Lucky In Love" where the player plays poker with Landon Ricketts, is an easy way to earn the Trophy/Achievement High Roller. 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 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. However, 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 chip values are inconsistent; for example a player having "3" with a stack of seven chips of various colors. 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.
- 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 Undead Nightmare, one can access the room without the Gentleman's Attire. However there is nothing to do here since there is no poker.
- Like Marston, the other characters appear to dress much nicer for this game, excluding Carnelious Wolfe, who dresses in his usual outlaw outfit.
- Inside the poker room, there are also two police officers and two prostitutes. This mostly to provide extra protection with the large amount of money, as well as to provide extra "comfort" for the players.
- The Social Club Challenge has a 59 minute limit, and if you go over it you automatically fail the challenge.
- 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.
Red Dead Redemption
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.
Red Dead Redemption 2
The following Trophies/Achievements can be acquired through playing the various gambling mini games in Red Dead Redemption 2:
Play all mini games.