How to Play and Win Poker in Red Dead Redemption 2

Tired of losing at the Poker Table in Red Dead 2? Here's how to win!

As the follow up to the critically acclaimed first game, Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2) was released in 2018. Years later, the game continues to be highly popular among players online. RDR2 is still making the headlines on gaming blogs, players continue to discover new things about the game, and the RDR2 mods keep on coming. There are different reasons why players can’t get enough of this game.

RDR2 Gambler Challenges

Apart from the more than 100 hours of gameplay in its unique and immersive open world, RDR2 also has various mini games that challenge the player’s skills in different ways. Consistently winning these games allow players to complete 10 Gambler Challenges, which results in rewards in the form of cash and experience points. The mini games are five finger fillet, dominoes, blackjack, and old school poker, which is arguably the most synonymous with the game’s Wild West setting.

Throughout RDR2, there are a total of 5 locations where players can sit and play at a poker table. These are Tumbleweed, Saint-Denis, Valentine, Blackwater, and Flatneck Station, which is where you’ll first encounter the opportunity to play. In Chapter 2, the mission Who Is Not Without Sin takes the player to Flatneck Station in search of Reverend Swanson. Unfortunately, the player will find the good reverend extremely drunk and about to lose everything at a backroom poker table. As Swanson gets too drunk to continue the game, the player obliges the reverend’s opponents at the table to replace him for ‘just a couple hands.’

RDR2 Texas Hold’em Poker

The rules are simple. RDR2 follows the basic mechanics of Texas Hold’em poker. Players take turns being the dealer. Each player gets 2 cards, and then take turns placing their bets. The flop or the first three community cards are revealed, after which the second betting round takes place. The game continues until all five flop cards are revealed along with the winner, who takes the pot of bets. In short, the basic strategies for winning at any poker table can be applied to any poker table in RDR2. This includes limiting your range by carefully choosing which hands to actually play and not being overly aggressive with bets. Try to stay balanced and unpredictable by not always betting everything if you have on a big hand, or mixing it up with bluffs and folds. At a virtual poker table where it’s impossible to read your opponents’ emotions and tells, the most straightforward way to win is to stick to the fundamentals of good poker strategy.

As for the controls for poker in RDR2, they depend on what device you’re using. Some players argue that the controls are more intuitive on consoles, while other find the customizability of keyboard controls more convenient. In any case, the buttons you need to press to make bets, view flop cards or your hand, and make other moves will be displayed onscreen during poker games.

Remember that although you’re not playing for real money, you’re still playing with in-game dollars. And those are dollars that you could be spending on guns and ammo. So even if you’re on a winning streak against some of the toughest outlaws in the West, keep an eye on your bankroll and never play above your head. If you know that you’re going to lose a hand, find the best time to fold and minimize your losses. Soon, you’ll be on the way to completing all 10 Gambler Challenges, the first and last of which involves winning several poker hands.


IMAGE CREDIT: Luly Dash under CC BY-SA 2.0 License – No changes were made to the image.

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