Russian Poker

OBJECTIVE OF RUSSIAN POKER: Beat the dealer’s hand, especially if the dealer qualifies, and win a large payout for your hand.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: Up to 6 players

NUMBER OF CARDS: Standard 52 card deck

RANK OF CARDS: A-K-Q-J-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2




Russian Poker is not a typical poker game, players play the house with their poker hands as opposed to each other. The game first started being played in 1990s Russia after the dissolution of the USSR. This game is often confused with Chinese Poker.

Players pay an ante, are dealt a five card hand, and then decide whether to bet on their hand being better than the dealer’s hand. If their hand is weak, they may fold.

If the dealer has a hand of Ace-King or greater, they must qualify. If not, all bets are off. If the dealer does qualify, a winner is paid out according to a fixed ratio if their hand is better. If their hand is worse they lose their bet. In order to make a dealer qualify, players may increase their stake in order to buy new cards, exchange cards, or buy a 6th card. If a player has two combinations in hand, they are paid out for them both.


If the dealer qualifies, and a player bets their hand, the house pays out according to this table and the size of their bet (see Poker Hand Rankings for an explanation of the kinds of hands):
Royal Flush: 100:1

Straight Flush: 50:1

Four of a Kind: 20:1

Full House: 7:1

Flush: 5:1

Straight: 4:1

Three of a Kind: 3:1

Two Pairs: 2:1

One Pair: 1:1

Ace-King: 1:1

If a player has 5 or 6 card hand that makes multiple combinations, below is the payout ratio:

Royal Flush + Straight Flush: 150:1

Royal Flush + Flush: 105:1

Royal Flush + Straight: 104:1

Straight Flush + Straight Flush: 100:1

Straight Flush + Flush: 55:1

Straight Flush + Straight: 54:1

Straight Flush + Ace-King: 51:1

Four of a Kind + Full House: 27:1

Four of a Kind + Ace-King: 21:1

Full House + Full House: 14:1

Full House + Ace-King: 8:1

Flush + Flush: 10:1

Flush + Straight: 9:1

Flush + One Pair: 6:1

Flush + Ace-King: 6:1

Straight + Straight: 8:1

Straight + Ace-King: 5:1

Three of a Kind + Ace-King: 4:1

Two Pair + Two Pair: 4:1

Two Pairs + Ace-King: 3:1

One Pair + Ace-King: 2:1


Prior to the deal, players must place an ante in the pot. The bet must be between the minimum or the maximum set by the house. The size the following bets on a box depend upon the ante.

After the antes have been played, the dealer shuffles and deals 5 cards, face-down, to each box and their own hand. The only card dealt face-up is the dealer’s last card.


Players act by turns, starting with the box furthest left from the dealer, or the most right box on the player’s side. Play on boxes passes left. Play on a box must be completed before the next can be acted upon.

When you play a box, look at the cards and do one of the following actions:

Fold, the house claims the ante for that box.
Bet on the hand dealt. The bet must be twice the ante.
Buy a 6th card, pay an amount equal to the ante to receive another card.

If the player is satisfied with the card they may place a bet on that box, which is twice the ante
If the player is unsatisfied with the card, they may fold.

Exchange cards, pay an amount equal to the ante. Discard up tp four cards, the dealer deals new cards to replace them.

If the player is satisfied with their new cards they may place a bet equal to twice the ante.
If the player is unsatisfied with their new cards they may fold.

If a player has a 3 of a Kind or better, they may buy insurance. This insurance is bought against the dealer if they fail to qualify. You may insure up to half your potential payout.

Playing Blind

If you play more than 2 boxes the following boxes must be played blind. Simply place an ante and a bet, you are not permitted to buy or exchange cards on these boxes.


After all the boxes are played the dealer exposes their hand. If the dealer has Ace-King or better they qualify.

Boxes which player have been folded, the dealer has already collected payments on them.

If a box has a bet, the outcome is dependent on if the dealer has qualified. If the dealer has qualified, payout or lack thereof depends on if the hand was better or worse than the dealers.

If the Dealer Qualifies…

Insurance is lost.

Best five card hand is compared to the dealer’s hand. If the player’s hand beats the dealers, they are paid out in accordance with the ratios above. A player is paid out for both hands (if they have them), even if their second hand is not higher than the dealer’s, only the highest hand must beat the dealer’s hand.

If a player’s hand ties the dealer’s hand, both the ante and the bet are returned to the player. Extra payments are lost.

If the dealer’s hand beats the player’s hand, all the player’s bets are lost and retained by the house. This includes extra payments.

If the Dealer Does Not Qualify…

Insured boxes are paid out 1:1. So, if you pay $1000 of insurance on a box, the dealer pays back the $1000 in addition to another $1000.

If a box is uninsured, the player of that box may pay an amount equal to the ante so that the dealer must exchange one card. This is done if the player hopes to get the dealer to qualify. Prior to the exchange, the dealer pays out all other boxes that have not paid for an exchange.

If multiple boxes have paid for a dealer exchange, the dealer then discards their highest card and draw a new one. If the card drawn is of equal rank as the one discarded, the dealer draws a new card at no extra expense to the players. If after the exchange the dealer still does not qualify, they pay out those boxes the same as the boxes that didn’t pay for an exchange. However, if the dealer does happen to qualify, they payout in accordance with according the ratios above.

If you’d like to check out other similar poker games, check out our rules for Three Card Poker and Let It Ride!


Nakoa Davis

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