Royal Poker was a 2022 promised live game release from Ezugi. Actually they promised Russian Poker. No matter – it’s the same game. It’s been live now for a few weeks and can be played at most casinos carrying Ezugi’s games.
There are plenty of live poker variations out there. But Ezugi for the time being are the only provider offering a live dealer Royal Poker table.
What is Royal Poker?
As with the simpler Stud versions, the aim of the game is to beat the dealer’s 5 card poker hand. An Ante bet gets you in the game and a look at the 5 player cards and 1 of the dealer’s 5 cards.
At this point playing Stud is a simple Call or Fold decision. But with Royal Poker things become a little more interesting with options to Call, Fold or draw extra cards to improve your win chances. You also have options to try help the dealer’s hand qualify where you have a strong hand that stands to win a big payout, or take insurance against the dealer not qualifying.
How to Play Royal Poker
Let’s run through a game round to illustrate how to play. To begin, get your Ante bet on.
The dealer will then deal (from a freshly shuffled single deck) 5 cards face up to the player position, and
5 cards to the dealer position. Only the last of the dealer’s cards is revealed.
Now you are presented quite a few options. You can:
- Fold and forfeit your Ante taking no further part in the game, OR
- Bet (Call), costing 2x your Ante (same as Stud), OR
- Buy 1 card, costing 1x your Ante.
Take this option and the 1st of the 5 community cards about to be dealt becomes your 6th card.
- Swap cards, costing 1x your Ante
Select any of your cards to be swapped for community cards about to be dealt.
In this example, Swap is the chosen play and the 9 and J selected to be swapped out. They will be replaced by the first 2 community cards to come out – 2 and K as it turns out completing my 5 card hand.
Had Buy been the choice, the first community card out (2) would have been added to the original had. The best 5 card combination(s) from these 6 cards become the player hand.
Either way, you now get to chose whether to Bet/Call, or Fold (or take insurance – more on this below). Not about to Fold trip Aces so bet it is.
Dealer must qualify
To get a win payout on your Call bet the dealer must qualify – meaning a hand of Ace+King or better. If the dealer doesn’t quality the bet pushes (and Ante pays 1:1).
A win with 3 of a Kind pays 3:1 (win pay table below) and trip Aces are likely to win. So at this point dealer qualification is desired.
And luckily the dealer did qualify!
Mitigating risk dealer doesn’t qualify
With a final hand of 3 of a Kind plus Ace+King or better, you are offered insurance before the dealer’s hand is revealed. This is a bet paying even money if the dealer doesn’t qualify (lost if they do).
- Exchange dealers card
After dealer’s cards are revealed, if they do not qualify, you can have them exchange a card (at a cost of course) to try and make them qualify. Obviously worth it if you have a cracking hand commanding a big payout.
What you are aiming for, is to beat the dealers hand with the dealer qualifying. In this case Ante pushes but your play/call bet wins a payout that depends on the quality of your hand (see payouts below).
The full set of outcome combinations and how they are settled is detailed below.
As for the win payouts, should you beat the dealer’s qualifying hand and you have a Royal Flush, you get 100:1 on your Call bet. Payouts for all other winning hands are:
There are also payouts for combination hands. In the rare case your 6 cards from a Buy results in 2 poker hands (eg 6 cards cards in numeric order produces 2 different Straights).
Playing Strategy Tip
Those in the know are unanimous on when to Buy or Swap. These options should only be chosen to improve an already strong hand (and try for a better payout), not to make a hand.