How to Play Royal Poker?

Does anyone know how to play Royal Poker?

Basic tips & strategy etc.

I thought I heard AK suited is better than AA but maybe Im thinking about Sort Deck Poker.

I just played a HU Royal SnG by accident. It seems like easy money?


Straights are bad. Full houses and quads are good. Royal flushes are good.

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If you flop a straight, you can’t improve your hand, unless you are on a royal draw. When all 6 seats are full, every card in the deck is being used by the river, counting the burn cards. If you don’t have the nuts, someone else could very well have it.


I tried some Royal tonight, for the first time in over a year.

I went to a 2-seat table and waited a long time before someone showed up. First player was a maniac who would raise 1BB every hand, and bet 10x the flop if it got that far. Not really knowing how to play Royal, I ended up mostly folding, and lost about half of my buy in before he got bored of me folding every hand preflop. To be fair, all I was getting dealt was QTo, again and again, which is about the 72o of Royal.

In royal even AA isn’t such a sure thing, though it’s still the best starting hand. But I think Royal is the best played in the post flop, and against a player who denies you a reasonable price to see a flop, it’s pointless to play with them.

I dropped to a lower stakes table and waited for a new player to come, eventually they did. This one didn’t have a clue how to play, and lost all their big pots to me, and despite the fact that I was at a lower stakes table, I stacked them and ended up winning more than I’d lost at the first table.

I am not what you’d call good myself, but I had at least some idea of my hand strength, and I mostly checked if I had less than a full house, and mostly called if I had a straight, unless the board was paired. I raised smaller and only occasionally preflop, and then only with KK, AA, and AK, and was willing to dump them if i only made two pair or sets. But I won a big pot with quad TTTTens beating QQQJJ, what looked like a good full house on that board, and my full houses stood up when I played them.

I think against a player with a clue I wouldn’t have done nearly as well.


I played this hand a week or so ago. I knew it wasn’t a great shove.
As both @bahia7 & @puggywug mentioned straights are near useless.


I actually figured V is folding almost never, and has 2pair at worst if calling. I tried to work out outs that kill me & safe outs etc. Disappointingly took longer than it should have. I likely have 0% chance to win and a very small chance to split pot. Such a crazy game. I really should have folded AK preflop I think. The shove was also terrible.

What was worse tho? Calling AKo for 2 extra BB or the donkey shove with a straight. The shove was done bc I had a decent understanding of Villains game. The problem was I dont know how to play Royal lol

I do not know how to play royal well either. I can fold well preflop, but my entire game is predicated on seeing the flop as cheaply as possible and continuing the hand as long as I can make a full house or better, or chop the hand with a board straight. Against any preflop raise unless I’m holding a pair, I’m pretty sure I should fold. AK maybe, if I’m suited.

I wouldn’t mind playing with you at bottom stakes for learning purposes if you want to sometime. I like royal more as a heads up game than as a 6-seat game.

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Calling the raise preflop with AKo was fine, especially if he often raises preflop, because you had a decent hand preflop. However, once the flop made you a straight, you should have folded to his bet, rather than shoving. Royal will teach you how to read a board. Once all 5 community cards are dealt, the worst hand possible for anyone to have is 2 pair, the second worst is a straight. If the board pairs and it usually does, someone probably has a full house. If it doesn’t pair then there is a board straight and everyone is splitting the pot unless there is a royal possible. Some players will bet on a rainbow board straight, because there is usually someone at the table who doesn’t understand that nobody can possibly have a better hand, and will fold :slight_smile: Personally, I try to see a flop cheap, and rarely bet on the flop without a set or boat already made. If you flop a set, the worst possible hand you will have by the river is a straight. I might call with worse (2 pair or a big pocket pair), but that depends on who I am playing with, the size of the bet and how good my hand is. It is hard to bluff people off a hand in royal before the river.

Royal is not my favorite game, so you will usually only find me playing it when there is a promotion featuring that game. Since not a lot of people play it, you end up playing a lot of the same players throughout the week long promotion, so many of us know each other’s game, and that becomes a factor too.



Thanks for the tips. As you both said straights are bad, which is important to remember. Its tricky to retrain the brain tho.

Villain wasn’t super agro aggressive but I do feel he was trying to be a bit excessively aggressive. The shove with AK was bad and I knew it at the time. I had no patience at the time so i’ll blame that.

Thats a good strategy. I’ll use that in Hold’em a little but didnt think about using it in Royal.

Considering that its probably worth going nuts with the nuts on the flop for value? Like top set that I presume isn’t very vulnerable.

Promotions are probably SnGs 6MAX? As @puggywug said I think its a better game to play HU. I 've never really liked it before but it felt like a decent game HU.


The game is really wacky. Im only interested in playing HU. I’m sure I could learn to play HU Royal well but I don’t want to complicate it with multiway pots.

Agree, 6MAX Royal is just bad IMO. It does feel like a decent HU game though.

I do like a fold with AK however I don’t think the call was as terrible as I initially thought. I was only playing 10K & 2.5K stakes, but I usually play low but maybe at the time there was no players low.

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Friend me and we can set up a time to play. I prefer HU for royal as well. It’ll be a good time, if we start out at micro stakes, 2/4 or something like that… I’d like to get enough hands in to where I have an idea of what I can raise and when I can call a raise so I can sort out my preflop game. It seems like a pretty simple game compared to NLHE. Not that many different possible hands. It tends to make it a pretty straightforward game once you understand the basics.

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Sure ill send an add.

To clarify I’m happy to play short hand ring 6MAX if you have a friend etc. But id prefer HU royal SnGs. There are still low stake 2K buy ins. Overal I prefer ring NL Holdem but in royal i think SnG forces “us” to learn how to play.

I don’t know that they have any SNG options for royal, I couldn’t find it when I was looking, so I just played ring. But as with most things I could be wrong.

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Would join you if work doesn’t conflict, just to help, but would have to be ring - can only handle about 40 minutes on the new tables before I get a bad headache in royal. The table brightness and tone is keeping me from playing anything other than hold’em unless its for short periods of time. Can’t play SNGs or MTTs aside from hold’em, unless they are on flash tables.

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Sorry to hear that. Im still hopeful there will be options to change table colour & customisation in the future. I’m sure we can find a 4MAX ring Royal table if pug is interested. I will play 6MAX at worst but refuse to play 9MAX. I dont even like NL Holdem 9MAX.

That said I’ll happily play ring Holdem 4/6MAX as long as its a slow table if either are interested. I just dont think Royal is anything other than a good HU game.

So the red is no good either obviously? sorry.

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This is why you guys need me, lol. There are only enough cards in Royal so that every card is dealt or burned in a 6 max game - you will never find a 9 max Royal table. I actually think 6-max, with all the players, is actually easier than HU. You know that if you don’t have the nuts, someone else probably does :slight_smile:

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6-max is the most possible for royal, due to the number of cards in the deck. A 9 seat game would run out of cards.

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Yes bahia7 mentioned that already. Its actually not the first time either bc I remember it from a different thread. Seems obvious now bc there are only 20 cards in deck. Im sure ill forget again tho.