I tried Royal for the first time last night. It was… interesting.
Hard to say since I have exactly one table’s worth of experience at it, but at least in this session the game consisted mostly of limping and checking, and folding to any bet.
I managed to do OK. I sat down at a table with one person and we played heads up for a period of time before more players eventually joined. Mostly the table was at least half empty the majority of the time I played, but we were 6-up for a brief period. There was definitely more action during the 6-up period. 3- or 2- handed there just wasn’t much action.
I used some of the knowledge I had gained by reading these forums to inform my strategy, and it helped. Knowing not to bet Straights was the single most important insight, very useful and surely saved me a ton of chips. Royal is a game where full house and quad hands tend to be the best, and are made very commonly.
Eventually, I hit a hand that won me a big pot. After more players joined the table, the original player who I had been playing heads up with started shoving his stack all-in more, usually after the flop, sometimes on the Turn. Somehow or other, we went from min betting most hands and getting the table to muck to any bet, to an all-in situation, and this occurred one time when I happened to hold the nuts, I shoved, he called, and I took the pot, busting the player who had been there since I joined. I ended up taking about 14,000 chips, leaving my bigger-stacked opponent with about 8k left in his stack.
This seemed to trigger him, and he immediately shoved the rest of his stack again the next hand, which I also called, and won, AJ over KQ, hitting Aces full.
My opponent rebought and just started shoving every hand preflop. Another player at my table called him on his first hand after his rebuy, and beat him; he rebought and shoved again.
At that point, I felt I’d had enough of Royal and was satisfied at being able to win some chips, so I decided to get up from the table.
For other Royal players, I wonder just how typical this experience sounds to you?