Red Dead Redemption 2 will send you on the proverbial emotional roller coaster. RDR2 will both exhilarate you and break your heart. Want to make money playing poker in Red Dead Redemption 2? Get locations, cheats, missions & tips for poker mini-games in RDR2 here.
Poker in Red Dead Redemption 2
Rockstar’s second edition of Red Dead Redemption is just a game but, like poker, there are several ways to play it. And none of them are necessarily wrong. A special shout-out goes to the musical score, which is absolutely fantastic.
So, let’s look at poker in Read Dead Redemption 2. But first, for those who don’t know the game, a few words of explanation. Red Dead Redemption 2 (aka RDR2) is set in an Open World Environment around the year 1900 in North America. It follows the adventures – well, the life really – of Arthur Morgan. A member of a small community/gang that tries to make ends meet in the New World by all the means they have, legal or illegal.
"We’re thieves in a world that don’t want us no more."
– Arthur Morgan
RDR2 is also an unsparing description of the conquest of the West. This is a world in which the railway hasn’t reached the Pacific yet, so there are fledgling cities along the tracks. But further West it’s still mostly just nature with some scattered settlements - some of which aren't even reachable by coach. RDR2 deals with the dangers of nature that settlers were perpetually exposed to. But also shows the danger the settlers presented for the natives, the slaves kidnapped from Africa and, ultimately, each other.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is so vast we can’t even attempt to cover all it offers here. There are so many missions, tasks and challenges that the game will keep you busy for many weeks. We’ll limit ourselves to the one element we know best – poker and gambling. Poker was there at the time, and it’ll still be around in another 100 years.
Your First Hand Of Poker in RDR2: Rigged
In Red Dead Redemption 2 you’ll come across poker in one of the early main story missions called “Who Is Not Without Sin,” which takes place in Chapter 2. You’ll walk into Flatneck Station to find Reverend Swanson, the clergyman of your little community. He’s severely drunk and gambling money away at the poker table so you have to do the reasonable thing - remove him - and take his place.
And here we are, playing poker for “money” in the Wild West. It’s only a 1c/2c game but, hey -- a couple of cents will buy you a lot of stuff in the general stores around there. And a hotel room isn’t more than a buck.
Your first hand will be Q-To (at least it was every time we tried) and you’ll suck out on the Q-J of one of your opponents by hitting a second pair – the ten on the river. At least it’s rigged in your favor, right? From the second hand onwards, however, the cards are as random as they really are on every online poker site in the world. If you can’t beat these guys, don’t blame the game.
For the poker mission’s outcome it doesn’t matter how long you stay at the table or whether you win or lose. The mission will continue when you stand up again and see that the Reverend has gone missing. So, stay for a while and play. You’ll find that the level of play is pretty close to your own – or maybe even a little lower. If you just stay on, the game will automatically “make you leave” at some point. Then it’s time to search for the Reverend before he (spoiler alert!) gets hit by a train.
After you finished this mission you’ll be able to come back and play whenever you like and for how long you like. Given of course that the station is open. There is no 24/7 service yet in the year 1900 and most places simply shut down at night. The same goes for additional poker locations, which you’ve now unlocked.
Red Dead Redemption 2: Locations
Flatneck Station is the first but by no means the only location you can play poker in. The other locations you can play poker in Red Dead Redemtion 2 are, in order of appearance:
- St. Denis
The last two won’t be available until pretty late in the game so don’t worry about them at first. At times there is even poker in your camp, so you can play against your friends depending on who’s there and available. The best place to play in terms of money is St. Denis, as this is the only place where you can play 2c/4c. There are always enough players available as St. Denis is the biggest city in this game world.
As mentioned, this doesn’t exactly sound like high stakes. But a dollar in 1900 had roughly the buying power of §30 today so that corresponds to a 60c/$1.20 blinds game today. Now be honest: how high do you really play poker online? Poker in Red Dead Redemption 2 is but a mini-game; it’s not there to accidentally ruin your main game. There are several ways to make money in the game and you’ll soon have so much of it that you won’t have to worry about losing too much to get by.
Red Dead Redemption 2: High-Stakes Mission
"I guess it’s just you and me now, Mr … 'Callahan'”
– Desmond Bligh
There actually is a high stakes poker game in RDR2 but it’s part of a main story mission and not a regular place you can go to. Quite some time will have passed before you enter this mission in Chapter 4. It’s called “A Fine Night of Debauchery” and it’ll get you to play on a riverboat steamer under a false name against some shady business people.
How cool is that? Not that you’re exactly a pillar of modern society yourself, but you’ll get dressed up very nicely for that particular evening where you’ll relieve one Mr. Desmond Bligh of his money. The poker part of this mission is, by any stretch, as rigged as it can be. You’ll have an accomplice from your community who’ll be there to tell you when to call and when to fold. It’s “Herr Strauss,” the often sullen and slightly uncanny money-lender from Austria.
Here’s a little tip: Don’t take his help if you want a perfect completion of the mission. You’ll have the chance to look or not look at Strauss. Either way, the game won’t take too long and it’s difficult for you to not win because the dealer is also in on it. He’ll not only rig the deck but also tell you when to risk your money -- if you listen carefully.
Only a few hands in you’ll get it in in a big setup – and suck out. The following hand will be another setup, and then you’ll have all the chips on the table. You’ll have to find out what the setups are yourself. When you go to collect the money things will quickly spiral out of control again. And you’ll soon find yourself fighting for the money rather than playing for it. But we don’t want to give too much away …
Poker Challenges in RDR2
There are several different chains of challenges in Red Dead Redemption. You’ll have to prove yourself as a sharpshooter, bandit, herbalist, survivalist, horseman, weapons expert – and gambler. If you do, it’ll be beneficial for your health and your skills.
There are 10 gambling challenges in RDR2, three of which have to do with poker. The others will involve Blackjack, Dominoes, and Five Finger Fillet. The poker challenges are Numbers 1, 4 and 10.
Gambling Challenge #1: Win 5 Hands of Poker
That’s all it is. You might accidentally complete this mission on your first visit to the poker table at Flatneck Station. If you don’t, don’t worry. The number of hands you won is saved so you don’t have to win all five hands in one session. You can complete the mission anywhere else and any other time.
Gambling Challenge #4: Bust a Player in 3 Different Locations
This is actually the most difficult of the three poker challenges. You’ll have to take one player’s complete stack at Flatneck Station, in St. Denis and in Valentine. We saw just as many bad beats and suck-outs as in real poker so playing well alone isn’t always enough.
Our tip is to raise big – at least 10x – to build a pot early in the hand so your opponents have to commit themselves to the pot. Of course you can sometimes trap as well. Even so, your opponents won’t always play the way they should and they’ll sometimes fold when math would tell them to call. You can still grind them down, though, which makes it easier to deliver the final blow.
This will cost you a bit of time since you have to do this in three different places. Eventually you’ll succeed, but we also had instances when we got stacked twice by the same player.
As you can only buy-in for a maximum of $5, your opponent might have 3x your stack so grinding them down won’t be easy. In cases like this it can be better to leave and do something else. Come back later when there’ll be other players with smaller stacks.
Gambling Challenge #10: Win 3 Poker Hands in a Row
It doesn’t matter where you do this so pick your favourite spot. The best-case scenario for speeding up this challenge is to push all-in three times in a row. As you start with 250 bb there’s a good chance you won’t be called. But you can also choose a more conservative approach and just play. You’ll get there in a reasonable amount of time either way.
How Good are the Poker Players in RDR2?
"You don’t seem free; you seem drunk."
– Arthur Morgan
For a mini-game within a game, poker in Red Dead Redemption 2 is impressively sophisticated. The NPCs are not only individuals on the outside, they also have different playing styles. You’ll encounter several archetypes you’ll recognize from your other games. Ranging from the classic maniac to the elderly guy in a suit who only plays monster hands.
Hence, the poker experience is quite realistic as the gameplay follows real-money Texas Hold’em play in detail. The only minor mistake we could find is that every bet is called a “raise” by any player. But then if you’ve ever sat at a casino poker table there was probably someone who didn’t know the difference there, too.
Rules of Poker in RDR2
If you’re not familiar with the rules of Texas Hold’em, RDR2 provides a comprehensive set of poker rules so the game can even teach you poker. You’ll be playing with virtual money but it’s actually more “poker-esque” than playing with play money on a real money online poker site.
Compared to the splashing of chips that real people do with play money, the RDR2 characters play more “realistic” poker. Every time you complete a challenge you’ll improve your Dead Eye skills and your ammunition capacity, which is very useful for the main story missions.
Poker in Red Dead Redemption 2: Masterfully Done
The integration of poker into RDR2 has been masterfully done. It won’t be easy to make it any more realistic without involving real people. No matter if you’re a beginner or an advanced player you’ll have some fun sitting in a saloon, downing a couple of whiskies and playing cards. Your opponents will be crooks, thieves, thugs, bandits, racketeers – and some, we assume, are good people.
- You must play poker to complete the main story missions
- You can play poker to have some fun and complete the challenges
- You cannot use poker as a means of making money inside the game as the stakes are far too low for that
You don’t need to play any additional poker than described above but if there’s one tip we can give you outside of poker in this game, it’s:
- Do some random stuff!
Don’t hurry through RDR2; you’ll regret it. Go hunting or fishing. Meet strangers and re-visit friends. Take on more challenges. Just be sure to waste some time; it’s limited!
Red Dead Redemption Poker Questions
What is the red dead redemption poker cheat?Your first poker hand at Flatneck station may contribute to the first challenge where you need to win 5 hands - but not all at once. When you are playing poker on the river steamboat in chapter 4, don't take the help of your accomplice Strauss and you can get a perfect mission completion.
In the fourth challenge, in Flatneck Station, St. Denis and Valentine, we suggest raising big – at least 10x – to build a pot early, making your opponents commit to the pot. You'll have to grind the other players down in 3 different places - just make sure they have smaller stacks.
In the final challenge (#10), you can speed things up by going all-in three times in a row. You'll get there a reasonable amount of the time.
What is the Red Dead Redemption poker mission?There's actually a high-stakes poker game in RDR2 but it’s part of a main story mission in Chapter 4. It’s called “A Fine Night of Debauchery” where you play on a riverboat steamer under a false name against some shady people. The poker mission is rigged. You’ll have an accomplice telling you when to call and fold. So don’t take his help if you want to complete a perfect mission.
Out of the 10 challenges in RDR2, numbers 1, 4 and 10 are the poker ones. In the first, you have to win 5 hands of poker. In the fourth, you have to bust a player in three locations. And in the last one, you have to win 3 hands in a row.
What are the Red Dead Redemption poker rules?The poker rules are the same as any No Limit Hold'em game. The only mistake we found that they make is that they call a 'bet' a 'raise'. So don't get confused.
How to play Red Dead Redemption poker?Don't try to bluff your way through as these players will almost always call. We suggest that you wait until you have a great hand and push all-in to build a stack. In some situations, you'll need to win one or several poker hands to move on in the game. If you lose, you can always reload the game and try again. This is a good old cheat we've all used.
Where are the Red Dead Redemption poker locations?Flatneck Station is the first but by no means the only location you can play poker in. The other locations you can play poker in Red Dead Redemtion 2 are, in order of appearance: Valentine, St. Denis, Blackwater and Tumbleweed. At times there's even poker in your camp, so you can play against your friends depending on who’s available.
How do you spot the red dead redemption poker tells?There aren't any specific poker tells we could spot from these characters. However, they play solid. They will not usually try and bluff. If they raise, they've got it - otherwise, they'll fold.
What are the top red dead redemption poker tips?1. If you have a good hand, raise big because you will almost always get called.
2. If your opponents raise, they have it, otherwise they would fold.
3. When playing poker on the boat in chapter 4, don't listen to your accomplice.
4. Go all-in 3 times in the final challenge #10.
5. To be able to cheat at poker, wear the Elegant suit (but not the Gentleman's suit).
How to win red dead redemption poker?You can beat the Red Dead Redemption poker by just playing a good game. You need to have the patience to fold to their raise and all-ins because this means they have it. They hardly ever bluff.
You should be betting and shoving with hands like top pair, decent kicker. So wait until you have good hands, then overbet to get max value - because they'll almost always call. Similarly, refrain from bluffing because they'll call and you can lose your money to a marginally better hand.
In a single-player game, make sure there’s just one opponent at the table then move all-in every hand. If you lose all your chips, you can reload the last saved game and try again. You'll get there eventually.
Is Red Dead Redemption poker fair?It's definitely rigged at times. Your first hand will be Q-To (at least it was every time we tried) and you’ll suck out on the Q-J of one of your opponents by hitting a second pair – the ten – on the river. At least it’s rigged in your favor. However, for the most part, the players play a solid game. They won't bluff you, call often, raise with good hands and fold bad ones.
Is Red Dead Redemption poker rigged?If you’re one of those types that thinks poker is rigged wherever you play it, you’ll feel vindicated – at first. Your first hand will be Q-To (at least it was every time we tried) and you’ll suck out on the Q-J of one of your opponents by hitting a second pair – the ten – on the river. At least it’s rigged in your favour, so we guess you won’t complain.
How to cheat in Red Dead RedemptionThe Liars and Cheats Pack has some cool features:
- Multiplayer poker
- Cheating! (single player only)
To be able to cheat in poker, you need to dress up in the Elegant Suit (not the Gentleman's suit - that just gets you into the high-stakes game in Blackwater). You unlock the suit either by defeating all opponents in a poker game or by initiating a multiplayer poker game.
While wearing the suit, each time it’s your turn to deal, you can slip one card off the bottom of the deck and hide it. (It will be visible in the upper left corner). Then when it's your turn, you can exchange the hidden card for a card in your hand.
To succeed in cheating, you have to win a “mini game” of balancing an arrow in the center of a scale. If you fail this, you’ll be caught cheating. An opponent will challenge you, and your destiny will be put on the line in a pistol duel.