How to Play Russian Poker

Russian Poker adds a unique twist to your regular poker game. In this game players will be playing for three different hands, which means three pots are available. There are no wild cards used in this game, although this is entirely optional and should be left up to the dealer. The only downside to this game is that it’s limited to 4 players max.

Rules for Russian Poker

Each player needs to ante into the pot. Once done, the dealer will give each player 13 cards face down. From these 13 cards players need to make three separate hands – a top, a middle and a bottom.

Top Hand in Russian Poker
The top hand consists of five cards and must beat the middle hand.

Middle Hand in Russian Poker
The middle hand consists of five cards and must beat the bottom hand but not the top hand.

Bottom Hand in Russian Poker
The bottom hand will consist of three cards and must be the lowest ranked poker hand of the three hands you’ll make. Since the bottom hand is only three cards the ranks from lowest to highest will be – High Card, Pair, Three of a Kind.

It’s very important that you understand that the hands need to work together. If you’ve ever played Pai Gow Poker, the rules in Russian Poker are similar. If a player has three of a kind as a bottom hand but only holds a pair in the middle hand and a straight in his top hand, he will ultimately lose since the bottom hand should never outrank the middle hand.

Once the hands are made, a final betting round will take place and players will begin to flip their hands. Players will expose their bottom hand first with the highest three card hand winning a quarter of the pot. The middle hand will be exposed next with the highest hand winning a quarter of the pot, and finally the top hand is revealed with the winner taking half the pot.