Oasis Poker is one of the most strategically minded styles of casino poker that you can find online. It uses multiple play options to give players more control over how the hand progresses and gives you more opportunities to get an edge to maximize your payouts, making it one of the most popular titles in the genre as a whole.
Top Oasis Poker Casinos
An Introduction to Oasis Poker
If you look at the genre of casino poker games as a whole, one thing you see is that there are games with all kinds of different levels of strategy. Some games have very little strategy at all, and others have quite a bit.
Oasis Poker is one of those titles with a lot of strategy, and this is played out across multiple decisions of different types, which gives the game a unique flavor when compared to others in the genre.
The big thing to realize here is that, if you want to do well in this game, then you’ll have to learn the relevant strategies. There’s not really a way to wing it or play intuitively because the rule sets are a bit different than what you will have seen otherwise.
It’s also worth noting that this game is somewhat related to Caribbean Stud in that the last betting decision is actually the same type of decision as is made in that title. However, the other decisions that come before add a tremendous layer of complication.
Rules and Gameplay
Here we’re going to lay out how this game works and what the gameplay procedure looks like. There is a main wager, which we’ll cover here, but there’s also a side bet available that we’ll cover further down below.
- You start off by placing an ante bet, and then you and the dealer each get five cards.
- You can see exactly one of the dealer’s cards, and you can see all five of your own cards.
- You get a choice to discard up to five total cards to get back more cards, and the cost is 1x ante for one card, 2x for two, 3x for three, 2x for four or 1x for five. These costs are non-refundable.
- After that decision, you can fold or raise. Raising involves making a raise bet, which is worth twice the size of the ante.
- If you raise, then the dealer’s cards are turned, and he needs at least AK-high to qualify.
- If the dealer doesn’t qualify, you get 1:1 on the ante and have the raise returned as a push.
- If the dealer qualifies, then the best hand wins.
- If the dealer qualifies and the player wins, then the ante pays 1:1 and the raise pays according to the game’s pay table.
On that last point, the most common raise pay table is the following:
- Royal Flush – 100x
- Straight Flush – 50x
- Four of a Kind – 20x
- Full House – 7x
- Flush – 5x
- Straight – 4x
- Three of a Kind – 3x
- Two Pair – 2x
- Everything Else – 1x
It’s worth noting that other pay tables do exist, but most of them that you’ll see are the above or very similar to the above.
An optional side bet is available, and it’s based completely on the original five cards that the player is dealt. The available pay tables for this side bet vary wildly, and some of them can even be based on progressive jackpots.
The main thing to know about the side bet is that it virtually always has a much lower payout rate than playing the regular game with a solid strategy.
Along these lines, we have to recommend avoiding the side bet unless there are extraordinary circumstances that make it a more viable option.
Strategy and Tactics for Oasis Poker
The right strategy for this game comes down to learning how to play both decisions properly. Because they’re so different from each other, they demand different considerations when playing.
In what follows, we’ll look at both the discarding option and the raising option and show you how to make the right decision with each of them.
The Discarding Option
As we mentioned up above, you get a choice to discard up to five cards while paying a fee based on the number of cards. We’re going to give you a few guidelines here that will have you playing perfectly virtually 100 percent of the time if you follow them correctly:
- Never discard more than one card.
- Never discard if you’re holding two pair or better.
- Draw to four to a straight flush or a royal flush, even if that means splitting up a pair.
- Draw to four to a flush only if it means not splitting up a pair.
- You can also draw to four to an outside straight draw (ie: eight cards can make the hand) if it doesn’t mean splitting a pair.
That really covers it for the discarding option, and if you can remember those five points, then you’ll be playing virtually perfectly for that decision.
The Raising Option
No matter if you end up discarding or not, you’ll need to play the decision to raise or fold. There are two parts to this strategy, and it begins with the following distinction:
- Always raise if you have one pair or better.
- Always fold if you have AQ-high or lower.
Those two guidelines will have you covered for the vast majority of hands. However, it leaves all of the AK-high hands, which have to be played according to a little bit more complicated set of rules.
Here are the guidelines to follow for playing the raise or fold decision when you hold AK-high:
- If the dealer’s card is a Queen or lower and is the same as one of your cards, then raise.
- If the dealer’s card is an Ace or King, and you hold either a Queen or Jack, then you raise as well.
- If the dealer’s card doesn’t match the rank of any of your cards and you hold a queen, then you can arise if the dealer’s card is not higher than more than one of your own cards.
We realize that this third rule is a bit convoluted, so players are welcome to ignore it if need be because it covers only a small fraction of a percentage point of the hands that you’ll play. In fact, you probably won’t see this situation come up at all over a few hours of play.
The real thing to know about Oasis Poker is that it has a more complicated rule set than what most people give credit for in a casino poker game. However, this level of complication in the rules is what directly leads to a higher degree of strategy, which means players have better chances of coming out ahead in the game and minimizing the house edge.
This is the kind of thing that we really like to see with table games because players tend to like more depth from a strategic and tactical standpoint. With that having been said, the strategies are so deep that they’re overly difficult to learn, so you’ll find that Oasis Poker isn’t as hard to learn to play well as something like blackjack or even many forms of video poker.
Overall, it’s a good balance between these extremes while offering a fun side bet that requires no skill or strategy at all, and all of that comes together to give a type of experience that all kinds of players can enjoy.