Poker is perhaps one of the most popular and well-known casino games. It requires players to be knowledgeable about the game so that they can develop strategy in order to gain an advantage. The fact that poker is played against other players, rather than the house, makes it the most competitive table game available.
Oasis Poker is a variation of Caribbean Stud Poker, which is a form of poker that is played against that house, rather than other players. For this reason, Oasis Poker is slightly less competitive and requires players to rely on their best judgment and strategy, without worrying about other players’ hands. The rules of Oasis Poker are the same as Caribbean Stud, except the player is allowed to pay a price to exchange cards before the raise/fold decision. This particular version of poker may not be the most popular in the world, but is most common in Eastern Europe, northern Africa, and at online casinos.
Oasis Poker is played with a progressive jackpot, which means the jackpot increases as the game is played and no winner is determined. At the start of each hand, players must place their ante on the specified spot on the playing surface. All bets must be placed before the dealer announces ‘no more bets’ and players will also have the option to place a bonus side bet, which is contributed to the progressive jackpot.
The player and dealer are both dealt five cards each. All cards are dealt face down, except one card that the dealer will turn over. The dealer then pushes the cards towards the player, at which point the player is able to examine his or her own cards. Multiple players can be at one table playing against the house and players are not allowed to share information regarding what cards they have, to prevent them from gaining an unfair advantage.
This is the point at which Oasis Poker differs from Caribbean Poker. Players can now choose to switch one card of his or her choice from their hand for the next card in the 52-card deck. In order to do this players must pay a fee that is equal to the ante wager. The fee is non-refundable. Players can swap more cards but the price for switching increases with the number of cards switched. The cost of swapping cards is as follows: One card is 1x the Ante; Two cards is 2x the Ante; Three cards 3x the Ante; Four cards: 2x the Ante; and Five cards is 1x the Ante. If the player chooses to switch all five cards, then they must raise.
From there players have the option to either play or fold. In the event that a player does fold, they forfeit their cards, ante bet, and side bet. If a player chooses to play then her or she must raise by placing a wager twice the amount of the ante. At this point the dealer will turn over their remaining four cards. In order for the dealer to play their hand must contain both an ace and a king or form a pair or any higher-ranked poker hand.
The dealer will compare his five-card hand to the players at the table, starting with the player farthest to his right. In the event the dealer does not qualify then the player will win even money on their ante wager and the raise will push. Any player who beats the dealer’s qualified hand, wins the raise wager and the ante. If they lose, then they lose both of these bets. If the player and dealer tie then the ante and raise will push. The bonus bet is won based on the poker value of the player’s original hand.
There are a few variants of Oasis Poker that differ depending on where the game is being played. The Belgium variant allows players to switch a card, but if the player chooses to do so then they forfeit their option to fold. Finland also offers a slightly different variant that limits players to one card change at the cost of 1 x ante. In this version, if the dealer does not qualify players have the option of exchanging one card from the dealer’s hand to make the dealer qualify.
Another variant of Oasis Poker is available in Nicaragua, where the game is very popular and is typically referred to Caribbean Stud Poker, although still incorporates the rule that allows players to switch a card. The pay table changes depending on whether or not the player switches a card.
Different hands will pay differently based on their probability of appearing. In other words a royal flush will pay more than a two pair. Sometimes the payout for these hands can vary, but most casinos stick to the same payouts or ones that are very similar. The payout for winning hands is as follows and refers to original Oasis Poker and not necessarily its variants:
Royal Flush: 100 to 1
Straight Flush: 50 to 1
Four of a Kind: 20 to 1
Full House: 7 to 1
Flush: 5 to 1
Straight: 4 to 1
Three of a Kind: 3 to 1
Two Pair: 2 to 1
All Other: 1 to 1
As mentioned previously players have the option of contributing to the progressive jackpot, also referred to as the side bet or bonus bet. The side bet for Oasis Poker is very similar to the one offered at most Caribbean Stud Poker tables. Like the payouts, the bonus bet can vary from casino to casino, but for the most part is the same as the following, if not very similar.
Royal Flush: 100% of Jackpot
Straight Flush: 10% of Jackpot
Four of a Kind: $100
Full House: $75
Oasis Poker strategy revolves around knowing when to switch or hold your cards. Since players are playing against the house there is no reason to be concerned with anyone’s hand but their own and the dealer’s. Developing a winning strategy for Oasis Poker can be fairly complex, because players must take into account a variety of card combinations in order to make an educated decision on whether or not to switch a card.
Many strategies suggest that players should switch a single card with four to a straight flush or royal flush, four to a flush with no pair, or four to an open-ended straight with no pair. Players may also choose to switch with four to a flush with a low pair, or four to an inside straight with no pair, depending on what the dealer has. Generally, players should never switch more than one card, due to the cost it takes for them to do so. Players should hold onto any two pair or three of a kind they are dealt. This allows players the opportunity to improve their hand.
From there forward the game should be played just like Caribbean Stud Poker. Players should raise with a pair or better and fold with anything less than an ace/king high. With an ace/king high, a player’s decisions will have a very low impact on the outcome of the hand.
That is Oasis Poker in a nutshell. Not one of the most popular casino games but can be fun and easy to learn if you enjoy playing other forms of poker. The house edge is always relatively low and the option for the side bet can be intriguing given the nature of the progressive jackpot.