Italian Poker Rules

6 September 2023 Published by Leave your thoughts

The history of Italian poker is fascinating and intertwines with the culture of gambling and card games in Italy. A journey through centuries of tradition, intrigue, and change, this game has captured the hearts of generations of players. Its evolution reflects the cultural richness of Italy, combining elements of strategy, psychology, and luck into timeless entertainment. From ancient card games like Primiera to modern variants of poker we know today, the history of Italian poker is a captivating chapter in the history of global gaming. Here are the highlights:

History of Italian Poker

The history of Italian poker is both ancient and fascinating and intertwines with the culture of gambling and cards in Italy. Together, let’s discover the key moments and origins of this captivating game:

Ancient Origins

While the exact origins of Italian poker remain shrouded in mystery, many believe it descends from ancient Italian card games like “Primiera.” Played since the 16th century, Primiera shared many similarities with modern poker, such as bluffing and card combinations. Over the 19th and 20th centuries, Italian poker underwent various changes, adapting to social norms and player preferences. The rules became more standardized, and the game began to gain popularity throughout the country.

Foreign Influence

The influence of American poker and other international variants helped shape Italian poker, leading to a fusion of styles and rules. This blend has created a unique game that retains its own distinctive characteristics.

Italian Poker Today

Today, Italian poker is played throughout Italy, both in formal settings like casinos and in informal occasions among friends and family. The online version has also gained popularity, allowing players from around the world to enjoy this fascinating variant. Italian poker is not just a game; it’s part of the Italian cultural identity. It contributes to telling the story of a people who have always loved the game, strategy, and socialization that cards can offer.

Different Phases of the Game

1. Game Preparation

  • Deck: A standard deck of 52 cards is used, including all suits and values.

  • Players: Usually, the game is played among 4-6 players, but rules can vary.

  • Objective: The goal is to have the highest card combination or to convince other players to fold.

2. Card Distribution

  • Dealer: A dealer is chosen, who shuffles the cards and distributes them clockwise.

  • Cards: Each player receives five face-down cards.

  • Blinds: The players to the left of the dealer can make mandatory bets, called blinds, before the deal.

3. Betting

  • Start: Betting starts from the player to the left of the dealer.

  • Options: Players can bet, call a bet, raise, or fold.

  • Betting Rounds: There can be multiple rounds of betting, and players can continue to bet or fold.

4. Card Exchange

  • Discard: Players can discard some or all of their cards, aiming to improve their hand.

  • New Cards: The dealer deals new cards to players based on those discarded.

  • Betting: After the exchange, another round of betting occurs.

5. Showdown

  • Reveal: If more than one player remains, the showdown occurs, and players reveal their hands.

  • Winner: The player with the highest card combination wins the pot.

6. Passing the Dealer

  • Next: The dealer role passes to the next player clockwise, and a new hand can begin.

7. End of the Game

  • Conclusion: The game continues until players decide to stop, or until one player has won all the chips.

Winning Hands in Italian Poker

Here’s a bullet-point list of winning hands, from the highest score to the lowest:

  • Royal Flush (A sequence from Ace to Ten of the same suit)
  • Four of a Kind (Four cards of the same value)
  • Full House (A combination of three of a kind and a pair)
  • Flush (Five cards of the same suit)
  • Straight (Five consecutive cards of different suits)
  • Three of a Kind (Three cards of the same value)
  • Two Pair (Two pairs of cards of the same value)
  • Pair (Two cards of the same value)
  • High Card (The hand with the highest-value card wins if no one else has a combination)

Italian Poker Strategies

Success in Italian poker is not just about luck, but also about strategy. Understanding when to bet, fold, or change cards can make a difference. Studying your opponents and applying a consistent game strategy can significantly improve your odds of winning.

Online Italian Poker

Online Italian poker offers the opportunity to play with people from around the world. There are numerous websites that offer different variants of Italian poker, allowing you to play for free or for real money. Always remember to play responsibly and choose reliable, regulated platforms.


Italian poker is a game rich in history, intriguing rules, and opportunities to develop strategic skills. Whether you want to play at home with friends or challenge online opponents, the rules of Italian poker described in this guide will provide you with everything you need to get started. Have fun!

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