No trademark or patent information can be located for Oasis Poker, but this hybrid table game is an offshoot of the widely popular Caribbean Stud Poker.
In the brick and mortar casino setting, Oasis Poker is primarily played in Europe and Northern Africa, and the game doesn’t seem to have made a successful transition to the United States as of yet.
Oasis Poker is also available on several online poker sites, but once again the market for the game appears to be mostly based in Europe. Nonetheless, players with access to online casino accounts powered by the NetEnt, PlayPearls, or SwissSoft software systems are likely to find the game on their favorite platforms.
Overview of the Game
The game is really nothing more than Caribbean Stud Poker with one added caveat thrown in to help the player: after receiving your five-card starting hand, you can choose between one and five cards to “switch” – or discard and replace with a new card from the deck. Players can stand pat on made hands of course, but the added element of drawing to improve your hand makes Oasis Poker a new game entirely.
This page was written to provide a thorough primer on all things Oasis Poker. Here you’ll find a detailed rundown of the game’s rules and procedures, including a running example hand to show you how everything plays out in real time. After that, we’ve compiled a list of venues, both live and online, which are known to carry Oasis Poker. To conclude, we’ll discuss the game’s strategic elements, including house edge comparisons between this variant and Caribbean Stud Poker, and a guide to making the switch decisions as correctly as you can.
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Rules and How to Play
In order to fully understand the gameplay elements found in Oasis Poker, readers should take a moment to review the rules of Caribbean Stud Poker on our Caribbean Stud main page.
Oasis Poker is a direct offshoot of Caribbean Stud Poker, essentially preserving the same structure and procedures, while adding in the ability to discard and replace (or “switch”) cards from your starting hand. Accordingly, learning how Oasis Poker works is much easier when you have at least a basic understanding of Caribbean Stud Poker.
Poker Hand Hierarchy
In this game, the standard 52 card deck of playing cards is used, and traditional poker hand values and rankings apply. If it’s been a while since you beat a flush with a full house, here’s the full poker hand hierarchy to help refresh your memory:
|Poker Hand Hierarchy Table|
|Royal Flush||Broadway straight (A K Q J 10) in the same suit|
|Straight Flush||Five consecutive cards (9 8 7 6 5) in the same suit|
|Four of a Kind||Four of same card (Q Q Q Q A)|
|Full House||Three of a kind + one pair (Q Q Q A A)|
|Flush||Five cards in the same suit (2h 6h 9h Kh Ah)|
|Straight||Five consecutive cards (6 5 4 3 2)|
|Three of a Kind||Three of same card (Q Q Q 2 A)|
|Two Pair||Two pairs of the same card (Q Q A A 2)|
|One Pair||One pair of the same card (Q Q 4 3 2)|
|High Card||No pair, highest card is rank of hand (A K 4 3 2)|
How to Play Oasis Poker
You’ll be starting with five cards, and after taking your option to switch out one or more of them for replacements (or standing pat), the objective of Oasis Poker is to form the highest ranking five card poker hand. The dealer will also have a five card hand to work with, but they won’t be able to switch cards, so they’re stuck with whatever the deck deals them.
Step #1: Place an Ante Bet
To begin the game, players must put up a mandatory ante wager, which must equal or exceed the posted table minimum.
For the rest of this section, we’ll rely on a running example hand to help illustrate important gameplay procedures from the perspective of the player. So let’s assume we’ve put up the standard table game wager of $5 on the ante.
Step #2: The Dealer Distributes the Cards
From there, the dealer will deliver five cards face down to each player, along with five cards to themselves. The dealer’s hand will have four cards turned face down (the “hole” cards), and one card turned face up (the “up” card).
You can take a look at your own hand, of course, but don’t try sharing any information about the cards with other players, as this practice is strictly discouraged.
In the running example hand, we’ve been dealt the Ah Qh 6h 3h 2c, while the dealer shows a 9d as their up card.
Step #3: Decide to Switch or Stand
After examining your hole cards, the first player decision point arrives Switch or Stand.
By standing, you simply elect to keep your five-card starting hand as is, without trying to switch cards out and improve.
By switching, you can choose between one and five cards, which will then be discarded and replaced by the dealer.
Switching isn’t free, however, and the cost for switching out cards comes as follows:
|Cost of Switching Cards Table|
|# OF CARDS SWITCHED||COST|
|One card||1x the ante|
|Two cards||2x the Ante|
|Three cards||3x the Ante|
|Four cards||2x the Ante|
|Five cards||1x the Ante|
Depending on how many cards you’d like to switch, you’ll need to put up an additional bet equal to the size of your ante.
Returning to the running example hand, we have four cards to a flush with the Ah Qh 6h 3h 2c, so we’ll switch out the 2c and hope to improve. This costs us an additional bet of 1x the ante, or another $5. The dealer removes our 2c and replaces it with the Ad. We don’t find the fifth heart for the flush, but a pair of aces will do just fine.
Step #4: Decide to Fold or Raise
Once you’ve made the switch decision and received a new card(s) to complete your hand, the game’s second decision point arrives: Fold or Raise.
By folding, you simply surrender the hand straight away, sliding your cards to the dealer and forfeiting your ante bet and switch fee.
By raising, you elect to continue on to the showdown against the dealer, but you’ll need to put up an additional Raise bet equal to exactly double the amount of your ante bet.
For players who elected to switch out all five cards during the previous round, raising is mandatory.
In the running example hand, we’ve made a pair of aces, which rates to be good against the dealer more often than not. So we’ll go ahead and make the Raise bet for an additional $10.
Step #5: The Dealer Reveals His Cards
Once all players have either folded out or raised, the dealer will then reveal their four hole cards and complete their own five-card poker hand.
In the case of our running example hand, the dealer has a 9d as their up card, and they show down the Qs Jc 10s 9h. With a final five card hand of Qs Jc 10s 9d 9h, the dealer forms one pair of nines.
Step #6: Qualification of the Dealer’s Hand
During the showdown round, the dealer must produce a hand ranked at ace king or better in order to qualify. The worst possible qualifying hand the dealer can table is the A K 4 3 2.
Dealer qualification is important in Oasis Poker because it determines the overall value of your final payout on winning hands according to the guidelines below:
- When the dealer fails to qualify, you’ll always win even money on the ante bet, but the raise bet will be returned as a push
- When the dealer does qualify, but their hand beats your hand, you’ll lose both the ante and Raise bets to the house
- When the dealer does qualify, but their hand ties your hand, both the ante bet and the Raise bet will be returned as a push
- When the dealer does qualify, but your hand beats their hand, the ante bet will be paid out at even money, while the Raise bet will be paid out according to the paytable below:
|Oasis Poker Raise Bet Pay Table|
|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|
Step #7: Determine the Payout
We can use the running example hand to see how this complex payout scheme shakes out. We tabled a pair of aces, while the dealer showed down a pair of nines. Thus, the dealer has qualified, and we’ve beaten the dealer.
Our $5 ante bet would be paid out at even money, for a $5 profit, while the $10 we placed on the Raise bet would also be paid out at even money, good for $10 more.
Had we filled that flush we were looking for, however, the $10 on the Raise bet would be paid out at 5 to 1, for a nice $50 uptick.
In some versions of the game, you’ll also have a Bonus side bet available at the beginning of each hand. This Bonus side bet is paid out based on the value of your five card poker hand alone, regardless of the dealer’s hand. Multiple pay tables for this Bonus side bet can be found.
Best Places to Play Oasis Poker
Finding the Game in Brick and Mortar Casinos
For players who prefer the brick and mortar casino setting, finding Oasis Poker may entail a trip abroad.
The game seems to be a favored by European and North African gamblers, and as of yet, no adaptions have been approved for play in the United States.
The Casino Ambassador in the Czech capital of Prague, for example, has its own website page dedicated to the rules of Oasis Poker. It stands to reason that other casinos throughout Eastern Europe also carry the game at this time, but with literally hundreds of venues to sift through, and each using different languages, compiling an accurate list of venues offering the game simply isn’t feasible.
Playing the Game in Online Casinos
As far as online casino play, Oasis Poker seems to have been adapted by two lesser known internet gambling software providers: PlayPearls and SwissSoft.
Both companies serve a relatively small collection of client casinos, primarily throughout the European marketplace. Because player reports on PlayPearls and SwissSoft powered online casinos are not as abundant as with more established software providers, readers should exercise caution when deciding whether or not to deposit for real money.
Fortunately, both providers allow for free play games through their client casinos, so you can try out the software and interface, along with Oasis Poker gameplay itself, without spending a dime.
A full listing of PlayPearls powered online casino brands can be found below:
- 1 Live Casino
- Bet Realm Casino
- Casino Royal Dragon
- Global Live Casino
- Lucky Live Casino
- Magic Star Casino
- Norse Bet Casino
If you prefer the more widespread presence of SwissSoft powered online casinos, take a look below to see their current lineup:
- 4 Grinz Casino
- 7 Bit Casino
- Bet Chain Casino
- Bet Chan Casino
- Bet Mania Casino
- Bet Phoenix Casino
- com Casino
- Bit Starz Casino
- Bogart Casino
- Chance Hill Casino
- Fortune Jack Casino
- HR Wager Casino
- Limo Play Casino
- M Bit Casino
- NAS Casino
- Oshi! Bit Casino
- Parasino Casino
- Play Vivid Casino
- Play Amo Casino
- Princess Casino Online
- Super Bet Casino
- TTR Casino
- Vegas to Macau Casino
An Alternate Oasis Poker Online Game
Finally, as you can see here on the website maintained by NetEnt, a leading software provider worldwide, the company markets its own version of the game known as Oasis Poker Professional Series.
This game plays identically to the Oasis Poker we’ve discussed on this page. Unfortunately, a search of top NetEnt powered casinos turns up inconsistent results, so it doesn’t appear as though Oasis Poker Professional Series appears in all of NetEnt’s dozens of client casinos.
Instead, the company likely licenses the game out to a select group of online casinos within its stable, so you’ll have to do some digging to every NetEnt casino running Oasis Poker Professional Series. To help get you started, here a few highly ranked NetEnt casinos which are known to carry the game:
- Casino Euro
- Casino Maxi
- Drive Casino
- Dunder Casino
- IW Casino
- Nordic Bet Casino
- Pocket Casino
- Princess Star Casino
- Spin Station Casino
- Red Star Casino
Strategic Considerations for Oasis Poker
If you’re interested in learning about the odds and probabilities associated with Oasis Poker, along with regional rule variations and other strategy tips, look no further than Michael Shackleford’s Wizard of Odds website.
Here on Shackleford’s main page for Oasis Poker you’ll find detailed tables and charts displaying the expected return rates for every possible play, your odds against, and the probability of any possible result occurring.
The Optimal Strategy for Discarding and Replacing Cards
Shackleford also takes a crack at coming up with an optimal strategy for discarding and replacing cards, but as he readily admits, overall demand for a comprehensive strategy guide for this game just isn’t there. Thus, the “Wizard” didn’t take the time to run his calculations through computer analytics to arrive at the most mathematically sound conclusions, and instead he applied basic gambler’s common sense to devise the following guidelines:
Oasis Poker Basic Strategy
Clearly, you should never switch when holding any of the following pat hands:
- Royal Flush
- Straight Flush
- Full House
- Three of a Kind
- Two Pair
You should switch a single card when holding any of the following four card combinations:
- Four cards to a straight flush or a royal flush (do this when it means breaking up a pair)
- Four cards to a flush (with no pair)
- Four cards to an outside straight (with no pair)
In some instances, depending on the value of the dealer’s up card, you may switch one card when holding any of the following combinations. Essentially, if you can hold a pair which is ranked higher than the dealer’s up card, you should keep the pair. When that pair is ranked lower than the dealer’s up card, make the single card switch as follows:
- Four cards to a flush with a low pair (when pair rank is lower than dealer’s up card)
When the rules allow players to switch more than one card during the hand, never take this option. Instead, only switch a single card, as per the guidelines above.
Using these guidelines should have you making the switch on 8.40 percent of the hands you play.
Oasis Poker House Edge
The house edge offered by Oasis Stud, when playing roughly according to Shackleford’s optimal strategy, stands at 1.20 percent. Relatively speaking, this is quite a low house edge, making Oasis Poker one of the more favorable table game options out there.
Consider, the game is based on Caribbean Stud Poker, which offers players a much higher house edge of 5.22 percent. Strategically speaking, fans of this type of table game will be far better off by choosing Oasis Poker over its predecessor.