Telesina is one of the most rarely seen poker variants. It is a stud based game that you’ll only find at a handful of online poker rooms and it is very rarely played live; when it is, it’s usually part of a mixed game rotation. Like Americana poker, Telesina is played with a stripped deck of just 32 cards where only the 7-8-9-10-J-Q-K-A of each suit are left in the deck. Because each player may receive up to five cards in a Telesina hand, the game is limited to six players.

The stripped deck brings about some changes to typical hand rankings and rules. As is the case with 52 card stud poker, the Ace plays both high and low, thus the lowest straight you can make in Telesina is A-7-8-9-10. With a stripped deck it becomes easier to make a full house than to make a flush and correspondingly a flush beats a full house at showdown in 32 card poker games. Also note that if two players hold a flush, the winner is not determined by the player who has the highest ranking card, but by suit where spades is the strongest flush, followed by clubs, diamonds and hearts.

Playing a Telesina Poker Hand

Telesina plays very similarly to Americana poker, with the only difference being the presence of an additional betting round in Telesina. The hand starts with all players putting a small bet known as the ante into the pot. The dealer then deals each player two cards (one at a time) in a clockwise direction, one face up and one face down. The player with the highest ranked up card pays the ‘bring in’, a forced bet which is typically a small multiple of the ante. If two players have the same ranked up card, the bring-in is decided by suit with the rankings detailed above. From this point on, the betting in the hand is pot limit, meaning a player can only bet or raise a maximum of the amount that is currently in the pot.

Action starts on the bring in who may raise or pass the action to the next player, and continues clockwise around the table with each player having the option to call, fold or raise. If it is folded around to the bring-in or a player makes a raise that goes uncalled then they win the pot as the last man standing.

If there are still players remaining in the pot, we go to the next round, where the dealer gives each remaining player another up card and there is a round of betting which starts on the player with best two-card poker hand showing. This player may check, passing the action along to the next player or bet. Action continues around the table with each player having the option to check or bet if the action is unopened, and to call raise or fold if there is a bet in front of them.

If there are still players remaining in the hand, we move on to the next round where players receive another face up card and there is another betting round. This is then followed by the 4th betting round which follows the same order as the previous two.

All players remaining now have 5 cards, 1 face up and 4 face down. In the final round, the dealer places the ‘Vela’ card in the middle of the table. This is a community card which may be used by all players to make their best 5 card poker hand. After the Vela card is dealt there is a round of betting after which any players remaining in the hand must show down their hand in order to claim the pot, starting with the player to the left of the dealer if it was checked around, or with the last aggressor if there was betting action. The pot is then awarded to the player with the best 5-card poker hand as dictated by the 32 card poker hand rankings.