Telesina is a near cousin to the Five Card Stud game, with the game play being basically the same. Telesina is a very popular game in Italy, often played in home games and poker clubs. Unlike other Stud games, Telesina does not use a regular 52 card deck, but instead uses a 32 card deck known as a French deck. The French deck only uses the cards from seven to ace, removing all the cards from two to six.
Telesina doesn't have a lot in common with games like Texas Hold'em and Omaha, but is still a fun and action filled game. Players are dealt a total of five cards over four betting rounds, where one card is face down and the other four is shown to the opponents. This makes the game very similar to Five Card Stud, but with the main difference being that in Telesina there will dealt one community card in the last betting round. The community card is known as "The Vela" and is a shared card among all players as a last chance to improve their hands.
Telesina is a very difficult game to master, just like most other Stud games, but is quite easy to learn how to play as the game use the normal high ranking system for hands as Texas Hold'em uses. The fact that each player has to show four out five cards to their opponents makes it difficult to bluff, but at the same time makes it harder for players to also figure out exactly what hand the opponent has. Telesina is mainly played as a Pot Limit game, but can be played in all the different limits after what the players prefer.
Telesina can be played on many of the bigger poker networks and sites, but has decreased in popularity after Italy regulated their market and ring-fenced their players away from the rest of the world. It is still possible to find games online on most stakes, but it is not as popular as most other games.
When you start to play Telesina, you will need to know the basic game play rules of the game before you try it out.
Every single hand of Telesina needs to have a dealer assigned for each hand. All the dealer has to do is deal the cards virtually in Telesina. The button does not provide any information about who has to act first or pay blinds. The cards decide who has to act first and Telesina is a "no blind" game, having a bring-in instead. The dealer will deal each player one card face down and one card face up in the first round and players will be able to bet for the first time.
The first thing players have to do is post the ante, in order to get dealt any cards. Ante is there to ensure that there will be money in the pot besides the bring-in from the player first to act.
Players will then be dealt one card face up each round until they have five cards on their hand in total. All players should at this point have one hidden card and four shown. When all the players have received their five cards, a single community card called the Vela will be dealt and the last betting round commence. When the last betting round has ended, the dealer will show the players cards and the player with the best possible five card combination using the high ranking system will win the hand and the pot.
Since Telesina is not a blind game, the cards decide who gets to act first in each betting round. In the first betting round, the player with the lowest card shown will be first to act and will also be forced to pay a bring-in, which is the first bet of the game. In the remaining rounds the player who has to act first is the player with the best hand shown in the open cards. Everything will be explained in details later down, so don't worry if it seems confusing and when you play Telesina online, the poker software will take care of all of this for you.
Telesina can be played with 2-6 players at the table, because the game uses the 32 card French deck and not the regular 52 card deck.
In Telesina the dealer button only shows the virtual dealer in each hand and moves around the table clockwise, so all players get to deal. The button does not provide information about who has to pay blinds as Telesina doesn't have blinds and it doesn't provide information about who has to act first as the cards decide that.
To find the dealer in a new game of Telesina, the software will deal all players one card face up and the highest card will be awarded the dealer button.
The first betting round is where the hand starts. All players will be forced to post an ante before the dealer starts dealing the cards. When all players have paid, the dealer will deal each player one card face up and one card face down, going clockwise around the table. When all players have received their cards, the player with the lowest card shown has to pay the bring-in or can choose to raise. The bring-in is the first bet in the game and is forced to the player with the lowest card.
After the player has paid the bring-in or raised, the action goes around the table clockwise until all players have made their decision. The players have the following options to choose from in the first betting round:
Call: When players have a good starting hand that can improve easily, the players can choose to call the big blind amount or the raise amount to continue in the hand
Raise: When players have a really good hand from the beginning, they can choose to raise the hand to get as much money in the pot as possible from the start
Fold: If a player’s hand is all terrible and he can see his opponent has a better hand, he can choose to fold and no longer participate in the hand.
When all players have made their decision, the hand moves on to the next betting round.
Third Street (Second Betting Round)
In the second betting round, the players will be dealt their third card. The dealer will deal the card face up to all players and unlike in the first betting round, the player who has to act first now is the player who has the best hand shown. The player who is first to act in this round is not forced to pay any bets or similar, but can choose to simply check.
Players can check for free and pass their turn to the next player; if there have been no prior bets or raises. If there has been put any money in the pot in the second betting round, players have the choice to fold, call, bet or raise. When all players have made their decision, the hand goes on to the fourth street.
Fourth Street (Third Betting Round)
The fourth street is where players get dealt their fourth card out of five. This card is also dealt face up and just like in the previous round; the player with the best shown hand has to act first.
The players now have the option to either check, bet, raise, call or fold depending on the action prior to them in the betting round. When the players have made their decision, it’s time to move on to the next betting round.
Fifth Street (Fourth Betting Round)
The fifth street is where you will get dealt the last card you will have on your hand. The card will be dealt face up and you should now have one hidden card and four shown cards in total. Just like in the previous rounds, the player with the best shown hand will once again be first to act and the action continues clockwise until all players have made their decision. Players have the same options as in the previous streets and when all players have made their decision, we move on to the Vela, which is the fifth and final betting round.
The Vela (Fifth and Final Betting Round)
The fifth and final betting round is known as the Vela. In this round players will not be dealt anymore cards, but will instead have the dealer deal one community card which the players can use to improve their hands. Players are not forced to use the card and can simply use the five cards they have on their hand.
When the Vela has been dealt, a new betting round will begin. The player with the best shown hand including the Vela will now be the one to start the betting and the action moves clockwise until all players have made their decision. When the players are done betting, the dealer will have to find out who has the best hand, by taking the hand to showdown.
When the last betting round is over and there is more than one player left in the hand, the dealer has to determine who has the best five card combination hand of the remaining players. The dealer will flip over the hidden card of each player and see who has the best hand. The player with the best hand will then be awarded the pot and a new hand will begin.