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RDR 2 Online Poker Table

Red Dead Redemption 2 Online – How to play Poker?

Red Dead Redemption 2 Poker – not for everyone

Would you like to play Poker with your posse on Red Dead Redemption 2 Online? Well, you might be out of luck. Not everyone is allowed.

…But is there a way around it?

This isn’t the first time Rockstar cashed out on players.

A sad day for GTA V

GTA-Online-Casino-Exterior
GTA V Online Diamond Casino Exterior

6 months ago Rockstar surprised a lot of players by launching an update to Grand Theft Auto 5. It featured the eagerly awaited Diamond Casino Spa & Resort in Los Santos. Unfortunately, the seats at this casino’s tables were not available to everyone.

Many players were facing issues when attempting to use the casino’s chips, tables or slots. Rockstar did not release any information regarding this issue which made players think it was a bug of sorts. It appeared like there was a connection issue – but nothing mentioned that gambling was disabled for certain players.

Rockstar was blocking players from certain countries

The restrictions were unclear and apparently unreasonable. Some countries have strict legislation against gambling and were able to access Rockstar’s casino games.
Now, I live in Portugal. We have a ton of casinos and gambling halls in our country. Plenty of online sports betting websites. Pokerstars and mobile gambling. There’s even state-endorsed gambling available and yet we’re unable to access the Diamond Casino games in Grand Theft Auto 5. Meanwhile, our friends over in Spain who have pretty much the same regulations as we do, have no issues playing at GTA V‘s online casino.

It is kind of sad that some players get free items, free content to play with and all sorts of activities that many others are prevented from accessing altogether.

This is even more ridiculous if you consider the fact that you can’t even cash-out the money you earn. It’s all virtual. It isn’t really a gambling addiction problem, just a regulatory one.
In GTA V you do have the option to buy GTA$, but you can’t convert it into real money. However, in RDR 2 Online, you can’t even buy $ – only gold, which is a very different currency.

Here’s a list of countries unable to gamble in GTA 5‘s online casino, according to Reddit user SlapshotTommy:

Afghanistan
Algeria
American Samoa
Argentina
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bhutan
Bosnia Herzg.
Belarus
Brunei
Cambodia
Cayman Islands
China
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Ecuador
Greece
Iceland
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Israel
Jordan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Libya
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Maldives
Mali
Mauritania
Malta
Malaysia
North Korea
Oman
Paraguay
Peru
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Somalia
South Africa
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Syria
Taiwan
Thailand
Tuvalu
UAE
Vietnam
Venezuela

Red Dead Redemption 2 Poker? Same thing, different game

RDR 2 online Poker Table
RDR 2 Online Poker Table

I like playing Poker. It’s fun and relaxing and a great way to socialize and meet new people.

One of the reasons why I bought RDR 2 was because Poker was a thing. It seemed like it would be a lot of fun to play against other players online.
There aren’t that many 3D Poker games out there since PKR was terminated a few years ago, so I thought this would be great fun.

Apparently I was wrong.
I was not going to be allowed to play Poker in Red Dead Redemption 2 Online. I’m guessing Blackjack won’t work either, even if you’re just playing against an NPC like in singleplayer…

Rockstar does not inform RDR 2 players properly

I’m a PC player. I missed the news that this was an issue back in May 2019, when it first came up to the PS4 and XBOX players.

In fact, I thought that this was not yet implemented. Until yesterday, when a random player approached me in role-playing style. He asked me if I would like to play poker with him.
I laughed and said that I would love to – but that the only way to play Poker right now is the singleplayer game mode. Then he replied that he had been playing with his mates.

I was confused.

Rockstar did not release any info regarding this topic. There’s no contextual info or error message. Nothing. You can see the NPCs playing by themselves, but there’s no interaction button or error message.

The reality is that they’re hiding content to avoid complaints. In a way it kind of angers me more that they hide this content instead of informing players in-game that the content isn’t available for players in their specific region.

How to play Poker in RDR 2 if you’re excluded?

RDR 2 Online Poker Table
RDR 2 Online Poker Table

The answer is simple. Go live somewhere where your IP isn’t blocked by Rockstar… or get an IP from a different country instead.

VPN networks seem to have been working as a great workaround for players in GTA V wanting to play at the casino. This isn’t a cheat, this isn’t a mod. Now, the question is:

  • Will Rockstar ban you for using a VPN? Unlikely.
  • Is it possible they will? Sure.
  • Is it reasonable to do it? Nope.
  • Is Rockstar known for being reasonable at anything… ever? Nope.

Alternatively, play in singleplayer mode. Boring. I know.

Cashing out.

I can’t understand Rockstar’s criteria for picking certain countries, but not others.
The lack of info regarding this topic as if it wasn’t an issue at all is ridiculous.
I won’t accept that they would advertise something that really isn’t available at all.

Rockstar is weird when it comes to gambling. I sure will remember that the next time I avoid buying a game with that feature.

I won’t see you at the Poker table,
-ViLa4480

A cowboy resting in RDR2

Red Dead Redemption 2 – Fix CPU Lag, Disconnects

Welcome to the Wild […LAG SPIKE…] West!

As you might remember from my previous post I’ve been playing Red Dead Redemption 2 recently. Unfortunately, sometimes, as with Grand Theft Auto 5 and The Division 2, I would experience CPU and graphics card usage peaks that caused the game to pause for a few seconds or even disconnect from the online game when the peak was too long. Sometimes I would get stuck in a loading screen for ages until finally, the game’s online status timed out.

The game “loses” connection to the server, not because of an Internet connection problem, but instead due to an extended delay in a response to the server. This is caused by the local CPU/GPU.

Because of this issue, many players get this message when playing Red Dead Redemption 2 online:

ALERT: You have been disconnected from Red Dead Online due to a fault on Rockstar game services (Error: 0x20010006)

ALERT: You have been disconnected from Red Dead Online due to a fault on Rockstar game services (Error: 0x20010006)
This is the error many players are getting because of poor CPU/GPU performance

This was particularly common when Red Dead Redemption 2 got released, but I thought I had fixed it until yesterday (14th November 2019) when the new patch was delivered. Apparently, this affects some CPUs and NVidia graphics cards.

I’ll go over the official and the non-official fixes. I’m currently using both.

How to fix stuttering, disconnects, and performance with Launch Arguments

Before following through this post for more in-depth fixes, check out a tool I developed to help you set up Red Dead Redemption 2 launch arguments. One of the sections on that tool is specific to performance. It also helps with graphics, bugs, stuttering, etc.

Go check it out at this page: PopcornGamer’s Unofficial Red Dead Redemption 2 Launch Argument Composer.

If it helps you, let me know!

Hold your horses! Update your drivers!

Before changing anything, make sure you update your graphics card drivers! I’m pretty sure this is a CPU+graphics card issue and it definitely might help to make sure you’ve got the latest graphics driver – especially for NVidia graphics cards.

The Official Patch

This new official patch actually introduces a CPU load balancing feature – but it has to be enabled manually in the Rockstar Games Launcher. To do this, you should go to your Rockstar Games Launcher and click Settings on the top right corner. Then at the lower-left corner select Red Dead Redemption 2, which will display your options for the game. Scrolling down to the bottom you’ll find a Launch Arguments section, where you should input the newly added argument (on the 14th November 2019 patch):

-cpuLoadRebalancing

Red Dead Redemption 2
Don’t forget the “-“!

Another Official Update – 14 Nov 2019

On the same day, Rockstar dropped an article on how to fix an issue related to certain NVidia graphics cards. Check it out:

Players with NVIDIA graphics cards and 4-core or 6-core CPUs should install the GeForce Hotfix Driver Version 441.34 from NVIDIA and remove any launch arguments to resolve this issue.ROCKSTAR

This alternative hotfix is available right here by installing the latest GeForce Hotfix Driver Version 441.34.
Apparently, if CPU isn’t your problem, then the graphics card might be the culprit!
Let me know if this solution fixes it for you!

The non-official way to improve system stability

Let’s start by reducing your current CPU load.

By doing so, we’ll be giving more room for the game to function properly without resorting to RAM buildup or disk caching which both may cause bottlenecks and thus stutters, disconnects, and crashes.

CPU, RAM, DISK, how does that even work… and why is that a problem?!

As you know, a processor makes mathematical calculations, but it takes some time to deliver them.
Let’s say you are the CPU and I’m giving you a paper which says 3+5=?. Easy. Right?

Red Dead Redemption 2

Now I’m giving you a sheet of fifty pieces of paper, each one with a different calculation to perform.
Aaaand now I’m giving you one hundred more calculations.


You can’t really hold them all in your hands and you need more time to deliver those results before I give you more calculations to perform!

…This sounds a lot like my old boss.

So you put those sheets of paper on your desk while you make your calculations. That’s your RAM. Once your desk is filled up and there’s nowhere else to put more paper on it you start using your desk’s drawers, which takes a bit longer because now you need to open them up before placing the paper in there. That’s your DISK.

Slowing down to a halt

Okay, so my CPU isn’t the best.
I’ve been using it for a few years now and it is starting to feel the weight of age with heavier processes and games.
GTA V was also very CPU intensive. I also love flight simulators which also consume a TON of CPU capacity. I’m really looking forward to the new Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. You have got to check it out. It is absgorgeously beautiful.

This has led me to try and find ways to circumvent this issue and get the best performance out of my rig. So let’s get right to it.

Steps to reduce CPU usage

Let’s start by freeing up your CPU from unnecessary calculations and clearing up your RAM usage by turning off stuff that isn’t required to run the game.

Start by closing EVERY browser window, WhatsApp, Spotify, opened Windows folders, etc. also check your tray icons next to your system clock for useless software that might be running in the background. Disable any on-going anti-virus full system scans (no need to turn real-time protection off).

Google Chrome is a heavy CPU load hog – make sure you save this page to your bookmarks and close it now! I mean, later, when you’ve read through this post!

Check your system load by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to bring up your Windows Task Manager and click on the CPU tab to check which processes are consuming the most out of your processor and make try to turn them off if you can.

Red Dead Redemption 2
The tabs are in Portuguese, but notice how RDR2 chews up so much CPU!
I’ve opened up a folder on Windows Explorer and it consumes 7% CPU just for laying there!

Note: to the right you’ll also see a tab for GPU usage. If you notice that your GPU usage is above 70% then you definitely should consider upgrading your graphics card. Check your graphics card at GPUCheck and see how it performs compared to more recent card models. If instead you wish to see how your CPU compares, check out PassMark.

An alternative to improve CPU usage and reduce stalling

Red Dead Redemption 2 Lasso

I’ve been using Process Lasso recently.

It helps to maintain system stability by adjusting CPU process priorities. This means that it will do its best to make sure that your system keeps running smoothly by prioritizing processes that are critical to System stability. RDR2 likes to peak CPU usage from time to time – to a point where it will make the whole system unresponsive, which leads to a crash to desktop or a BSOD (it did happen to me before using Process Lasso!).

You may also use it to safely free up RAM automagically.

I have to say that I noticed a significant improvement in system stability since I started using Process Lasso.

They have very nice documentation that explains how to use it in detail. Make sure to check them out beforehand!

In conclusion…

Sure, maybe your old machine needs an upgrade – but the truth is that even with new PC builds, you’re prone to encounter issues like these again, as the CPU usage spikes are abnormal and caused by bad programming and rushed software development.

I play RDR2 in an Ultra Wide resolution. See how.

Before spending any more money, follow my tips and see if they solve your problem!

Let me know if they help you play this awesome game!

Stay WANTED for life!
-ViLa4480