Red Dog – also known as Acey Deucey – is one of the simpler casino table games out there. The dealer flips up two cards, and if a third card is from a rank in between those two, the player wins. Simple enough! Because the game is fast paced, there’s a lot of action; however, because the game is so simple, anyone can play. That makes it perfect for those who want to gamble but aren’t sure they want to spend much time learning the strategies for more complex games.
How The Game Plays
Before each hand of Red Dog is dealt, each player must make a bet. The dealer then puts two cards on the table, face up. If these two cards are of consecutive ranks – for instance, a ten and a jack, or a four and a five – then the hand is a push, and the dealer deals out the next hand instead. If the two cards are of the same rank, the dealer will deal a third card. If that card is also of the same rank, all players win 11-1 on their bets; otherwise, all bets push.
In all other situations, the dealer will announce the spread between the two cards. The spread is the number of ranks that exist between the two cards. For instance, with a four and a seven on the board, the spread is two; fives and sixes are the only ranks between them.
At this point, the player is given the option of raising their bet. The player may make a second bet equal or less to their original bet, if they wish. There is no penalty for not raising; it is entirely optional for the player.
After all players choose whether or not to raise, the third card is dealt. If the card is between the first two cards, the players win; if the third card is equal to one of the cards on the board, or outside of the spread entirely, all bets lose. Winning bets are paid according to the following pay chart, based on the spread between the first two cards:
- One Card Spread: 5-1
- Two Card Spread: 4-1
- Three Card Spread: 2-1
- Four or More Card Spread: 1-1
Red Dog Poker Tips
The proper strategy for Red Dog is very simple. The player has an advantage over the house whenever the spread is seven cards or more. Therefore, the player should choose to raise only when the spread is seven cards or more. Otherwise, just stick with your original bet. The house edge for Red Dog is usually around 3%. Interestingly, unlike in most casino games, it’s actually better for the player if the casino is using more decks to deal their games; with a single deck, the house edge is about 3.16%, while with eight decks, that falls to 2.75%.