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Red Dog Poker

Red Dog Poker is a variation of Acey Deucey or In Between. The object is to bet on whether or not a third card will rank between the first two cards dealt. During play a red dog is placed on the table indicating the card spread.

Red Dog Poker is a bit different from what you might play at home. There is not accumulating pot of losses from other players. Red Dog players play against the house and there are fixed odds with two opportunities to bet for each hand. Players place an ante first and after the first two cards are dealt, players may opt to bet again.

Red Dog poker table
A Red Dog Poker table.

The Rules

Any number of players can play at a time, since the only decision they must make is to bet or double their bet. All players will win or lose at the same time.

Cards are ranked as in poker and aces are always high. The player places their bet and a dealer deals two cards face up on the table. If the two cards are consecutive then it's a push. If the two cards are the same rank then a third card is dealt. If that card is matching then the player is paid at 11 to 1. If not, the hand is a push.

If the cards are not consecutive or equal then the dealer announces the "spread" - the number of cards ranking between the cards. Players may then wager again up to the amount of the original wager. A third card is then dealt. If the card is between the first two cards, then the player wins according to a payout table. If the third card matches or is outside the first two cards, the player loses.

Here's a couple of examples of hands of Red Dog. The dealer deals a 7 and 10. What is the spread on this hand so far? 8 and 9 are in between 7 and 10 so the spread is 2. The next hand deals a 5 and a 4. Since there are no cards that fall in between these cards, it's a tie. You get to keep your money and the play is over.

Payout Table:

1 card spread: Pays 5:1
2 card spread: Pays 4:1
3 card spread: Pays 2:1
4+ card spread: Pays 1:1


A good Red Dog Poker strategy is to raise with spreads of seven or more. Check out the following table that shows a player will gain a mathematical edge on a spread of seven or more. Bigger payouts are available on lower spreads but they maintain a house edge over 20% and is not a great strategy to play.

Spread Pays Probability of winning Player's Edge
1 5 0.077419 -0.535484
2 4 0.154839 -0.225806
3 2 0.232258 -0.303226
4 1 0.309677 -0.380645
5 1 0.387097 -0.225806
6 1 0.464516 -0.070968
7 1 0.541935 0.083871
8 1 0.619355 0.238710
9 1 0.696774 0.393548
10 1 0.774194 0.548387
11 1 0.851613 0.703226


The house advantage is around 3% and decreases as the number of decks used increases.