How to Play Red Dog Poker: Rules, Strategy & Odds
Red Dog Poker is one of those games that don’t offer a very appealing house edge, 3.155% when a single deck of cards is used, which is the norm. However, it can be a very fun game to play, and using the right strategy can increase your chances of winning larger bets, thereby dropping the house edge a little.
Most live casinos no longer offer Red Dog because it doesn’t draw very many players, but the majority of online casinos have Red Dog on their table games menu. Make sure the casino’s game rules follow the rules provided here, as there are some completely different casino games out there that, for some reason, use the same name of Red Dog. You can generally glance at the table’s layout and immediately tell the difference by simply observing the oversized pay table on the center of the felt.
Playing Red Dog Poker at an online casino is pretty simple. The player will first make an Ante bet that falls anywhere within the minimum and maximum table stakes. This is done by clicking on the circle labeled Ante. The dealer will then deal two cards face up on the table. The lowest card is placed in the middle of the table on the player’s left, with the higher ranking card placed on the right. Like standard poker hand rankings, the 2 is the lowest card, Ace is the highest.
What happens next will be determined by the two cards that were dealt.
1. If the cards are consecutive in rank, meaning they follow one another ““ such as a 3-4, 7-8 or K-A ““ the hand is automatically a push. The player’s Ante bet is returned and the hand is over.
2. If the two cards match ““ such as 5-5, 8-8 or J-J – a third card will be dealt. If that third card is also a match (i.e. 5-5-5), the player automatically wins a payout of 11 to 1. If they do not match, the end result is a push and the hand is over.
3. If the cards are at least one apart in rank, the game will continue by asking the player if they wish to Raise. To raise, players will click the betting circle labeled Raise, thereby placing an additional wager of equal size to the ante.
Whether the player chooses to raise or not, the dealer will then deal a third card to be placed in the center of the first two cards.
If this card’s rank falls in between the ranks of the first two low and high cards, the player wins a payout that corresponds with the spread; i.e. how far apart the first two cards were in rank. For example, a hand of 9-K has a 3-card spread (10-J-Q). If a 10, Jack or Queen comes next, the player wins. If anything else comes next, the player loses.
Red Dog Poker Payouts
Spread of One Pays 5 to 1
Spread of Two Pays 4 to 1
Spread of Three Pays 2 to 1
Spread of Four or More Pays 1 to 1
3 of a Kind Pays 11 to 1
Red Dog Poker Strategy
The only real tactic that a player can use to their advantage is knowing when to raise, and when not to. A proper Red Dog Poker strategy says to raise whenever the spread is 7 or higher, and just stick to the ante bet whenever the spread is 6 or below.