How to Play Red Dog

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The casino table game known as “Red Dog” sometimes goes by other names, such as “Acey Deucey” or “In Between.” It is played with one or more standard decks of 52 playing cards directly against the dealer and can be found online as well as at many bricks-and-mortar casinos. The object of Red Dog is to have a successful wager which occurs whenever a third card dealt is valued “in between” the first two cards dealt.

Most versions the game played on the Internet are for one player only, although multi-player tables are the standard for land-based casinos. In all forms of Red Dog, cards are ranked exactly as they are in poker, with the Ace high, followed by the King, Queen, Jack and ten through deuce. For this game, suits are irrelevant.

The game begins with the player(s) making an initial wager of any amount within the table limits. The dealer then places two cards in the middle of the table face up. If the two cards are consecutive, such as 6-7 or J-Q, the hand is a “push,” no winner, and all wagers are returned.

If the two dealt cards are equal, such as 2-2 or K-K, the dealer places a third card on the table face up. If it matches the first two cards, the player wins and his/her wager is paid at odds of 11:1. If any other third card is dealt, the hand is a push, no winner, and all wagers are returned.

When the first two cards dealt are neither consecutive nor equal, the dealer announces the “spread,” which is number of card values that can occur in between the two cards. For example, a 4 and 9 would have a spread of four (5, 6, 7, 8), while a King and a 10 would have a spread of two (Q, J).

Next, each player has the opportunity to “stand” and not add any more money to the bet or “raise” and increase it. Folding is not an option. When raising, the player may increase his/her bet by any amount up to the value of the initial wager. In no case, however, may the total wager exceed double the original stake.

Once all bets are confirmed, a third card is dealt. If it falls in between the first two cards, the player wins according to the House payout table, usually at the following odds: 5:1 for a one-card spread, 4:1 for a two-card spread and 2:1 for a three-card spread. All other spreads of four or more pay even money.

On the other hand, if the third card matches either of the first two cards or else falls outside the spread rather than in between, the player loses all amounts wagered. Depending upon the number of decks used, the House edge is somewhere between 2.75% for eight decks and 3.16% for the single-deck game.

As regards strategy for Red Dog, money management is the best approach. Only spreads of seven or more are truly favorable to the player, no matter how many or how few decks are used. These spreads should always be raised, even though the return is only even money. Spreads of five or less favor the House, while a spread of six is a virtual coin toss. Progressive betting can also be applied to Red Dog wagering if the table stakes are relatively high.

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