Red Dog is another of those casino gambling games that you very rarely see in a land based casino but is readily available in online casinos; many people may have played it however at some time outside a casino environment as it is requires nothing except a deck of cards. Red Dog gambling has several alternative names to add to the confusion such as “yablon” or “red dog poker” (although what it has in common with poker is anybody’s guess), “acey-deucy” or “in between” or even “between the sheets” but they are all basically the same game although the betting might be slightly different. The red dog gambling table will be similar in all online casinos and will provide spaces for an “ante” bet and a “raise “bet and it will also display the odds at which winning hands are paid out according to the “spread” which we shall cover shortly.
Playing red dog could not be easier as there are only three cards involved and the result is obvious to everyone. Most games are played with a single deck of 52 cards although if you can find a game with more decks it will be slightly to your advantage. The game starts by the player selecting a value for their chips and then by placing an “ante” bet which can be any value within the table limits; this value can be changed from deal to deal but cannot be changed during a deal. Once this has been done the dealer will either automatically deal two cards face up on the table or you may have to click a “deal” button. The idea of red dog is to be dealt a card that fits in between the two cards that are on the table and for this purpose an ace is always high and the deuce is the lowest card. Your decision is to assess whether that is likely and bet accordingly but remember you only get one chance and one card.
Let us take an example that you are dealt a 4 and a 9 (suit or colour play no role in red dog gambling), there are 16 cards in a one deck game that will fit between these two and they are any 5,6,7 or 8 of which there are four each (clubs, hearts, diamonds, spades). There are 50 of the 52 cards remaining so your chances are 16 in 50 or a 32% chance. You have two options available to you as a player and they are to play for your ante bet or to raise. If you decide to raise the raise is the same value as the original ante so in effect your are doubling your bet. The third card will then be dealt and the result will be obvious.
We mentioned earlier something called the spread which is important. The spread of a hand is the number of cards that will fit between the first two cards ignoring the fact that there are 4 of each number in a single deck game so in our example above the spread is 4. The highest spread will be 11 and this is achievable if your first two cards are an ace and a deuce (2). Gamblers will normally not entertain a even money gamble where there chances of winning are small so for this reason the casino will offer better odds for a higher risk gamble. Normally a spread of 3 would only give a 24% chance of winning but the casino will offer odds of 2:1 which probably makes it a better bet than an even money bet on a spread of 4. At a spread of 2 your chance of winning is only 16% but the odds are 3:1 and when your spread is only 1 your chance is 8% but the odds are 5:1.
There are certain other things that can happen:-
If you are dealt two cards with a zero spread or in other words two cards which are consecutive ( a 3 and a 4 or a jack and a queen) then the hand is declared a push and you get your stake back ready for another deal.
If you are dealt two cards with the same value (two threes or two kings for example) then a third card will be dealt immediately. If that card has the same value as the first two you win at odds of 11:1 and if not the hand is once again declared a push.
The odds quoted here are fairly standard but the actual odds will be stated on the play table.
Playing red dog is very simple and the result will largely depend upon your luck on the day but there are a couple of things to watch for. There is nothing you can do about your ante bet, you will either lose or win but you can elect when to double your bet and when not to which can make a difference. By simple mathematics in a single deck game it is only when the spread reaches 7 that your chance of winning are better than the odds offered (1:1). With a spread of 7 your chances of winning are 56% rising to 88% for a spread of 11 so this is the time to raise your bet. There are of course no guarantees but it is always better to raise when the odds are in your favour rather than when they are not. How many of the cards you receive that have spreads of 7 or over is in the lap of the gods and that is where the luck comes in but raising on spreads of less than 7 is a high risk strategy but that does not prevent it coming off sometimes.
Red dog is a really quick moving gambling game requiring no particular skill and it is available at most online casinos but do check the number of decks being used which can up to 8 and check the odds that are paid for the lower spreads. Just out of interest whereas a spread of 7 in a single deck game gives you a 56% chance of winning, the chances in an 8 deck game drop to around 54% so it is worth considering.