Red Dog Card Game: How to Play Red Dog Poker

Red Dog Poker Game

  • Red Dog is a fast-paced card game
  • You need at least 2 players and a standard 52-card deck to play
  • You can play Red Dog Poker online on this page

There's a whole world of Casino games out there that most players know nothing about.

Most Casinos focus on Slots, Blackjack, and Roulette - and it's easy to miss some great hidden gems like the Red Dog card game.

Created as a variant of the (slightly) more popular Acey-Deucey, Red Dog is a fast-paced and luck-based Poker variant you can find at a few brick-and-mortar Casinos and on online gaming sites like this one.

In this guide, you are going to learn:

  • What's Red Dog Poker
  • How to play the game like a pro
  • What's the best strategy to win at Red Dog Poker
  • What's the house edge of this Casino game
  • How much you can win playing it

What is Red Dog Poker

Red Dog is a card game that you can find also under the names of Red Dog Poker and Yablon.

Some Casinos in the US use Red Dog to refer also to another game called Acey-Deucey (or In-Between). This is a small mistake since there are a few differences between Red Dog and Acey-Deucey. But that's something people have grown to accept.

Red Dog card game online by NetEnt

Play Red Dog

The official Red Dog game uses one to eight standard 52-card decks. The number of decks in play has a direct correlation with your winning odds and the house edge - and that's something you'll learn in the "House Edge" section of this guide.

A game of Red Dog needs at least two players to begin and the goal of the game is to have the largest chip stack at the end of the action.

Here's a handy table to recap the basic info you need to know about this Casino card game:

Game NameRed Dog / Red Dog Poker / Yablon
TypeCasino card game
Cards to Play1 - 8 52-card decks
Available OnlineOn this page

How to Play Red Dog

Learning how to play Red Dog Poker is very simple.

All the cards are ranked as in a standard Poker game, whether card of the same suit being irrelevant and Aces always being the highest cards in the game.

The Rank of Cards in Red Dog Poker

Highest CardA
Lowest Card2

The rules of Red Dog card game you find in this guide refer to online Red Dog Poker. When you play online, you are always in a 1 on 1 battle against the dealer, so there are no other players in the hand.

The Ante Bet

At the beginning of the game, you need to place an Ante bet on the table. This betting round takes place before you can see your cards.

red dog card game: ante bet
When you play Red Dog card game online, the ante bet can be from £1 to £100

The Deal

When the action begins, the Dealer deals two cards face up, with leaving room for a third one in between them.

red dog card game: initial cards
Any guesses what can be in the middle?

Once the two cards are on the table, you need to choose whether the third card will fall between them or not.

Here's where you need to remember the ranking of cards.

Always keep in mind: the Deuce (2) is the lowest card in the game and, contrary to some other Casino games, the Ace can only be the highest.

Also, consider the spread - the difference in values between the two cards. In other words, how many cards can actually fall in the gap you need.

For example, if you get a 3 and an Ace, then a 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, or Queen would help you win; these winning cards make a spread of ten cards.

Ride or Stand

If you believe that the third card will fall between the two already dealt by the dealer, choose Ride (or Raise) to double your Ante bet and continue with the game.

If you don't feel so confident, the Stand (or Call) button lets you continue with the same bet amount.

End of the Game and Payouts

In the end, Red Dog card game has four outcomes.

1. Your initial cards are consecutive

For example, you get a 4 and a 5. There’s no spread to be filled, the hand is a push.

Red Dog card game: the push

Your wager stays untouched and you can get new cards with the same bet or change it.

2. Your initial cards match

For example, you get an 8 and an 8. Again, there’s no spread to be filled. Nevertheless, you get a third card.

Red Dog card game: matching cards

If it makes a three of a kind (in this case, would get a third 8), you receive an impressive 11 to 1 payout!

If it doesn’t, it’s another push.

3. The third card’s value is identical to either card on the table or is outside the spread

For example, you get a 5 and a 9 as initial cards, and a 3 as the third card.

Red Dog card game: no win

The card’s value doesn’t belong in the spread - you lose your wager.

4. The third card’s value falls between your initial cards

For example, you get a 3 and an Ace as initial cards, and a Queen as the third card.

Red Dog card game: a win

You’re lucky to get a third card that falls in the spread, you win.

Your payout depends on the spread size:

15 to 1
24 to 1
32 to 1
4 to 111 to 1

In the example above the spread was 10, so the win pays even money.

Red Dog Poker Strategy

Your best chance to win at Red Dog is to use the spread to your advantage.

In the game of Red Dog Poker, the dealer needs to account the spread as soon as the first two cards are dealt and they are neither equal nor consecutive.

The dealer will either announce the spread or you will see it displayed on the table.

Once you know what the spread is, you have info to win your game of Red Dog Poker.

Don’t bet blindly. The best strategy is to base your actions on the spread.

The larger the spread is, the more chances you get to win your hand.

Don’t believe me? Simple math doesn’t lie. Check the table below.

SpreadYour Chance of Winning

As with the majority of Casino games, you can employ a Red Dog Poker strategy to increase your chances of winning and keep the house's edge to a minimum.

But you need to be smart.

Although it is tempting to try to hit the largest wins and continue betting when the spread is of one or two cards - you shouldn't do that.

A tried and tested strategy indicates that regardless of how many decks are in play, you have a mathematical edge only when the spread is seven or higher.

Thus, never raise your bet when the spread is less than seven.

The House Edge in Red Dog Poker

Even though you have some impressive odds when the spread is seven cards or more, you can’t really affect the game to get such odds (or such spread) on every hand.

That gives the house a pretty big edge.

The house edge in Red Dog is strictly connected to the number of decks used in the game.

In a game played with just one 52-card deck, the house edge is 3.15 percent, meaning the Casino has the highest possible advantage it can have in the Red Dog game.

The best odds for you are in a game where eight card decks are used, as here the house edge shrinks to 2.75 percent.

Don’t get me wrong. 2.75 percent is definitely not a house edge you should always aim for when you gamble. You can find Casino games with a lot better odds, take Blackjack, for example.

But if you need a fun and simple game, why not giving Red Dog Poker a try?

Play Red Dog

Important Notice: This is not our latest article about the promotions at this online Casino. You might no longer be able to claim this offer. To know what bonuses are available right now, have a look at our Casino bonus page.

Disclaimer: Gambling is a game of chance and there's no sure-fire formula that guarantee winnings. You can improve your winning chances by using the right in-game strategies but there is no way to predict when a machine or a Casino game is going to pay. Also, this page contains affiliate links. If you click through and play, we might earn a commission. That’s what allow us to keep CasinoSmash free and bring you the best online Casino bonuses!

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