How to Play Blackjack 21 – Rules Strategies & Tips

A Crash Course In Blackjack

Blackjack is a card game which, along with Roulette and Slots, are one of the most popular games in casinos, both online and offline.

The game is played against a Dealer with the aim of getting a higher score than them and as close to 21 as possible without ‘Busting’ – going over. It is normally played with either 6 or 8 decks of cards and can involve several other Players, all of whom are playing directly against the Dealer.

How to Play Blackjack

Goal of the game

The aim of the game is to beat the Dealer’s hand. You do this by getting your hand as close to 21 as possible without going over this amount and ‘Busting’.

Card values

1. All numbered cards from 2 to 10 are counted at face value.

2. All picture cards (Jack, Queen, and King) count as 10.

3. An Ace can be either 1 or 11.

Setting-up the game

1. Set your budget – We recommend that you take the equivalent of 40 hands to a table before you sit down and start playing.

2. Choose your table – All will have a minimum and maximum amount you can bet, choose one where you can play a hand for around a fortieth of your budget. i.e. if you have a bankroll of £200, you should be looking at playing £5 per hand.

3. Take a seat – You can choose any empty seat at the table, more than one if you wish, and whilst the choice of seat makes no difference to the outcome of any given hand, the Dealer starts from one end when dealing and the action starts with the first Player to be dealt with and goes around until everyone has finished.

4. Decide how much you would like to change up and play with. These funds are then changed into Chips which are used for the game, you can cash them into real money and walk away at the end of any hand.

Blackjack Rules

1. Place your bet (Remember, if there is room at the table you can play more than 1 hand if you do this you will need to place a bet for each hand you wish to play).

2. You will be dealt 2 cards face up so all other Players and the Dealer can view them.

3. The Dealer normally deals 2 cards for him/her, 1 face-up and 1 face down. Some versions of Blackjack see the Dealer giving themselves 1 card only at this point (in this case, the 2nd card is dealt face up after all Players have finished their actions).

4. You now need to decide your move on each of your hands. The 2 main choices are Hit or Stand. Hit means receive another card. Stand means you don’t want another card and you are satisfied with what you have. If you Stand, you take no further action in the hand, if you Hit you have the same decision to make again after receiving your next card. There are sometimes 3 other decisions you can make, Double, Split, and Insurance. These will be explained later.

5. After all, Players have completed their hands, the Dealer deals him/herself cards until they have at least 17. It is worth noting that the Dealer has no say in what they do, they have to Hit until they get at least 17, even if all Players have only 15 and the Dealer has 16.

6. Once the dealer has 17, 18, 19, 20 or 21 he will Stand. If he gets 22 or more, the dealer busts and all Players left in the hand win.

As mentioned above, there are 3 other actions you can sometimes take:

Double Down

This Doubles your bet (you need to place a further bet the same amount as your initial bet) and gives you 1 further card, after which your hand is finished irrespective of what card you get. If you win, you get Double your total bet.

You would normally only Double if you have a 9, 10 or 11 and the Dealer doesn’t have an Ace or a 10 – See the chart below for more details.

Split Cards

If you get 2 cards of the same value, you can Split them and play with 2 hands, each containing 1 of the cards. You will need to pay a bet equal to your initial bet and you will get dealt another card for each hand. You then decide for each hand whether to Hit or Stand. If you get 21 after Splitting, this only counts as 21 and not Blackjack. If you Split Aces, you will only get dealt 1 more card and will then need to Stand. At most casinos, if your 2nd card is the same as the first, you will be allowed to Split again if you wish.

Blackjack Insurance

If the Dealer shows an Ace as their face-up card, all Players have the option of Insurance. If you choose to take Insurance, you will place a bet equal to half your initial bet. If the Dealer then gets Blackjack, so the 2nd card has a value of 10, you will get Double your bet, if not you lose the Insurance bet.

The game ends

1. The hand ends for a Player when either your hand goes over 21 meaning you Bust and lose your bet, or when the Dealer completes their actions.

2. Once the Dealer has completed their action, the payouts take place for all remaining Players still in the hand.

3. If you have a higher total than the Dealer and both totals are 21 or below, you win the hand and get Double your bet. If you and the Dealer have the same total, you Push the hand and get your stake back (Unless one of you has 21 with their first cards, known as Blackjack and the other has 21 with 3 cards or more, in which case whoever has Blackjack will win the Hand). If the Dealer has a higher total than you and both are 21 or less, the Dealer wins and you lose your stake.

4. If the Dealer gets over 21, they Bust and all remaining Players win Double their stake.

5. If you get 21 with 2 cards, you have Blackjack, and if the Dealer doesn’t have 21 with their first 2 cards, you get 1.5 your bet back, as well as the bet itself – equivalent to 2.5 times your bet. If the Dealer also has Blackjack, you Push and get your stake returned.

blackjack rules

Example of how a Blackjack table may look, including details of the Payouts.

Blackjack Definitions

Hit

Hit means to draw another card. You can request a hit as many times as you like, but if your total goes over twenty-one, you will bust and lose the hand.

Stand

Stand means the player receives no more cards. The hand as it currently stands will be judged against the dealers.

Split

If you have two cards of the same denomination, a Split button will appear. You can split your cards into two hands and play each hand separately. Your original bet will be duplicated for the new hand. Each hand will be played out as usual except when splitting Aces, where only one additional card per hand is dealt. The split option can only be used once per hand — you cannot split part of a split hand. Any winning 21 obtained after splitting a pair is paid 1-to-1.

Double Down

If you select this option, two things will happen: you will get exactly one more card, your turn will end, and your bet will be doubled.

Surrender

Where permitted (usually on a Blackjack Surrender table), a player may give up his first two cards and lose only one-half his original bet.

Blackjack Payouts

If you win the hand, you will get back your original bet plus the same amount in profit. A hand that consists of an Ace and any ten-value card is called a natural twenty-one, or a natural blackjack (except in the case of a Split hand – see details above). If you win with a natural blackjack, you will be paid off at three-to-two, which means you get your original bet back plus a 150% profit. (So if you bet £50 and win with a natural twenty-one, you get £50 (your bet) plus £75 (your bet plus half of your bet), which totals to £125).

Blackjack Odds

Knowing the blackjack odds will make you a better player and hopefully beat the odds when playing at an online casino. If you want to apply any gambling strategy successfully you need to know the odds of the game you’re playing. It goes without saying but we’ll say it anyway: the odds are always in favor of the house. How else do you think they can create billion-dollar mega-casinos in Las Vegas? The Blackjack rules are carefully structured to ensure a house edge. But just how heavily are the Blackjack odds weighed in favor of the house? If you’re a smart player, you know the house edge not as great as one might think – and certainly not insurmountable. You will be able to calculate the following:

  1. Blackjack odds variations
  2. Odds of busting
  3. Player advantage VS dealer up-card

 

Blackjack Odds Variations

If you want to be serious about playing blackjack you need to be able to calculate your odds for the game you’re playing. The blackjack odds depend on the different types of rule variations. Some online blackjack sites can be unclear about this so you need to pay attention. You can also adjust your blackjack strategy according to these rules. The following table shows the effect that rule variations have on the player’s expected return after taking the proper strategy adjustments. These changes are relative to the standard Atlantic City rules which results in a player’s expected return of -0.43%: 8 decks, dealer stands on soft 17, player can double on any first 2 cards, the player may double after splitting and the player may split to 4 hands. I will explain some of the rule variations under the table.

Rule Variations Effect
Five Card Charlie+1.46%
Player 21-points is automatic winner+0.54%
Early surrender against ace+0.39%
Early surrender against ten+0.24%
Player may double on any number of cards+0.23%
Player may draw to split aces+0.19%
Six card Charlie+0.16%
Player may resplit aces+0.08%
Late surrender against ten+0.07%
Seven card Charlie+0.01%
Late surrender against ace+0.00%
Split to only 2 hands-0.01%
No-peek: ace showing-0.01%
Player may double on 9-10-11 only-0.09%
No-peek ten showing-0.10%
Player may not resplit-0.10%
Player may not double after splitting-0.14%
Player may double on 10-11 only-0.18%
Blackjack pays 6-5-1.39%
Player loses 17 ties-1.87%
Blackjack pays 1 to 1-2.27%
Player loses 17-18 ties-3.58%
Player loses 17-19 ties-5.30%
Player loses 17-20 ties-8.38%
Player loses 17-21 ties-8.86%
Dealer bust on 22 is a push-9.53%

 

Five, six and seven-card Charlie:

a Charlie is an automatic winner, so in a six-card Charlie the player wins on any six-card hand that didn’t bust.

No-peek rule:

The dealer doesn’t peek to see if he has blackjack.

How to calculate? You start with the basic Atlantic City rules (-0.43%) and take the rule variations according to the game you are playing to calculate the effect it has on the expected return. For example “Player may double on any number of cards” (+0.23%) and “Player may not resplit” (-0.10%). The expected player return would now be -0.43% +0.23% -0.10%= -0.30%. These blackjack odds (-0.30%) are better for the player then under the standard Atlantic City rules (-0.43).

Blackjack Odds of busting

This table is used to calculate the blackjack odds of the player busting if he hits. This can be useful but I think a smart person already knows that if he hits on 16 he has more chances of busting when he hits on 12.

Hand% Bust if hit
21100%
2092%
1985%
1877%
1769%
1662%
1558%
1456%
1339%
1231%
11 or less0%

 

Player advantage VS the dealers up-card

This table is more useful than the odds of busting, because it calculates how much the dealers up-card has a positive effect on your odds and the odds of him/her (the dealer) busting.

Dealer up CardDealer bust %Player Advantage %
235.32%9.5%
337.58%13.6%
440.27%18.4%
542.88%23.1%
642.10%23.8%
726.00%14.6%
823.84%5.4%
923.34%-4.4%
10,J,Q,K21.47%-16.8%
A11.62%-15.9%

 

Blackjack Basic Strategy

For Blackjack Basic Strategy the first thing to look at is the tables below. This has details of what you should do to optimize your chances with every version of your starting hand versus the Dealers visible card.

It is useful if you can remember this as best you can to give you the best possible advantage against the House.

If your Hand contains an Ace, look at the 2nd chart, if you have a pair the same value, look at the bottom chart. For all others, the top chart is the place to look.

Blackjack Chart

Use this Blackjack strategy chart as a cheatsheet if you will. It will help you memorize what actions to take with your opening hand.
 
blackjack Strategy

How to Play Hard Hands:

A hard hand is two starting cards that do not contain an ace.

If you have eight or less, always Hit.
If you have Nine: Double if the Dealer has 3 to 6 – otherwise Hit.
If you have Ten: Double if the Dealer has 2 to 9 – otherwise Hit.
If you have Eleven: Double if the Dealer has 2 to 10, Hit if Dealer has Ace.
If you have Twelve: Hit if the Dealer has 2 or 3, Stand if the Dealer has 4 to 6, otherwise Hit.
If you have 13- 16: Stand if the Dealer has 2 to 6, otherwise, Hit.
If you have 17 – 21: Always Stand.

How to Play Soft Hands:

A soft hand is when one of your starting hands contains an ace.

If you have Ace 2 or Ace 3: Double if the Dealer has 5 or 6 – otherwise Hit.
If you have Ace 4 or Ace 5: Double if the Dealer has 4 to 6 – otherwise Hit.
If you have Ace 6: Double if the Dealer has 3 to 6 – otherwise Hit.
If you have Ace 7: Stand if the Dealer has 2, 7 or 8. Double 3 -to 6 – otherwise Hit.
If you have Ace 8 or Ace 9: Always Stand.

How to Play Pairs

If you have a pair of Aces or Eights: Always Split.
If you have a pair of twos or threes: Split if the Dealer has 2 – 7, otherwise Hit.
If you have a pair of fours: Split if the Dealer has 5 or 6 – otherwise Hit.
If you have a pair of fives: Double if the Dealer has 2 to 9 – otherwise Hit.
If you have a pair of sixes: Split if the Dealer has 2 to 6 – otherwise Hit.
If you have a pair of sevens: Split 2 to 7 – otherwise Hit.
If you have a pair of nines: Split 2 to 6, and 8 or 9. Stand if the Dealer has 7, 10 or Ace.
If you have a pair of tens: Always Stand.

Strategy Card

Blackjack Strategy Card
 

Blackjack Tips

Taking Insurance or Even Money

Blackjack is a gambling game, so hedging your bet and playing safe by taking Insurance or even money doesn’t make much sense. In around 7 out of ten instances the Dealer shows an Ace they will not have blackjack, so buying Insurance is a losing long-term strategy and should be avoided.

Splitting Tens when Dealer shows 6

It is always a good idea to maximize your bets when the Dealer shows a 6 as this gives them the biggest chance of Busting, and although you will still expect to make money if you Split (less than $18 extra per $100), you can expect to make over $70 per $100 in bets by doing nothing and Standing on 20. There is a high chance that the Dealer will Bust, so always Stand on a hard 17 or greater.

Standing on 16 when Dealer shows Ace

Standing on 16 when the Dealer has a Ten is not nearly as bad as when the Dealer has an Ace. There is a good chance you will Bust when Hitting on 16, but at least you give yourself a chance to win or push the hand, otherwise in order to win you have to count on the Dealer Busting with an Ace.

Standing on Soft 18 when Dealer shows 6

As mentioned above, the Dealer having a 6 is the best possible hand for the Player as it presents the best chance of the Dealer Busting. You need to, therefore, try and maximize your returns in this situation, so Double and try to take down a bigger win. You can’t bust by taking one more card, so go for it!

Standing on Soft 18 when Dealer shows 9

This is a common one, and although 18 isn’t a bad total in Blackjack, when the Dealer has a 9 there is a high chance they will get a Ten or an Ace (38% of the time to be exact), so give yourself a chance to win and Hit it!

Hitting 11 when Dealer shows Ten

One of the best things about Blackjack is being able to control when to put more money on the table. If you have an 11 and the Dealer doesn’t get more money down by Doubling. You can expect to make about $18 for every $100 you bet, while Hitting will only earn you about $12.

Standing on a 12 when Dealer shows 2

This one divides Players a lot as plenty won’t want to risk Busting. However, there are plenty of cards that can save a Dealer who has a 2, so instead of hoping they Bust, take another card and try and get a better total.

Doubling 11 when Dealer shows Ace

Any time the Dealer has an Ace you need to be cautious. Just Hit instead of Doubling, there is no point betting more money against the Dealers Ace.

Hitting 2/2 when Dealer shows 7

Another important one of our Blackjack tips. Twos are actually reasonable cards to start with for a Player. It is likely the Dealer has a “stiff hand” or a 17, therefore Split that 2/2 and make some money.

Hitting 4/4 when Dealer shows 6

There is a consensus that you should Double 4/4 against a 6 to try and maximize your returns as the Dealer has a high chance of Busting, but we would recommend you Split the hand against a Dealers 6. When the Dealer shows a 6, you generally want to play as many hands as possible because the Dealer is likely to Bust.

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The Big Six Wheel Game – Strategies & Tips

Big Six

The Big Six Wheel is a very simple casino game that relies solely on luck and has no element of skill.

If you have ever seen Wheel of Fortune on TV, you will be familiar with the large wheel that is spun with many different segments that can be landed on when the wheel comes to a stop.

Big Six is essentially this Casino Wheel Game, which has 6 different outcomes with a total of 54 segments.

As it is purely a game of luck, the house edge is higher than many casino games and there is no real strategy that can be used to increase your chances of winning.

Big Six has a number of other names at different casinos including Wheel of Fortune, Lucky Wheel, Big Wheel, and Money Wheel.

How to play Big Six

Once you have chosen how much you wish to bet, the wheel starts to spin.

There are 54 segments that the wheel can stop on with a total of 6 differing values. The amounts that appear the most often have the best chance of coming up and therefore also have the lowest payouts.

There are normally 52 segments containing numbers or symbols, and 2 that contain a joker or logo depending on where you are playing. These 2 segments are the least likely to come in and therefore have the best pay out, the amount can vary depending on where you play the Big Six.

Once the wheel comes to a stop, the winning segment is shown – this is usually at the top of the wheel and signified by a flexible piece of rubber, which will stop in a particular segment between the spokes found to the side of each segment.

Big Six example bet

A typical wheel is shown above, the segment at the top of the wheel contains the piece of rubber, which signifies the winning segment, you can then decide how much to bet each spin and the total bet amount is multiplied by the number that you bet on.

In the above example, you can bet on a 2 which pays 2x your total bet, a 5 which pays 5x your total bet, a blue 10 or red 10 which both pay 10x your total bet, a green 20 or purple 20 which pay 20x the total bet and a white Joker or Black Joker which pay out higher amounts.

As with any casino game, Big Six has a house edge which means in the long run the casino has an advantage of winning in the end. The house edge tends to be lower at the smaller payout amounts but the house edge, in general, is one of the highest when playing Big Six compared to most other casino games.

Big Six Wheel Payouts

The versions of Big Six differ from casino to casino, but a standard payout chart is shown below which is based on the Las Vegas Rules.

All wheels tend to have 54 segments which include 2 Jokers or Logos that pay out the most, we recommend you shop around when trying to find a version of Big Six if that is your game of choice.

BetPaysFrequencyHouse EdgeProbability
€11 to 12411.11%44.44%
€22 to 11516.67%27.78%
€55 to 1722.22%12.96%
€1010 to 1418.52%7.41%
€2020 to 1222.22%3.70%
Logo 140 to 1124.07%1.85%
Logo 240 to 1124.07%1.85%

 
As you will see from the above table, the more often a number appears, the lower the pay out but also the lower the house edge.

Although the Logos pay out 40 to 1, there is just 1 logo out of the 54 segments so the house edge – the chance the casino will win compared to the player winning – is very high.

Big Six Strategy

As mentioned previously, Big Six is a game of pure luck and requires no skill at all and therefore it is hard to put together a strategy that will increase your chances of leaving a session ahead.

The best bets are those with a lower house edge – the lower payouts – so you are more likely to win and finish up by betting on these segments. As these also have the highest probability of coming in, they represent the highest chance of you winning by far.

However, you are not going to get rich by betting on these segments due to the low payouts, so some players prefer to go for the Logos/Jokers which rarely come in but pay out a lot more when they do and when your luck is in.

If you are looking to spend some time gambling with the hope of walking away ahead at the end of a session, there are much better casino games around than Big Six.

Big Six Tips

Like any casino game, you need to ensure that you are betting within your means. Therefore, before you start a session, ensure that you decide how much you can afford to lose and make sure you stick to this amount. We would recommend that you start with at least 40 bets so if you intend on betting €1 per spin, you would need a budget of €40 to start a session.

When playing Big Six, ensure you aren’t tired, depressed or under the influence of drink or drugs otherwise your judgment will be impaired making it more likely you will lose.

The key to any casino game is to have fun and enjoy the session if the enjoyment goes then stop and walk away.


Cribbage

Cribbage Game
Cribbage is a simple card game played with 2 players.

The game of Cribbage involves scoring points by making runs, pairs, and combinations of cards. You play directly against your opponent and the game uses a standard deck of 52 cards.

Aces are always low in Cribbage, so an Ace can be combined with a 2 and a 3 to make a run, but not with a King and Queen. In terms of point’s value, all picture cards are worth 10 points; other numerical cards are worth their face value.

 

Aim of the Game

The aim of Cribbage is to be the first to 121 points. There is a peg board which keeps track of the score as opposed to using pen and paper, each player has 2 pegs with the one furthest back moving ahead of the front peg each time a score is recorded. The pegboard has 120 holes so the first player to reach the end of the board is declared the winner.

Cribbage peg board

How to play Cribbage

Cribbage is played in rounds. Each round is made up of 4 stages:
1 Discarding into the ‘Crib’
2 Pegging
3 Counting points in the Hand
4 Counting points in the Crib

After a few practice games, it will become clear how to play although the scoring for each round can take some getting used to. When playing Cribbage online, the computer will do the scoring for you, which makes things much easier.

To start a new game, each player chooses a card from the pack at random. The player who chooses the lower value card starts as the dealer and after each round, the dealer passes to the opposite player. If both players select a card of the same value, they pick again until the value of the 2 cards are different and the player with the lower value card starts as a dealer in the first round.

To start a round, each player is dealt 6 cards face down.

The non-dealer now chooses 2 cards to be discarded to the Crib. Once they have done this, the dealer chooses 2 of their cards to put into the Crib also. These cards are now left until the end of the round. The top card from the remaining top is turned over and placed face-up on the Crib cards.

It is recommended that you keep any cards that are pairs, runs or groups of 2 or more cards that add up to 15 and discard 2 of the 6 that don’t fall into this category.

The round continues with the player that is not the dealer choosing one of their remaining 4 cards and laying it face up in the center of the play area.

The total of the cards laid down is tracked and players continue to take turns to lay cards. If you cannot lay a card without the total exceeding 31 points, you cannot lay a card and that part of the round finishes when neither player can lay a card without the total going over 31.

During this part of the round, players receive points as follows:

Laying a card which makes the total 15:2 points
Laying a card which makes the total 31:2 points
Laying the last card of the round:1 point
Run of x cards:x points
Pair:2 points
3 of a kind:6 points
4 of a kind:12 points

 
It is worth noting at this point that a run doesn’t have to be played in consecutive cards.

If a 4 is laid followed by a 6, if the next card is a 5 then that player will receive 3 points as a 4, 5 and 6 have been laid together, even though it wasn’t in order. If another card such as a King were laid between the 4, 5 and 6, then no run would be given.

If no player can lay a card without taking the total above 31, the next player starts the total again by playing any card from their hand and this continues until both players have used their 4 cards.

Once the Pegging section has been completed, the non-dealer counts the points in their hand.

This consists of the 4 cards they have as well as the 1 card dealt face-up on the Crib section.

Points are awarded as follows:

Set of cards that add up to 15:2 points
Run of x cards:x points
Pair:2 points
3 of a kind:6 points
4 of a Kind12 points
Flush (not including top card)4 points
Flush (including top card)5 points
Jack of the same suit as top card:1 points

 
The dealer now does the same with their 4 cards along with the same card that was dealt face up on the Crib.

Once all points have been added for the Hands, the dealer gets to add up points for the 5 Crib cards – the card that was dealt face up, the 2 cards put into the Crib by the dealer and the 2 cards put into the Crib by the non-dealer.

Only the Dealer gets points for these cards, the following hand the non-dealer will become the Dealer to ensure fairness.

Points for the Crib cards are exactly the same as for the Hands, with the exception that in order to get points for a flush, the top Crib card must match.

Set of cards that add up to 15:2 points
Run of x cards:x points
Pair:2 points
3 of a kind:6 points
4 of a Kind12 points
Flush (not including top card)4 points
Flush (including top card)5 points
Jack of the same suit as top card:1 points

 
Play continues as above until one player reaches the holy grail of 121 points, at which time they are declared the winner.

Cribbage example game

The above is a screenshot of a Cribbage game. You will see the Crib on the left with the top card face up, your 4 cards face up in front of you and your opponent has led with a 2 giving you the chance to play next.

Cribbage Strategy

Cribbage is a simple game to play but can take a while to learn, therefore follow the below strategy to maximize your chances of winning.

The Crib only counts for the Dealer, therefore when you are in the Dealer position, it is worth trying to put good cards into the Crib if you can without making your hand a bad one. This also means that when you aren’t in the Dealer position, you should try and put the worst cards there as possible to minimize your opponent’s chances of getting points.

For example, a 5 would be a good card for the Dealer as any picture card or 10 would give them bonus points for reaching a total of 15. If you aren’t the Dealer, avoid putting in pairs or consecutive cards. Aces and Kings tend to be reasonable cards to add to the Crib when you aren’t the Dealer as these cannot be used in a run and aren’t a good combination when it comes to getting points.

When you come to the Pegging section, it is not a good idea to lead with a 5 as this will give your opponent points for reaching a total of 15 if they have any 10 or picture card. If you have a pair in your hand, it is a good idea to lead with one of them, if your opponent can make a pair then you will get 3 of a kind. Try and keep lower value cards to give you the best possible chance of totaling 15 or 31.

The best card to lead with is a 4 as this will ensure your opponent cannot total 15 whilst you will always have a chance to get 15 whatever card your opponent plays.

If your opponent leads with a card giving you a choice of getting a pair or a total of 15, the 15 is the best option.

Finally, try and avoid making a total of 21 as this means your opponent can get 31 if they have any 10 or picture card.

Cribbage Tips

Cribbage can take time to get used to, especially the scoring side of the game. If you are a new player, we suggest you try playing for free first to get used to the rules and scoring before you start playing for real money.

Try and trap your opponent to get larger runs – for example, if you have a 7 and 9, lead with the 7 so if your opponent has an 8, they are likely to play it giving them points for a total of 15. You can then lay the 9 giving you 3 points for a run of 3, which is worth more.

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How to Play Gin Rummy & Win

Gin Rummy

How to Play Gin Rummy

Gin Rummy is a card game for 2 to 4 players.

A standard deck of 52 playing cards is used with no jokers.

Aces are always low and in terms of points, all picture cards are worth 10 and the rest are worth the number of pips on the card – so 5 is worth 5 points, 8 is worth 8 points, etc.

Each player uses their 10 cards to make combinations of 3 or more cards making up a run or cards of the same rank.

Gin Rummy Rules

Each player chooses a random card to start and the player with the highest value card becomes the dealer for the first round. From the first hand forward, the player who wins the previous round is the dealer for the following round.

10 cards are dealt face down to each player and the remaining cards are placed into the center of the play area with the top card turned upwards.

The player to the left of the dealer goes first. The first round, each player can decide whether to pick up the upturned card and discard one of the 10 in their hand or keep the 10 cards they have.

If they choose to pick up the card and discard one, the next player has the choice of picking up the previously discarded card or keeping the 10 they have.

Once each player has had their first turn, the players then have to pick one card up and discard one card each turn. If they don’t want the face-up card, they can pick the top card from the remaining pack in the middle of the play area. They then have to discard one card to ensure they always have 10 cards in their hand.

Play continues in this way until one player wins.

Gin Rummy Rules

Above is an example of a layout for a game of Gin Rummy. Each player has 10 cards, you can only view yours and not your opponents, there are 2 piles of cards in the middle of the play area and you can take the upturned card if you wish – which your opponent will have discarded – or choose one from the face-down pile.

How to Score Points in Gin Rummy

Players need to use at least 9 of their 10 cards to make runs – cards in numerical order and of the same suit – or 3 or more cards of the same rank – value. Remember, Aces only count as low and therefore a player can have a hand of Ace, 2 and 3 but not Queen, King and Ace.

The game ends when one player has 9 or 10 matched cards. After they discard for the final time, if they use all 10 cards they would call Gin and turn their cards over, if they use 9 of the 10 they would Knock and turn their cards over to show what cards they have. Points are then worked out.

If a player uses all 10 cards, so a run of 4, a run of 3 and a set of 3 for example, then they have no points and win the hand.

If they use 9 of the 10 cards, then they have the value of the remaining card in their hand. All picture cards are worth 10 points, other cards are worth points equal to their face value.

The losing player shows their cards and any runs or sets of 3 or more cards are put to one side. The value of the remaining cards is added together to work out their total points value.

The winner of the hand is the player with the fewest points, they win the difference in the value of their cards compared to their opponents. If the winner of the hand uses all 10 cards, they have a points value of 0.

If a player uses all 10 cards, they would call Gin, then they get a 20 point bonus from the hand as well as the difference in points. If a player uses 9 cards they would Knock and receive a 10 point bonus if the value of their remaining card is less than the value of their opponents remaining card/s. If it is higher than their opponent they receive the 10 point bonus as well as the difference in points.

How to Win at Gin Rummy

After each hand, the points for each player are added together. The winner of an overall game of Gin Rummy is the player who reaches 100 points in total first.

Gin Rummy Strategy

As Gin Rummy is a quick and easy game to play, there isn’t much of a strategy to follow. However, there are a few ways you can increase your chances of winning.

Keep an eye on what cards your opponent discards. This can give you an idea of what they are trying to get, for example, if they pick up a 7 of diamonds then you know they are either after 7’s or a run that includes a 7 of diamonds. If you have any cards that could assist either of these, try and keep hold of them for as long as possible.

Another advantage of knowing what has been discarded is that it gives you a better idea for what cards are left. If you see your opponent discard two Jacks, there is no point in keeping a pair of Jacks yourself in the hope of getting a set.

If you have a choice of cards to discard, keep the lower ones instead of the higher ones. The more points you have at the end of the game for cards that aren’t involved in a set or run, the better for your opponent. If you do lose a hand, it is better to do so with lower value cards.

Knock early to try and catch your opponent with as many unmatched cards as possible. Although some players prefer waiting until they have Gin – using all 10 cards – it is worth Knocking when you have used 9 cards if there are a lot of cards left as your opponent may not have many matched cards and therefore you will be looking at more points than if you wait for a few more hands for Gin.

Gin Rummy Tips

Wherever possible, avoid taking a card from the discard pile. This gives your opponent information about the kind of hand/s you are looking to get and could lead to them withholding a card or cards that you need. Unless the card from the discard pile completes a run or set, avoid.

We mentioned in the Strategy section about Knocking early, this goes the other way in that if you Knock late with a weak hand your opponent may well have gotten rid of the high value ‘deadwood’ and have a low hand so even if you Knock later on there is no guarantee you will win.
If the cards you hold are the later, the more you should consider trying to get Gin instead of Knocking.

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French Roulette

French Roulette
It is thought that the standard Roulette game started in France back in the 17th century, although at first there was no 0 on the wheel and therefore the casino had no edge.

In our French Roulette article, we will explain the following. You may click on any of the links below to bring you to that point in the article.

 

French scientist Blaise Pascal is thought to be the pioneer of the modern wheel which finally saw a 0 added in 1842.

For this reason, many consider French Roulette to be the oldest version of the game.

When it spread to the USA, casinos there added a second 0 giving them a better house edge, but French Roulette has always stuck with just the one 0 the same as the European version.

The biggest difference between the French and European versions is that players can make a number of ‘called’ bets in the French version as long as they have enough chips available.

Many players take advantage of the ease of these bets to cover several numbers at a time instead of manually placing chips on individual areas.

Basics of French Roulette and Rules

Before we look at rules specific to French Roulette, let’s take a brief look at the standard rules of Roulette.

As with all other types of Roulette, the aim is to guess the result of a spin of a wheel and which of the 37 numbers will come in.

French Roulette, the same as European Roulette, goes from 1 to 36 with one 0 as well. The 0 is treated differently to the other 36 numbers for all except one type of bet – this is how the casino has their ‘edge’.

French Roulette table

Above you will see the standard layout for a French Roulette wheel and betting area.

You will notice that this aspect is the same as European Roulette, with one 0 and areas to place chips on even money bets such as Red or Black, High or Low and Odd or Even. There are also Column Bets which pay 2 to 1, Single Number bets that pay 35 to 1 and Corner Bets that pay 3 to 1.

You will also see the options in the bottom right for Neighbour Bets and Announce Bets. We will go through these in more detail later on.

When placing your bet/s, the first thing to do is choose the value of each chip. You can change it from one bet to another and each table will have minimum and maximum limits for each type of bet – the smaller the odds, the more you will be able to bet – so when you choose which table to play at, ensure the table limit is suitable for you.

The standard type of bets that can be placed in the French version of Roulette, as well as European and American Roulette, are as follows:

Types of Inside Bets

Straight Up Bets: This is a bet on a specific number to come in such as 4 or 18. There are 37 numbers to choose from in total – including 0 – these pay out 35 to 1.

Split Bets: These are bets placed between 2 adjacent numbers such as 23 and 24 or 14 and 15. The chip needs to be placed between the 2 numbers and pays 17 to 1 if either of those numbers come in.

Street Bet: These are placed at the end of the selected row and pays out 11 to 1 if any of the numbers from that row is a winner. An example would be the row containing 16, 17 and 18. Place a chip half covering the line to the left of the 16 and if any of those 3 numbers win, you get 11 to 1 on your total bet.

Corner/Four Bet: These cover four numbers – as you would expect – and need to be placed in the corner of a number and covering four numbers in total. In the example above, place a chip over the bottom left of the 11 and it would cover 10, 11, 13 and 14. You would win 8 to 1 if any of these numbers come in.

Line Bet: This is a bet on 6 numbers covering 2 rows of 3. The chip/s need to be placed to the left of the row, covering half of the left-hand side number and the number below. For example, in the image above, to place a Line Bet for the first 2 rows – so 1, 2, 3 and 4, 5, 6 places a chip covering half the line to the left of the 1 and half the line to the left of the 4. If any of those 6 numbers come in, you win at odds of 5 to 1.

Column: These are placed at the bottom of one of the 12 columns and pays out 2 to 1 if any of the numbers from that column is a winner. Look at the right column in the image above – numbers 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33 and 36 are all present, therefore a bet on this column would pay 2 to 1 if any of those 12 numbers win.

Even Money Bets

These are essentially 50/50 coin flips and will double your money if you win.

You can bet on whether the number will be Red or Black, Odd or Even or High (19 to 36) or Low (1 to 18).

It is worth reiterating at this point that is if a 0 comes in, any Even Money Bets, Column Bets, and Street Bets these will all lose. Line Bets, Corner/Four Bets, Split Bets or Straight Up bets will win if 0 was covered.

Some versions of French Roulette can refund half of the bets on Even Money Bets or leave the bet for the next spin so it is worth checking this before you decide where to play. Details of these can be found below.

French Roulette types of bets

Above you will see an example of all different types of bets and how/where to place them.

French Roulette Specific Bets

The main difference between French Roulette and its European counterpart is the extra bets available to players in the French format.

These have some very French-sounding names as you may expect and each one is completely different.

Voisins du Zero Bet
Translated to English, this translates as “Neighbours of Zero” and therefore is fairly explanatory as to what kind of numbers it covers.

Going from 22 which is 9 to one direction past zero and 25 which is 9 to the other side, this bet is for 9 chips and is a combo of Splits and Corner Bets that cover those numbers.

Voisins du Zero bet

Above you will see an example of the Voisins du Zero bet, note that 2 of the bets are 2 chips, the other 5 single chips giving a total bet of 9 chips.

Le Tiers du Cylindre Bet
The English version on this saying is “Thirds of the Wheel”. It covers 12 numbers opposite the 0, from 27 round to 33. The bet consists of 6 Split Bets covering each of the 12 numbers.

Le Tiers du Cylindre bet

The above is an example of a Le Tiers du Cylindre bet, a Split bet covering all 12 numbers opposite 0 on the wheel.

Orphelins Bet
Translated as ‘Orphans’, this bet is made up of the 8 numbers that are not covered by the 2 bets above.

The total cost is 5 chips made up of 4 Split bets and a single chip covering 1.

Orphelins bet

The number 1 has its own chip as none of the other numbers are connected to it, the other 7 numbers are all covered by at least 1 Split bet – the 17 is covered twice.

Even Money Bets when 0 lands

As we mentioned previously, some versions of French Roulette have different rules for Even Money bets when 0 lands.

En Prison – If this rule is in play, your bets will remain for the following spin when 0 rolls in. This is the best version of French Roulette as far as the player is concerned as you do not lose any of your bet, you simply get another chance to win on the next spin. If 0 comes in again next spin, the chips will remain until a spin where 0 doesn’t occur, at which point it will either be paid as a winner or a loser.

La Partage – If the casino you are playing French Roulette has this rule, if 0 rolls in, you will get half your chips back on any Even Money bets but lose the other half. Although this isn’t as good for the player as the En Prison, it is better than losing all of the stakes.

French Roulette Strategy

Whereas some casino games such as Blackjack have an element of skill to them, Roulette – as with Slots – is quite simply a game of chance, nothing more, nothing less.

Therefore, despite what people may tell you, there is no strategy, which can increase your chances of winning on individual bets. You can try using betting strategies, which may help you improve your chances, where you may do better for your overall playing sessions.

French Roulette Tips

Always ensure you bet within your means and if you start to feel unhappy then walk away. Don’t go chasing any losses as this is a sure-fire way to lose funds that you cannot afford.

There are 3 slightly different bets within French Roulette – Voisins du Zero, Le Tiers du Cylindre, and Orphelins, these offer simple ways to cover a lot of numbers and give yourself a reasonable chance of getting a return, even if it may not always cover your initial stake. Consider these if you want an easy and fun way to play.

The lower odds bet such as Even Money Bets like Red/Black, Odd/Even and High/Low give you the best chance of getting a return so consider playing these which should ensure you have a good amount of play for your money. Wherever possible play at a casino that has the En Prison rule which means you don’t lose on these bets when 0 comes in, you simply have them again next spin.

The next best thing if you cannot find a casino that offers the En Prison rule then it is best to find one that offers the La Partage rule – therefore, you lose only half your stake on Even Money Bets as opposed to all of it.

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Razz Poker

Razz Poker
Razz is much less popular than many poker games found online, but that is not to say that there aren’t players that enjoy it.

In this article, we will explain the following. You may click on any of the links below to bring you to that point in the article.

 

Razz Poker uses the rules of 7 Card Stud in terms of the cards dealt and betting rounds, but the hand that wins is the lowest hand only.

Other types of poker have a low version – think Omaha Hi-Lo, but these normally share the pot between the best High hand and the best Low hand.

Razz Poker doesn’t do this – only the best Low hand wins the entire pot.

Unlike some types of poker, Razz has no cards that are available for all players to use – known as community cards. All cards dealt – with one unlikely exception – are yours and yours only. Some are dealt face up and some face down as with Seven Card Stud.

We will take you through the rules of how the hand rankings work later in this article, first though let’s take a look at how the rounds themselves work.

Razz Poker Rules

Razz Poker uses one standard deck cards. There are no Jokers in this game.

Aces only count as low as the aim is to get the best possible low hand so there is no reason you would use it as high. The standard hand rankings of Straights, Pairs and Flushes aren’t important in Razz as we will explain later.

Razz uses Ante bets as opposed to Blinds as in other forms of poker. These are forced bets that all players in a hand need to pay to continue.

At the start of a hand, the Dealer for that hand is chosen and signified with a disc that is displayed in front of them. Cards are dealt to all players beginning with the player who is on the left of the Dealer. At the end of the hand, this disc moves one position clockwise to ensure it is fair to all players.

All players are now required to pay an Ante bet irrespective of what cards they have. This is to ensure there are funds available to play for. The Ante bet is normally quite small compared to other bets and depends on the stakes on the table you are playing at or the level if you are in a tournament.

Once ante bets have been collected from all players, the first cards are given out. The player on the left-hand side of the Dealer chip receives a card first and every player gets 2 cards which are dealt face down so only they can view it. Each player then receives a third card which is dealt face up and therefore visible to all players.

As in 7 Card Stud, there is a maximum of 8 players involved in a hand, this is different to other forms of poker such as Texas Hold’em and Omaha where there can be up to 10.

The 2 cards dealt face down are called Hole cards and the card you have received face up is the Door card. Together they consist of a starting hand.

An example of how cards will look once they have all been dealt is below, notice that some are face up and others face down.

Razz Poker example hand

The layout is the same for 7 Card Stud, as in the first 2 cards are dealt face down, the next 4 dealt upturned and visible to all players with the final card dealt face down. They are all your own cards as there are no Community Cards in Razz, except in one case which is mentioned later in the article.

Once the first 3 cards have been dealt, 2 face down and one face up, we have a first betting round. There are 5 of these in total. This is 1 more than in versions such as Texas Hold’em and Omaha that have 4 but is the same as 7 Card Stud.

The player who shows the highest Door card is first to act. Please note that this is the only difference between 7 Card Stud where it is the player with the lowest Door card that goes first.

As Razz is aimed only at the best low hand, it is the player with the worst starting hand that acts first.

Should 2 or more players have the same highest value Door card, the suit of the card comes into play. If anyone has the highest value card in Spades, they act first, if not the Heart of that value followed by Diamonds and then Clubs.

This is the only time the suit of the cards matters and the winner is determined by this, and therefore Flushes, are unimportant.

The player with the highest value card has to pay a ‘Bring In’ bet, the value of which is determined by the table limits. Depending on what they have in their Hole cards, they may decide to pay a higher bet, known as the Full bet, which is usually double the Bring In.

Once this bet has been made, play continues in a clockwise direction. Each player now has 3 choices. They can ‘Call’ the existing highest bet which involves matching the largest bet to have been made in the betting round so far; they can ‘Fold’ which is to leave the hand, discard their cards and any chance of winning the hand but not invest more into the pot; or they can ‘Raise’ the bet – make a bet of double the current bet. The bet can only be Raised 3 times per betting round, after which players can only Call or Fold.

Once all players have either made a Call or Fold, the next card – known as Fourth Street – is dealt face up.

The player with the Lowest exposed hand now goes first. This is the player with the lowest value card face up. If there is more than 1 player with the same lowest value card, the other face-up card is then compared, and the player with the lowest value card goes first. If more than one player has the same 2 cards, the suit of the lowest card comes into play again.

Another round of betting then occurs which follows the same pattern as the previous round.

A 5th card – Fifth Street – is then dealt to all players who are still in the hand, face up as before. As before, a betting round commences with the player who has the lowest upturned hand. The main difference in this round compared to previous rounds is that the minimum bet is now the equivalent of the Full Bet or Big Bet.

Once all players have either bet the same amount or folded, the 6th card – Sixth Street – is dealt. Again, this card is visible to all. A betting round identical to the last betting round now takes place.

Once this has been completed, should 2 or more players still be in the hand, the 7th card – known as Seventh Street and the final card – is dealt. This is also known as the River and is dealt downwards and therefore private to each player.

On rare occasions, should 8 players still be involved in the hand, there will be too few cards left in the pack for each player to receive one.

In this case, a single card is placed in the center of the table which acts as a Community Card and is available to all players.

The last round of betting now takes place as per the previous betting round.

Should 2 or more players be involved at the end of the betting round, we head to Showdown which will decide who wins the pot.

At Showdown

If betting took place after the Seventh Street/River, the player who made the last bet shows their cards first. If no betting took place in this round, the player who is on the left of the Dealer reveals their cards first.

Play then continues clockwise around the table, if the following player to act has a better hand, they must show it otherwise they can choose to Muck and admit defeat but not have to show their cards.

The lowest card in a hand determines the winner. Therefore if one hand has an Ace but the others don’t that hand wins irrespective of other cards.

If more than one player has an Ace, or if no one has an Ace but two or more players have an equal lowest card, then we look at the 2nd lowest card in the hand with the lowest card winning.
We continue like this not taking into account pairs until a winner is decided.

For example, if a player has a hand of A, 4, 7, 9, 10 as their best 5 cards, they would beat someone with a hand of A, 5, 6, 7, 10. You would compare the lowest card – so, in this case, an Ace – and as both have it, compare the next lowest, so 4 compared to 5 – the player who has the 4 will win.

Strategy

As with Seven Card Stud, you should be thinking after each card is dealt about the numbers and possibilities of cards that you need coming out of the deck. There is a lot of information on display – much more than in other versions of poker – so this is not always easy, particularly in the early rounds when other players may be folding. Make a note of the cards they have that are visible as once these cards are out of the deck, they won’t be dealt with again during the hand.

The more you can remember about other players cards, especially the lower value ones, the better you will be at working out whether to continue or fold.

As in Texas Hold’em, the later you act in a round the more you will know about other players hands. The main difference in Razz Poker is that the position can change after every new card as it is the lowest visible hand that starts. Having said that, the Bring-In player at the start of a hand would normally be better advised to fold unless they have a good looking hand – anyone with hands higher than 3 8’s should consider folding as they will not stand much chance of winning the pot.

The main part of any hand is the upturned cards, even when your hole cards don’t back this up. For example, if you have 3 low cards visible to other players, you will be in a strong position to win the pot with a big bet even if there are 2 high cards face down. A bluff is easy in this position as other players will know your hand is strong from what they can see, so the pot is there for the taking.

Make sure you are happy with the rules of Razz when it comes to hand rankings as these are completely different from other forms of poker. Flushes, Pairs, and Straights don’t count, and it is only the 5 lowest cards of different values that are important.

The best starting hand in Razz is A23 but any starting hand with unpaired low cards – up to 6 or 7 – is a strong start and worth a Raise. Similarly, though, any hand with mainly picture cards or a pair, whilst good in some forms of poker, is poor in Razz and you should consider Folding. Remember, although you need to choose your best 5 cards from the 7 dealt- if you have a pair you effectively have to choose your lowest 5 from 6 as you are unlikely to win without 5 different value cards.

Razz Poker Tips

Look for weak players. As with any form of poker, there are strong players and weak ones, the rules of Razz means you may well come across players who don’t fully understand the hand rankings. It’s wise to take advantage of this knowledge and try to win the pot against these players. If this type of player is still in the hand when it is your turn to act, consider playing with a lower value hand than you otherwise would.

Don’t slow play when against a larger number of players as this will give your opponents the chance to hit a low card for minimal outlay. When you have a good hand in Razz Poker, get the chips in as soon as you can to maximize your chances of taking down the pot.

If you are playing heads-up and your opponent gets dealt a high card, always bet to make them pay to stay in the hand.

Like any form of poker, Razz should be fun first and foremost. If the fun goes out of the game or you start losing more than you can afford, stop playing and walk away.

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Caribbean Stud Poker

Caribbean Stud Poker
Caribbean Stud Poker – also known as Casino Stud Poker is based on 5 Card Stud. There are a few differences between the two, the main one of which is that the Caribbean version is played directly against the casino itself instead of other players.

In this article, we will explain the following. You may click on any of the links below to bring you to that point in the article.

 

Although Caribbean Stud Poker is a fairly new game compared to some casino games, the exact origins of the game are unknown. Poker player David Sklansky made a claim that he was the creator, under the name Casino Poker back in 1982. The rules were slightly different, the main one being the dealer showed 2 cards upturned instead of 1. Several years after creation it was introduced at the King Casino in Aruba and a few minor changes were made to the rules as it became the version we see now.

Caribbean Stud Poker Rules

Like most casino table games, you buy in with chips and the first thing you need to do is to decide how much to bet.

It is important to note at this point that there are 2 bets in a game of Caribbean Stud Poker, therefore the initial bet should be half of what you are prepared to bet every hand.

Although you play directly against the casino, other players can be playing in the same game but you don’t need to worry about their hand or beat them in order to win.

To start, you need to place an Ante bet in the relevant spot on the table. These are placed by all players involved in the hand prior to any cards being dealt.

There is normally a progressive jackpot option as well, the equivalent of a side-bet, you can place a separate bet for this as well if you want.

All players and the dealer are then dealt 5 cards. All player cards are dealt face down and you are unable to discuss any cards with other players. One of the five dealer cards is dealt face up.

At this point in the hand, you have the only choice to make during the game – Raise (sometimes just referred to as Bet) or Fold.

If you choose to Fold, you will be out of the hand, your Ante Bet and any Jackpot Bet is lost.

If you choose to Raise, you will need to place a further bet equal to your Ante bet.

If you stay in the hand, once you place your Raise Bet the actions chosen by you are over and the Dealer will then turn over their 4 remaining downturned cards.

In order to ‘Qualify’, the Dealer must have at least a Pair or higher or an Ace-King in their hand if they don’t have at least a Pair.

Therefore, the worst hand a Dealer needs in order to Qualify is an A, K, 2, 3 and 4.

The best hand they could have where they don’t Qualify would be A, Q, J, 10 and 9.

When the Dealer does not Qualify, any Players left in the hand win even money on the Ante Bet but the Raise Bet would Push. If the Dealer does not qualify, it does not matter what the strength of the Players hand is.

If the Dealer’s hand beats the Players hand, then both the Ante Bet and Raise Bet are lost.

If the Dealer has at least an Ace and King and therefore qualifies, their hand is compared to that of any Players left.

Should the Dealer’s hand be better, both the Ante Bet and Raise Bet will lose.

If the hands are identical then both the Ante Bet and Raise Bet push and money will be returned.

If the Player hand beats the Dealer’s hand, the Ante Bet pays out even money.

The Raise Bet Paytable

Please note that the below is a fairly standard payout table that you will find in the majority of Casinos, some may vary a small amount however so it is worth checking so you get at least the below returns before deciding where to play.

PayoutHand
100 – 1Royal Flush
50 – 1Straight Flush
20 – 14 of a Kind
7 – 1Full House
5 – 1Flush
4 – 1Straight
3 – 13 of a Kind
2 – 12 Pair
1 – 1Everything Else

 

The Progressive Jackpot payouts can also vary, but you will normally find it pays out 100% if you have a Royal Flush and 10% of the Jackpot amount if you have a Straight Flush. Any other hand is a loser when it comes to the Progressive Jackpot.

A typical example of the layout for a Caribbean Stud Poker table when playing online is shown below:

Caribbean Stud Poker table

The Ante bet is $10, and $1 for the Jackpot bet. Now you have your 5 cards and you can see 1 of the upturned Dealer cards, and you need to decide whether to Fold or Bet, this would be a further $10, the same as your Ante bet.

Strategy

Without knowing more than just 1 of the Dealers card, it isn’t easy to put together a strategy that increases your chances of winning by much.

We would recommend that you make a Raise Bet every time you have a Pair or higher.

We also recommend that you Fold if you have less than Ace, King – the hand the Dealer requires in order to Qualify.

If you have Ace-King yourself, this is the tricky part about whether to Bet or Fold. If you have 3 fairly high cards on top of the Ace and King, you should Raise, the same as if the Dealers upturned card is a Jack or lower and matches one of your cards – this makes it less likely the Dealer will hit a Pair.

The House Edge for following the above strategy is 5.22%.

Caribbean Stud Poker Tips

The average House Edge when playing the Progressive Jackpot is 26.46% and should, therefore, be avoided. Yes, there is a chance to win big and it is therefore tempting but you will lose whilst playing it in the long run.

When deciding on your budget for a session on Caribbean Stud Poker, remember that you need to make 2 bets in order to stay in the hand. Therefore, whilst we would normally suggest you split your budget into 40 bets, for Caribbean Stud Poker, this would need to be 80 bets to ensure you have enough for 40 hands.

Don’t bet more you can afford – this is the same for any casino game and will ensure you play your best. You won’t do this if you are worried about losing the money you are betting with and are much more likely to lose.

Enjoy your play. Casino games should be about enjoyment first and foremost, as well as the challenge of winning against the house. If you are not enjoying a game or are worried about losing then walk away.

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Red Dog Poker

Red Dog Poker
Red Dog Poker is also known as Yablon and is a variation of the casino game Acey-Deucey or In-Between. It shouldn’t be confused with Red Dog which is another card game altogether.

This game is a very simple to learn casino game which is found in most online casinos. In terms of land-based casinos, Red Dog Poker has been falling in popularity and fewer and fewer casinos are featuring it.

In this article, we will explain the following. You may click on any of the links below to bring you to that point in the article.

Rules

It can be played with between 1 and 8 decks of cards, depending on where you play. However, as only 3 cards are used in any hand, this is less important than in other casino games. The higher number of decks in use, the lower the house edge – although not by much – which is the opposite of most casino games such as Blackjack, where the more decks in play the higher the house edge.

Aces always count as high in Red Dog Poker and suits are irrelevant. All other cards are ranked as in poker with 2 as the lowest.

First of all, you need to decide how much to bet. As in some table games, there is a possibility of 2 bets every hand so take this into account when deciding how much to bet.

The Dealer now deals 2 cards face up in front of them. What happens next depends on the value of these cards.

If the cards are consecutive, so 5 and 6 or Jack and Queen, for example, the bet is a push and is refunded. The hand is then over.

If the value of the 2 cards is the same, a third card is dealt straight away. If the 3rd card is the same value as the first 2, the player wins the bet at odds of 11 to 1. If not, the hand is a push and all bets are refunded. Either way, the hand is then over.

If the cards are not of equal value or consecutive, the Dealer announces the ‘Spread’. This is the difference in value between the 2 cards. For example, if the cards were 4 and 10, the Spread would be 5 – there are 5 numbers in between the two, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.

The aim of the game is to get the 3rd and final card in between the first 2 cards. The further apart these first 2 cards are, the better the chances of winning but the lower the odds.

Once the Spread has been announced, the Player has the choice of ‘Ride’ or ‘Stand’. If you choose to ‘Ride’, you will need to place a further bet equal to the initial bet. If you ‘Stand’, then no further bet is necessary.

A third card is then dealt by the Dealer.

If the third card is between the first 2, the Player wins according to the paytable below:

SpreadPayout
15 to 1
24 to 1
32 to 1
41 to 1
51 to 1
61 to 1
71 to 1
81 to 1
91 to 1
101 to 1
111 to 1

 
If the third card is equal to either of the other 2 cards, higher than the highest one or lower than the lowest one, the Player loses all bets.

Red Dog Poker Table Game

Above is a standard layout for the online version of Red Dog Poker.

In the above example, the Player has bet €5, the Spread is 8. The Player now has the choice of ‘Ride’ and therefore betting a further €5 that the third card will be between 2 and Jack, or ‘Stand’ which means they don’t want to place a further bet.

If the third card is a 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10, the player will win their original bet and the ‘Ride’ bet if they make one at odds of 1 to 1. If the third card is a 2, Jack, Queen, King or Ace, they will lose their initial bet and any ‘Ride’ bet they make.

Red Dog Poker Strategy

Let’s take a look at the chances of winning for each possible Spread.

Number of Cards SpreadPaysProb. Of WinningPlayer Edge
150.077419(0.535484)
240.154839(0.225806)
320.232258(0.303226)
410.309677(0.380645)
510.387097(0.225806)
610.464516(0.070968)
710.5419350.083871
810.6193550.238710
910.6967740.393548
1010.7741940.548387
1110.8516130.703226

 
As you can see from the above table, the Player starts to get an Edge when the Spread is 7 or higher. This is when there is more chance of winning the hand than losing.

Red Dog Poker is a simple game to learn and it follows that the strategy is a simple one as well – If the Spread is 6 or below, ‘Stand’ as there is more chance of losing the hand than winning.

If the Spread is 7 or above, ‘Ride’ as there is a better chance of winning than losing so it pays in the long term to maximize your stake.

When playing this strategy, the House Edge for Red Dog Poker is 2.80% approximately, depending on the number of decks in play.

Red Dog Poker Tips

With most casino games, we would recommend you split your budget into a minimum of 40 bets to ensure you have enough to make the funds last for a while. With Red Dog Poker, there is the opportunity to make a second bet, which you should do if the Spread is 7 or greater. Take this into account when deciding on an initial bet amount.

Don’t play Red Dog Poker, or any other casino game for that matter, when you are tired, stressed or consumed excessive amounts of alcohol as it will impair your judgment and decrease your chances of winning. Although Red Dog Poker is a very simple game to play, and there are very few decisions to be taken, it is still important to be at your sharpest to make sure you play to the optimal strategy.

As with any form of gambling, it is important to only bet within your means and not start to chase any losses trying to win your money back.

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