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Red Dog Poker Guide: Rules, Strategies & Tips

Jennifer Lynn Written by Jennifer Lynn
Richard Grant Reviewed by Richard Grant

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


Red Dog Poker RulesIt 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:

Spread Payout
1 5 to 1
2 4 to 1
3 2 to 1
4 1 to 1
5 1 to 1
6 1 to 1
7 1 to 1
8 1 to 1
9 1 to 1
10 1 to 1
11 1 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

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 Spread Pays Prob. Of Winning Player Edge
1 5 0.077419 (0.535484)
2 4 0.154839 (0.225806)
3 2 0.232258 (0.303226)
4 1 0.309677 (0.380645)
5 1 0.387097 (0.225806)
6 1 0.464516 (0.070968)
7 1 0.541935 0.083871
8 1 0.619355 0.238710
9 1 0.696774 0.393548
10 1 0.774194 0.548387
11 1 0.851613 0.703226

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

Red Dog Poker TipsWith 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.

Related Articles :
Casinos where you can play online Poker
Caribbean Stud Poker
Razz Poker Rules

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About the author

Jennifer Lynn
Head of Content
Jennifer Lynn has spent 14 years working in the online casino industry, making her a real expert in the field. She's not just skilled at writing about casinos; she also has a deep interest in online gambling games and is a passionate researcher and player. Jennifer offers her expertise on a range of casino games and the smart strategies to use. But her life isn't all about gambling and casinos. She also loves riding horses and practicing yoga, showing that she knows how to balance her professional interests with personal passions.
Last Updated: May 28, 2024



What is Red Dog Poker?

Red Dog Poker is a fast-paced variant where only 3 cards are used in hand. The dealer starts by dealing 2 cards and if the outcome isn’t a push then the dealer deals more until one of the players wins or there’s a push. This Poker variant is mostly available online, as its popularity has diminished in land-based casinos. Acey-Duecy is another name for this game.


How many decks are used in Red Dog Poker?

Red Dog Poker can be played with 1 to 8 standard decks of cards. The more decks are used, the lower the house edge of Red Dog Poker.


Do card suits matter in Red Dog Poker?

Unlike in other Poker variants, in Red Dog poker cards are compared by their ranks and their suits don’t come into play.


How do you win at Red Dog Poker?

The goal of Red Dog Poker is to get a third card whose rank is between the ranks of both cards.


What is a Spread in Red Dog Poker?

The number of cards between the 2 initial ones is called a Spread. The third card the dealer places on the table needs to be between the initial ones so you can win.


How does Spread affect the outcome of the game?

If the third card’s between the initial 2, then depending on the card the player will get a payout. The payout rates look like this: • Spread 1 pays 5:1 • Spread 2 pays 4:1 • Spread 3 pays 2:1 • Spreads 4-11 pay 1:1


What does the house edge look like in Red Dog Poker?

As mentioned before, Red Dog Poker can be played with up to 8 standard decks. The more decks there are, the lower the house edge you can expect.


What are the different kinds of bets in Red Dog Poker?

You have the initial bet that you place before the cards are dealt. Depending on the game you might have a chance to place 2 such bets. When the Spread is announced, then you can place the Ride bet or Stand. If you decide to go for that one, then you’ll place an additional bet that’s the same value as your initial one. The Stand option lets you continue the game without your current bet.


Can you give me some Red Dog Poker advice?

Statistically, if the spread is 7 or Higher and you choose to Ride, there’s a good chance that you might win the round. Another good tip or rule of thumb would be to go for the Stand option if the Spread is 6 or below, that way you’re minimizing your chances of a loss. Finally, go for a Red Dog Poker game with more decks as this lowers the house edge.


Where can you play Red Dog Poker online?

You can find lots of online casinos that offer the Red Dog Poker variant. You can play it for free or for real money.

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