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.
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:
5 to 1
4 to 1
2 to 1
1 to 1
1 to 1
1 to 1
1 to 1
1 to 1
1 to 1
1 to 1
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.
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
Prob. Of Winning
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.