Red Dog is
a card game similar to Acey-Deucey and In-Between. The game is
played on a blackjack-sized table with two betting spots --
"bet" and "raise" -- using a 52-card deck. Only three cards are
played per hand. Card suit is not relevant in Red Dog.
The popularity of Red Dog is
largely due to its simplicity. As the pros say, if you can
remember the number seven and know how to subtract, then you can
play Red Dog as well as anyone in the world.
As a player, you place an
opening bet and the dealer will deal two cards. The object of
the game is to bet on the likelihood that the rank of a third
card is going to fall between the first two. If it does fall
between, you win. If it doesn't, you lose.
So far, it's too simple. This
is where the "raise" bet comes in and it's based on the
"spread". Spread is the number of card values that lie between
the two initial cards. The value of any card from 2 to 10 counts
at face value, a jack counts as 11, a queen as 12, a king as 13,
and an ace counts as 14.
A couple of examples are
worthwhile. Let's say the dealer deals a 7 and a 10. What's the
spread? Since 8 and 9 fall between the 7 and 10, the spread is
2. Ok, let's say the next hand plays a 4 and a 5. The spread?
Since the cards are consecutive, no cards fall between 4 and 5,
it's called a "tie", you keep your money and the hand is over.
The interesting part of Red Dog
is betting on the spread. This is an optional second bet where
you go for a bonus payout. The house sets the odds based on a
simple principle: the narrower the spread, the higher the
potential payout ("bonus").
As indicated, you open with a
bet and the dealer deals two cards. The cards are placed face up
on the table and the dealer will place a marker to indicate (a)
the spread and (b) the odds the house offers on an additional
bet (the "raise"). If you bet no further, you will win your
original bet at even money if you win the hand.
If you do decide to raise,
you're betting at house odds as printed on the Red Dog table. If
you win, you get your original bet at even money and the raise
bet at the odds indicated.
If the first two cards are a
tie -- consecutive cards -- you keep your bet.
If the two cards are a pair,
betting stops but you'll get paid at 11:1 if the third card
makes it three of a kind. Otherwise you lose your bet.
Finally, if the third card
matches either of the first two, you lose your bet.
In a winning hand, opening bets
are always paid out at even money. Raise bets are paid out based
on the spread as follows:
4 through 11
This is probably the shortest
strategy I'll ever write: only Double on Spread 7 or better.
Period. That's it. End of strategy.
Okay, if you're still reading
I'm assuming it's because you want a little detail. It's still
pretty simple, but here it is: the player only gets an edge when
the spread is 7 or more. This is actually quite obvious. At
Spread 7, 7 cards will give you a winning hand. And since there
are 13 cards from Deuce to Ace (2 ,3 ,4 ,5 ,6 ,7 ,8, 9, 10, J,
Q, K, A), that means that only 6 cards will cause you to lose.
Spread 7 gives the player about
a 54% chance of winning and it gets better from there on up to
around 85% at Spread 11. So the strategy is to only Double on
the Spreads that give you an edge, namely 7 through 11. Spreads
below 7 give the house an increasingly stiff edge and should be