Red Dog is a very simple casino game and is played with only 3 cards. Several similar card games were known in the frontier towns of America in the 18th and 19th century. The game that we now know as Red Dog, then often called In-Between, was considered too simple compared to other Poker games. It was only when gambling become legal in Las Vegas in 1931 that the game really began to stand out. Its rules were formalised and it was relaunched under its official new name of Red Dog.
In the early days of Las Vegas, Red Dog Poker was quite a popular casino game, but it has fallen out of favour in land-based casinos as table games involving more strategy became more widespread. It has enjoyed a revival in online casinos, however, and you’ll see it in several of the casinos that we recommend here. The low 3% House Edge makes it a good option for players, and makes it easier to understand why land-based casinos do not want to dedicate floorspace to the game.
It is not only its low House Edge that makes Red Dog a good fit for online casino players. It is fast-paced and fun, and is perfect when you want something just a little more stimulating than a Slot game. If you want to transition from chance-based games to more strategy-based games, Red Dog is useful for that too.
The Basic Rules of Red Dog
Online, Red Dog is played with up to 8 decks of cards, and starts with you placing a bet. After this 2 cards will be dealt, facing up. If the cards are consecutive, such as a 9 and a 10, the hand is a push and you get your bet back. If they are equal a third card is dealt. If this third card is the same as the others, you get an incredible 11:1 payout – the highest possible in Red Dog. If the third card is not equal, the hand is a push.
If the first 2 cards are not equal, a spread is announced by the dealer. The spread refers to the difference between the 2 cards, and affects how much you are paid out. A third card is also dealt here, and if it falls between the first 2, you are paid out. Once the spread is announced and before the third card is put down, you have the option of doubling your bet. If the spread, or the space between the first 2 cards, is just 1 card you get a 5:1 payout. If it is 2, 3 or 4 or more cards, you get a 4:1, 2:1 or 1:1 payout respectively.
Red Dog Playing Tips
To maximise your winning chances in Red Dog we suggest you take note of the following tips.
Smaller spreads have higher payouts, but they also have higher odds. It is only spreads of 7 or more cards that offer favourable expectations, so you should only raise your bet in these cases. This is true no matter how many decks are used, but we do suggest finding casino games that use multiple decks as this will lower the House Edge even more. Other than that, you just need to enjoy the simple rules and the elements of chance.