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The Beginner's Guide to Red Dog Rules and Strategy

By: Joan Peppin, Thursday January 8th 2015
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Red Dog is a classic table game that's atypical because it's not based on poker. You don't find many of these games anymore, but Red Dog is one that's stood the test of time because of the minor skill element that has been added and the ability to "choose your own destiny" instead of just watching what amounts to a coin flip. We'll show you how this game is played, why it works the way it does and how to play the strategic portion of it perfectly in this beginner's guide.

Red Dog is about two cards being dealt and you winning if the third lands between the ranks of the first two. Aces are always high in this game. You need to know about two special cases in this game. First, if the first two cards are the same, then you can win a payout of 11:1 if the third is the same rank as well. Second, if the two cards are consecutive, then the hand is a push and another hand is immediately dealt. This covers the two special cases, so let's get on to the main part of the game.

After two cards are dealt, if it's not a special case, then you're giving an opportunity to double your bet on the third card landing between the first two. After you decide if you want that doubled bet or not, the third card is dealt, and payouts are delivered if you win. The number of ranks that can win for your hand will determine your potential payout. If one card can win, it's 5:1. If two ranks can win, then you'll get 4:1. Situations with three possible winning ranks yields a payout of 2:1, and all other situations pay a simple 1:1.

As far as strategy goes, you need to know when you double and when to avoid doubling. In all normal versions of Red Dog, you'll only double if at least seven ranks can win. That's all you really need to know about strategy in this game, and it's pretty straight-forward. This means that you can add perfect play in a popular table game to your repertoire just by studying this brief beginner's guide on Red Dog, and that's one of the reasons why it's such a popular game. Check it out the next time you get to wanting to try something new.

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