Red Dog Poker Strategy

July 26, 2014

Last updated: Feb 23, 2007

The rules to this game are very simple. The cards are ranked as they are in conventional poker. Firstly, 2 cards are dealt. If the 2 cards are consecutive, the cards are pushed. If the cards are equal, a third card is dealt. If the third card also matches, the player is paid 11-1, otherwise the hand is pushed.

If the cards are not equal or consecutive, the player is allowed to choose to either raise or not. The raise can only be a double. This is the only time a bet can be altered, so a sound strategy is needed.

A spread is equal to the number of cards that exist between the two cards dealt - for example, the spread between 2 and 5 is 2 (3&4). When the third card is dealt and the card lands in that spread, the player wins. A one card spread pays 5-1, a 2 card spread pays 4-1, 3 card spread pays 2-1 and any bigger spread pays even money.

The best strategy is to raise on spreads of 7 or more. Players hold the edge statistically for any spread of 7 or more. Even though narrower spreads pay out a lot more, the house advantage sits around 20%. This is therefore not the ideal playing strategy. Playing the odds is obviously a much wiser choice.

Links to Experts

The same red dog strategy described by Michael Shackleford. He also shows the net return per unit bet on various spreads in red dog poker.