Red Dog is a game that’s known by many names, including “acey-deucey.” The game is one of the easiest table games to play; all you have to do is hope that the dealer will deal a third card that falls between the ranks of the first two cards he dealt. But just because this game is simple doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!
Online Red Dog is popular among players who want to play a game with a reasonably low house edge without having to memorize any complicated strategies or charts.
It may never be the most popular game in the online casino world, but it is the perfect game for beginning gamblers, or those who just want to relax with an easy-to-play game.
Most online casinos offer Red Dog (or the same game under another name), and in general, all of these games use the same rules and offer the same odds. With that in mind, you should choose a casino site based on your overall impression of each casino, since your playing experience is likely to be the same no matter where you decide to play. We’ve sifted through the good, the bad and the ugly of online casino sites and give our recommendations later of where to play in this article.
Never Played Before? – Let’s Break Down the Rules
The game begins with each player making a wager. The dealer then deals out two cards on the table. Cards are ranked as in poker, with aces always being high.
If the first two cards dealt are of consecutive ranks – such as 7-8 – then the hand is considered a push, and ends immediately. If the first two cards are of the same rank, the dealer will immediately deal a third card. If the third card is also of the same rank as the first two, the player bet wins at 11-1 odds.
In all other cases, the dealer will announce the spread between the first two cards. The spread is the number of ranks between the ranks of the first two cards. For instance, if the first two cards were a king and a ten, the spread would be two, as jacks and queens would both fall between those two cards.
The player now has a chance to make a second “raise” bet equal in size to their original bet. After all players have chosen whether or not to raise, the third and final card is dealt. If the third card is of a rank that falls between the first two cards, the player wins; otherwise (if the card is outside those ranks, or matches one of the first two cards) all player bets lose.
An example of a hand played online. Here we can see the spread is 1 and we’ve gotten lucky!
Bets are paid out depending on the spread according to the following pay table:
Standard Payout Table
- One-Card Spread: 5-1
- Two-Card Spread: 4-1
- Three-Card Spread: 2-1
- Four-Card Spread or Greater: 1-1 (evens)
- Conescutives: Tie (money back)
- Pairs: Tie (money back)
- Three of a Kind: 11-1
Our Recommendations of Where to Play Online
Red Dog for Real Money
Red Dog is a game that translates very well to the online world. Playing for real money is easy, as the game is spread at most online casinos, and every game we’ve seen so far has had the same rules, odds, and payouts no matter where you play. That means that you can play at your favorite casino site without worrying about whether there’s another casino offering a better version of the game.
Minimizing the House Edge
Playing properly comes down to deciding when to raise and when to stand. As it happens, there’s a very simple strategy that’s easy to memorize that will allow you to play optimally without the need for any complex calculations. Simply raise any time the spread is seven or higher, and stand if the spread is six or less, and you’ll be using the best odds possible.
Percentages and House Edge
When played with an eight-deck shoe, the house edge is approximately 2.75% if the player uses the optimal strategy described above. Unlike many casino games in which reducing the number of decks helps the player, in Red Dog, the house edge actually gets higher as the number of decks goes down. This is mostly because lowering the number of decks also lowers the chances three consecutive cards of the same rank being dealt. However, the effect here is small; even if you play with a single deck, the house edge is only 3.16%.