Red Dog Poker is one of the simplest games of poker to play, making it a great form of poker for those that simply want to let the chips fall where they may and have fun! In fact, some situations in red dog poker result in players having no control at all which dictates that, at times, there is no strategy at all.
The deck that is used to play red dog poker is any standard 52-card deck, but poker chips will also be needed. This is a game of poker after all! Red Dog Poker can be played with as few as two players and as many as 10, and the objective of the game is to ultimately win your wager when it is your turn. Of course, this will not make sense without a thorough illustration, so let’s dig into how to play Red Dog!
Rules of the Game and Dealing
First, the rules of red dog poker are such that an Ace is the highest ranking card. The cards rank from their in descending order. In short, Aces are the highest ranking cards, while deuces are the lowest ranking cards. During the dealing process, each player must draw a card. The player that draws the high card will ultimately determine the first dealer.
Once the dealer has been chosen, each of the players will put an equal stake (ante) into the pot. After this, the dealer shuffles the deck and deals out the cards one at a time to all of the players present. Again, the amount of players in Red Dog can vary widely, but this does not change the rules of the game unless more than eight players are playing. The cards are dealt face down and clockwise, and the clockwise pattern begins starting from the dealer’s left until every player has received five cards. If more than eight players are present for the game, each player must receive only four cards, not five.
In any event, the remaining cards are placed face down and are left to be the stock. At the conclusion of every following hand, the deal moves one player further to the left from the previous dealer.
Playing the Game
Once each player has their cards, bets will be made. Once again, starting from the dealer’s left and going clockwise, each player will receive this opportunity. Any bets must at least be the amount of the ante, and can go as high as betting the entire pot. The stake anyone chooses to best is placed next to the pot.
Once the bets are finalized, the dealer must burn one card — that is, take a card off the top of the deck and show it to the players before adding it to the bottom of the deck face up –, then deal one card face up in front of the player.
If the player has a card that is the same suit as the card dealt and higher as well, this is the card that the player will show. At this point, the player will take back his or her stake, and the dealer will give the player the same amount from the pot. By contrast, if there is no card in the player’s hand that is both the same suit and higher, the player’s whole hand must be shown while the dealer sweeps the player’s stake into the pot.
Next, the cards the player had and the dealt cards are then set aside, again face down, and the next player must bet against the pot, with whatever is left in the pot after the previous player’s wager. If the pot emptied or has been reduced to less than the minimum bet, each and every player must put in the initial stake again per the initial stake determined at the beginning of the game.
After every player has had the chance to bet, the turn to deal passes to the next player. Whatever is left in the pot at the end of the turn remains, while the players add another ante to the pot before the next round of play begins. At this point, however, players do have the option to all agree on whether the pot has become too large. If they agree that this is indeed the case, the players may split the pot between each other and provide an ante to a new pot.
Red Dog Strategy
Red Dog, as mentioned, is not very strategic at all. The strategy really just boils down to understanding the odds of winning any given hand. Basically, players should raise if they have a spread of 7 or greater, due to the fact that this is the only time that only spreads of seven cards or more will offer players a positive chance of winning. Thus, cautious players should only raise their bets when they have such odds in their favor.
In short, this is an easy game that is light on strategy, making it a great style of poker for anyone to pick up and play. With that said, have fun playing, good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!