Card games similar to today's Red Dog go back to the 12th century when the standard deck of playing cards was popularized in Egypt and China. Its simple rules make it an easy option for gamblers since it doesn’t require more than a few cards. Over the years, the rules have been perfected to make everything more precise and provide players with the right payout rates for long shots.
For casino gaming, Red Dog evolved from Acey-Deucey and In-Between. In the 19th century, In-Between was a reasonably popular option in the United States, but the rules left room for players to cheat so most establishments preferred to stay away from it. In 1931, when gambling became legal in the city of Las Vegas, the card game was introduced with a new name and a revised set of rules. Red Dog Poker was born, and it enjoyed great success in the big casinos on The Strip.
The name is represented by a figurine of a red dog, which is placed to show the spread after the initial cards are dealt. It is only for decorative purposes, and the mascot was selected to attract curious players to the tables.
Red Dog didn’t remain a favourite casino game for long, and it dropped out of favour after a few years. Nowadays, there aren't many brick and mortar casinos that have tables for Red Dog, instead opting to use the valuable space for more popular titles, like blackjack, baccarat, and roulette. However, Red Dog still survives with the help of online casinos. You can find the title at some of the biggest operators in the business, usually classified under Table Games or Specialty Games.
There are many reasons to like Red Dog. It is very straightforward, and even new players can quickly learn the basics. In fact, you can learn how to play in a matter of minutes, find an online casino straight away and start winning real money at the Red Dog tables today! There isn’t a lot of strategy required to win, even if there is an extra betting round available after the initial cards. The gameplay is fast, and you can play almost 100 hands per hour in the online version.
Red Dog players also enjoy the good RTP rate, which puts the casino game in the same category with European roulette, Caribbean Stud Poker, and 3-card poker. While it is played with regular cards, the style is unique, and you won't find anything similar on the casino floor. This makes it a welcome alternative when you want to take a break from blackjack and slots.
The downside is that Red Dog isn’t exactly thrilling to play. There are some big payouts available, like 11:1 for three of a kind, but most rounds finish in a tie, a loss, or an even money payout. This is not a great recipe for an engaging casino game, especially when other options promise huge prizes.
Overall, if you are tired of the ultra-popular casino games and you want to try something different that keeps a fairly good return to player rate, Red Dog is probably the best choice.
Our professional guide will have you ready to play Red Dog in a matter of minutes. The first thing you need is to find a table to join. If you want to play a land-based casino, you should know that there aren't many establishments that offer this gaming option. You are far better off playing Red Dog online since most of the big sites have this title. You can join the table and play for real money on your computer or even on your mobile device.
After you start the game, you will see the dedicated Red Dog table. There is an Ante box where you place your initial bet. Most tables have a minimum limit of €1 that you have to meet to play. Select the size of the casino chips and settle on the stake you wish as a starting wager.
The initial deal will show two cards facing up on the table. Cards in Red Dog are ranked like in most other table games, with Ace being the highest value. The suit does not matter in this casino game. The difference between the two initial cards determines the spread. For example, a 4 and a Queen has a spread of 7, since there are seven values between the two cards. The spread is displayed on the table, usually with a red dog marker, which also shows the payout for a successful hand.
If the two cards are consecutive (e.g. 6 and 7) the hand is a push. In the event that the two cards are of the same ranking, a third card is dealt. If this third card is of the same value, the player wins 11:1, and if not, the bet is a push. If the starting cards are not consecutive or the same rank, the next round can take place.
You can now Call and only keep your starting bet, or Raise to place an equal bet to the ante. You cannot fold in Red Dog. You win the bet if the third card has a value in-between the two starting cards. If the spread is of 1 and you win, you get 5:1. For a spread of 2, the payout is 4:1, and for 3 you get 2:1 if successful. For a spread of 4 or higher, the payout is always even money.
The house edge in Red Dog depends on the number of decks used. Unlike most other games where more decks mean a more significant casino advantage, the edge goes down in Red Dog with more decks of cards. With one deck being used, players are facing a 3.15% disadvantage. For comparison, six decks result in a house edge of just 2.8%. The risk element is even lower given the option to make another bet. You are risking only 2.38% of your stake in Red Dog played with six decks of cards.
Red Dog is a very interesting game if we analyse the numbers. The overall edge depends on the spread and the payouts offered. When playing, you are facing a disadvantage for the lower spreads but benefit from favourable odds on higher ones. Ultimately, you can take advantage of the option to increase the bet and win more money in the long run. In short, all you have to do is raise on a spread of 7 or higher.
The strategy couldn’t be any more comfortable, and we also have some good tips to help you even further. As mentioned previously, the number of decks used plays a role, and you get a more favourable return when more decks are in the stack on the table. In a casino, you can ask the dealer to learn how many cards are used. When playing online, you can check the game details if the number of decks is not displayed openly. While some versions only use one deck that is shuffled after every hand, there are online variations of Red Dog with up to six decks.
Keep in mind that Red Dog is a gambling game. You should treat it as such and don’t bet more than you can afford. It is a good idea to play in practice mode online until you get familiar with the rules.
A casino game should be easy to learn, fun to play, engaging, and offer a good return to the player. Red Dog has a great combination of elements that make it meet these requirements in spades. It is a pure gambling game where luck plays the most prominent role. However, it also gives the user a sense of control with the extra betting option. The basic strategy is easy to follow, and so the RTP is higher than in other casino games.
Despite it falling out of favour among casino visitors, Red Dog continues to live on at online casinos. Its fast pace allows players to see up to 100 hands per hour or play at a slower rhythm. You are in full control at the online Red Dog table. You can bet as much as you want and leave at any point. You can practice different betting strategies thanks to the even-money payout rates and enjoy prizes of up to 11 times the wager. In conclusion, Red Dog is a casino game that flies under the radar, but it should definitely be included in your gaming sessions!