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Red Dog

Introduction

Red Dog – also sometimes called Acey Deucy -is one of the more straight-forward card game to be found in a casino. It is normally played with a single standard deck of 52 cards. Aces are ranked as high (ranks ascend from 2 up to Ace).

We are currently aware of Let It Ride being offered by the following online casino softwares – Amaya, Betsoft, Cryptologic, Microgaming, Net Entertainment, Playtech, OpenBet, RealTime Gaming and Rival.

Play Structure

The player places an ‘Ante’ bet and the dealer deals out two cards. If the two cards are consecutive the round is considered a push. If the two cards are of the same rank the dealer immediately deals a third card. If the third card is of matching rank the player is paid out at 11 to 1. If the third card is of any other rank the round is considered a push. Any other two cards and the player is given the option to ‘Call’ or ‘Raise’. If the player chooses to Raise they have to place an additional wager equal to their Ante bet. Once the player has chosen whether to Call or Raise the dealer will deal a third card.

Payouts

Where the third card dealt is in between the ranks of the initial two cards (i.e. if the first two cards were an 4 and a 9 any card of rank 5, 6, 7 or 8) the player wins and both the Ante and Raise bet (if placed) is paid by the following paytable;

Spread (number of ranks in between the first two cards)Payout
1 card5 to 1
2 cards4 to 1
3 cards2 to 1
4 or more cards1 to 1

Any card that is equal in rank to either of the first two cards or that is of a rank not between those of the first two cards results in the player losing any placed wagers.

Rule Variations

While the rules of Red Dog tend to be the same at all online casinos, the number of decks used for the game differs from software provider to software provider. At the present time we are aware of Red Dog being offered by the following software providers;

1 Deck – Playtech, Microgaming, Net Entertainment, Cryptologic, Amaya (Chartwell)
2 Decks – RealTime Gaming
6 Decks – Rival, OpenBet*
8 Decks – Betsoft

*The OpenBet Red Dog does not list the number of decks it uses. Based on the RTP figure provided in the game help file – assuming they’ve got their calculations right – it seems likely they’re using 6 decks.

Optimal Strategy

The optimal strategy for Red Dog is very straight forward. The player should only Raise if they have an advantage. The below tables show the player advantage in any given Call/Raise situation for the 1, 2, 6 and 8 deck games;

1 Deck    
SpreadOdds of winning Probability of winningPayoutHouse Edge
14/500.08552%
28/500.16420%
312/500.24228%
416/500.32136%
520/500.4120%
624/500.4814%
728/500.561-12%
832/500.641-28%
936/500.721-44%
1040/500.81-60%
1144/500.881-76%
SpreadOdds of winning Probability of winningPayoutHouse Edge
18/1020.078431372554.9019%
216/1020.156862745421.5686%
324/1020.235294117229.4118%
432/1020.31372549137.2549%
540/1020.392156862121.5686%
648/1020.47058823515.8824%
756/1020.5490196071-9.8039%
864/1020.627450981-25.4902%
972/1020.7058823521-41.1765%
1080/1020.7843137251-56.8627%
1188/1020.8627450981-72.5490%
SpreadOdds of winning Probability of winningPayoutHouse Edge
124/3100.077419354553.5484%
248/3100.154838709422.5806%
372/3100.232258064230.3226%
496/3100.309677419138.0645%
5120/3100.387096774122.5806%
6144/3100.46451612917.0968%
7168/3100.5419354831-8.3871%
8192/3100.6193548381-23.8710%
9216/3100.6967741931-39.3548%
10240/3100.7741935481-54.8387%
11264/3100.8516129031-70.3226%
SpreadOdds of winning Probability of winningPayoutHouse Edge
132/4140.077294685553.6232%
264/4140.154589372422.7053%
396/4140.231884058230.4348%
4128/4140.309178744139.1304%
5160/4140.38647343122.7053%
6192/4140.46376811517.2464%
7224/4140.5410628011-8.2126%
8256/4140.6183574871-23.6715%
9288/4140.6956521731-39.1304%
10320/4140.7729468591-54.5894%
11352/4140.8502415451-70.0483%

In each of the above tables you’ll be able to see that the House Edge becomes negative (indicating a Player Advantage) at the point where there is a 7 card spread. As such the optimum strategy regardless of the number of decks in play is to Raise only where there is a spread of 7 or more.

House Edge*

The House Edge for Red Dog varies depending on the number of decks in play;

Number of DecksHouse Edge
12.67%
22.61%
62.38%
82.34%

Fairness Calculator

Below you can find a calculator to allow you to check the fairness of your wins/losses when playing Red Dog.

*This fairness calculator will assume that you’ve been playing with the optimal strategy detailed above. If you have not then the calculator will NOT return accurate results.

Winning Strategies

Offline

Red Dog is not widely available offline and there is very little published information on gaining an edge at this game. It seems likely that if the player could gain information about the next card – specifically the 3rd card to be dealt – they could gain a sizable advantage on the Call/Raise bet. This information could be gleaned through a variety of legal methods including edge sorting (if casino procedures allowed for this), naturally occurring defects in the cards or catching the bottom card after the shuffle and cutting it to a specific position. However the chances are that any player skilled and knowledgeable enough to gain this information would be able to find more easily accessed advantages elsewhere.

Online

There are several methods of legitimately gaining an advantage over the online Red Dog games. By and large these involve the use of promotions, bonuses and comp point systems as the games by themselves – assuming the game is functioning in a correct fashion – will not provide any additional information about the cards and shuffle after every hand.

It should be noted that online advantage play is not specific to Red Dog and in recent years the wagering requirements for player’s choosing to play any table game has inflated to the point that Red Dog is now often a sub-optimal choice for the player. For more information on beating online casinos see BeatingBonuses.com.

* All ‘House Edge’ figures in this article are based on the ‘loss per unit wagered’ rather than ‘loss per initial bet’.