1 Jul

How to Play Red Dog Poker for Real Money Online

How to Play Red Dog Poker for Real Money Online - Red Dog Casino Game Rules & Strategy

Red Dog Poker is a quick, exhilarating card game found in most of today’s larger land-based casinos. It’s no longer popular enough to be featured in the smaller casinos, where floor space is reserved for more fashionable games. You will, however, find the Red Dog casino game in 99% of all online gambling sites, where space is unlimited.

How to Play Red Dog Casino Game Rules & Strategy

The following 3-step lesson will teach you how to play Red Dog Poker for real money online. The same rules apply to the land-based game, but online casinos require more care in selection. An additional fourth step goes on to teach you about the odds, house edge, and how to employ a winning strategy every time.
  1. Choosing an Online Casino: If you already have an active online casino account that you’re happy with, skip down the Step 3. Otherwise, you’ll find the knowledge in this section invaluable to your internet security.
  2. Funding Your Account: Making your first deposit doesn’t have to be a scary experience. This section will teach you all you need to know, from choosing the right payment method, to what to expect when you press the ‘Submit’ button.
  3. Red Dog Poker Rules: This is a very simple, fast-paced card game. Two cards are dealt to each side, followed by a third in the middle. If the value of the third falls between the first and second, you win. A few other things could happen, too.
  4. Odds & Strategy: If you’re going to play any game for money, you might as well give yourself the best chance of winning. Learn about the odds, edge and how to employ a good Red Dog Poker strategy.
DisclaimerNot all forms of gambling are legal in all provinces of Canada. The legal age to gamble also varies by province. Breaking the law is a serious matter. The information provided on this website is meant for educational purposes only, and we will not be held liable for any irresponsible / illegal activity on your part. Know the gambling laws in your province and follow them. The following pages provide more information on Canadian gambling laws:


1. How to Pick a Safe Online Casino for Canadians

Safety should always be your number one priority when it comes to any financially driven online service. Internet casinos didn’t have the best reputation early on. The industry is strictly regulated now – at least, for jurisdictions like Canada where it’s not illegal. But that doesn’t mean rogue operators don’t exist anymore.

Finding a safe, secure casino with stringent player protections isn’t difficult. You just have to know what to look for. You also need to understand the difference between domestic regulation and international regulation.

Canadian iGaming Regulators

In Canada, some provinces supply their own regulated online gambling services. Residents of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec are privileged to such services. However, these provincial websites are ring-fenced, meaning you must reside there to access it. For isntance, if you don’t live in Ontario, you can’t gamble at PlayOLG.com.

It’s also worth mentioning that, as of writing, none of Canada’s online casinos offer Red Dog Poker. I just checked. It’s not there.

International iGaming Regulators

International online casinos aren’t bad, though. In fact, they have a lot to offer Canadian iGamers; the least of which is a greater variety of games. They aren’t subject to Canada’s restrictive gambling laws, meaning you can place all the straight-up sports bets you please. They also tend to offer more frequent and valuable promotions.

The key to choosing a safe international casino website is to confirm its licensing jurisdiction. Some regulatory bodies are stricter than others. In fact, the UK and Malta are the strictest in the world. Some other European regulators are close behind, but I would suggest you avoid any licensing jurisdiction from any non-European country. South America is particularly daunting.

Operators who want to accept players from illegal markets, like Australia and the US, get their licenses from places like Costa Rica and Panama, because there are no player protections in place; no real regulations at all, in fact, just a license and certificate to plaster on a website to convey a sentiment of potential safety.

Long Story Short…

Choose an online casino that’s licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) or UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). Make sure the operator has been around for a few years, so it’s had time to build a positive reputation. And, of course, check that Red Dog Poker is available on the gaming menu.

For more information on choosing a trustworthy operator, take a moment to read our…

2. Online Casino Payment Methods & Deposits

The most difficult thing about online casino payments is choosing the right method for you. To make it easy, you should choose a method you’re already familiar with. If you are a member of a prominent Canadian bank or credit union, odds are you already use Interac. If so, choose this method, because honestly, there’s nothing more secure for Canadians today, and only the most distinguished offshore gambling sites are allowed to accept it.

If you’re not a member of an Interac networked bank, there are other good options out there. An Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) or Instant eCheck works almost the same as Interac. Even a debit card payment is similar, wherein the money is coming straight from a bank account. These are all fast, secure, and cheap (if not free) ways to fund your account. Web wallets can be a good option, but unfortunately, most of them no longer permit online gambling payments originating from Canada; not because it’s illegal for us, but because those companies are based in the prohibitive US market.

Making the Deposit is the Easy Part…
  1. Login to your online casino account and navigate to the Banking / Cashier section.

  2. Choose your preferred method of payment from the list available.

  3. Follow the instructions provided, enter the amount you wish to deposit, then press the button to submit.

Depending on the method you used to deposit, the money should appear in your account in anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. You should also have access to a welcome bonus. Be sure to read the bonus terms to see how it works, and what games you can play with it.

3. Learn How to Play Red Dog Poker

Red Dog is almost as easy to play as Baccarat, in as much as you don’t really play it. The dealer does all the card work. However, after your initial bet, you will get to decide whether or not you want to Raise.

The game requires one standard deck of 52 cards. It can be played with multiple decks (up to 8), but it’s very rare (for reasons we’ll discuss in the Odds & Strategy section below). As the game progresses, three cards are dealt into designated locations on the table.

Dealing of Cards

The first two cards are played to the left and right side of the playing field. The number of cards that can fall between the respective values of these two cards will determine the Spread.

For example, let’s take a look at the image below. The first card is a 5, and the second is a 7. Only one card can fall between them – a 6. Therefore the Spread is 1. If the first two cards were a 3 and a Jack, the Spread would be 7.

How to Play Red Dog Online

If there is no Spread (i.e. the first two cards are consecutive, as in 6-7), the hand is void. All bets are returned, and a new hand begins. If the first two cards are exactly the same, a third card will immediately be dealt between them. If that third card matches the first two, the player instantly wins an 11:1 payout. If not, the hand ends in a Push. Note that the player is not given the option to Raise if the first two cards match.

Stand or Raise

Once a Spread of any distance is established, the player has to make a choice – Stand or Raise (a.k.a. Ride). To Stand is to stick with the initial bet and continue with the game. To Raise is to double the initial bet and continue with the game.

Once the player has made their choice, a third card is dealt. This card is set in the middle, between the first two cards. The value of this card determines the outcome of the game. If this card lands within the Spread, the player wins a payout according to the paytable (see below). If not, the player loses.

Results & Payouts

The following table depicts all possible outcomes, the result (win, loss or push), and the payouts for each winning scenario.

Value of Middle Card…
Within a Spread of 4- to 11
Player Wins
1 to 1
Within a Spread of 3
Player Wins
2 to 1
Within a Spread of 2
Player Wins
4 to 1
Within a Spread of 1
Player Wins
5 to 1
Ties the Low and High Card
Player Wins
11 to 1
Ties the Low or High Card
Player Loses
Falls Outside the Spread
Player Loses

4. House Edge & Strategy for Red Dog

If you’re playing Red Dog at an online casino, you can rest assured there is only one deck of cards in play. This means the casino will have the greatest possible advantage (i.e. highest house edge) of 3.155%. The more decks there are in play, the lower the edge will be. This is because more decks means the players have a slightly higher chance of hitting that 11:1 payout for three cards of the exact same value.

Decks in Play
House Edge

At a land-based casino, you will often find Red Dog being played with a 6-deck shoe. Why would a casino willingly choose to offer a lower edge game? Two reasons; 1) Players love feeling like they’re getting a better deal, and 2) six decks means the game can last six times longer without reshuffling, which translates to more hands per hour, therefore more money for the casino. Trust me, casinos always know what they’re doing!

Probability of Making the Spread

This next chart details the player’s odds of winning based on the current Spread. Note that the House Edge converts to a Player’s Edge (odds of winning above 50%) once the Spread reaches 7.

Odds of Winning
House Edge
Odds of Winning
Player’s Edge
Red Dog Casino Strategy

The strategy for this game is extremely simple. It does not change based on the number of decks in use, since you can only Raise when a Spread is established.

As the above chart shows, the player has an advantage when the Spread is 7 or higher, and is at a disadvantage when the Spread is 6 or below. Therefore the best possible strategy to win the Red Dog casino game is…

  • Raise on a Spread of 7+.
  • Stand on anything else.

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