Red Dog is not a game that you find in every casino, but it has become readily available online. In Red Dog the player either gets dealt a three-card match which pays 11 to 1, or they are dealt a hand where there is a spread between the cards. The size of the spread between the cards will determine what the payout odds will be for hitting a card in between the two cards that you have been dealt.
For a one-number spread the odds of winning are 8%. If you do win, it will pay 5 to 1 on your bet. A two-card spread pays 4 to1 and will hit about 15% of the time. A three-card spread pays 2 to 1 but will only occur an average of 23% of the time. Spreads between four and eleven all pay 1 to 1 on your bet, but only spreads of seven or more give you more than a 50% chance to win.
That means that it’s correct Red Dog strategy to only raise your bet when you have a seven-card spread or more. Otherwise, just stay with the bet that you have already made, and hope that you beat the odds and win the hand. The house will hold an edge over you regardless of the situation - choosing to only raise on seven-card spreads or more will only lessen the Red Dog odds you have to beat.
If you want to gamble a little and feel like you’re on a winning streak you can raise on the six-card spread, your chances of winning over the six-card spread is 46%. Not a good long-term strategy, but it’s up to you if you’re feeling lucky or not. Experienced gamers will not make this play, even though the odds to win are near-even.
You won’t have the choice to take another card if you’re dealt two cards of the same value. When this happens the third card is automatically dealt, and you don’t get the opportunity to raise your initial bet. If you manage to hit another card of the same value you get paid 11 to 1 on your original wager.
The house edge in Red Dog varies based on how many decks the casino has in play. With one deck, the house edge is 3.15%, two decks gives them an edge of 3.077%, four decks provides 2.88%, six decks means a 2.80% edge for the house, and games with eight decks in play give the house a 2.75% edge.
Unlike most casino games, in Red Dog the player’s chances improve as the number of decks in play increases. So it’s worth the effort to find games that have more than one deck.
The more decks in the game the better it is for the player, but players will not notice a difference in play in games that use one or eight decks. The difference in house edge is small, but over the long term it will make a difference to your overall Red Dog take.
Bankroll strategy is an important thing to consider when playing Red Dog. With a big edge going to the house, the game can deplete your playing bankroll in a hurry. Getting ahead and getting out of this game is important as big winning sessions can be rare.
One should strongly consider getting out of a game of Red Dog when they find themselves up ten bets or more. The same goes for losing limits. It’s up to you how long you play a game, but you should set limits for losing and stick to them to maintain a bankroll for the next playing session.
With such a big edge going to the house, especially against players who don’t reserve raises for seven-card spreads or more, Red Dog is a favorite with the novice gamers who like to keep their action simple to play. Runs of luck do occur, and a player can win money playing Red Dog - it just doesn’t offer the best odds on the casino floor.