Red Dog Poker - How to Play

Red Dog Poker isn't really poker at all. The only thing it shares with poker is the deck of cards. Red dog poker is also known by different names, such as Yablon or In-between. The reason the name Red Dog Poker was created and stuck is because it conjures up an image of something powerful, perhaps even dangerous. In reality the game is simplicity itself.

Red Dog Poker

How to Play Red Dog Poker

*** Red Dog Poker is played with a standard 52-card deck.

*** Every card has its own value from 2 up to 14. This means that the ace is always high.

*** To begin play, every player must place a bet or ante. Each table will have a bet limit.

*** After all antes have been placed the dealer deals two cards face-up. The dealer doesn't get any cards himself. The play is entirely focused on the two cards dealt and the third card to be dealt.

*** If the two dealt cards are consecutive, the hand is a push. The player neither wins nor loses.

*** If the two cards are the same, a third card is dealt immediately. If it is also the same, the player wins 11-1. If the card is different, the hand is a push.

*** If the two cards are not consecutive, the players now calculate the spread between the two cards. The spread means the number of cards that come between the two dealt cards. We don't just subtract; that gives us a wrong answer. For example: if a 10 and a 5 are dealt the spread is 4 (not 5) because there are only 4 cards between the 10 and the 5 (9, 8, 7, and 6).

***After the player determines the spread he must decide whether to bet that the next card will fit between the first two cards.

*** The player can "raise". This means he doubles his original bet.

*** The player can "call". This means that he lets his original bet ride on the next card.

*** The player is not allowed to take back his bet, even if the chances of his winning are very slim.

*** After all players have raised or called, a third card is dealt.

*** If the third card does not fit between the first two cards, the players lose their bets.

*** If the card does fit, the players win. Payouts go according to the Red Dog payout table.


The payout table reflects the different chances of winning with different spreads. The lowest spread is 1; the highest is 11 (when a 2 and an ace are dealt).

The payouts range from 5-1 for a one-card spread to 1-1 from a four-card to an eleven-card spread.


*** There isn't a great deal of strategy in Red Dog.

*** First, make sure you determine the spread correctly.

*** Most strategists advise calling when the spread is 1-6 and raising when the spread is 7 and above.

*** More conservative players will raise only when the spread is 8 or 9 and above. The greater the spread, the greater the chances of winning, and a spread of 7 gives the players only a slight edge.


Red Dog Poker isn't available in many land-based casinos anymore but it is a perfect game for the online gambler. All the advantages of playing at home are there: no travel, no extra expenses, no time limits. The rules of Red Dog are so simple that it's perfectly suited to someone who just wants to relax a little and gamble a bit after a long day at work.

Posted by Nick David

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