Players Get 5 to Make a 4 Card Poker Hand, But the Dealer Gets 6 – That’s Four Card Poker

If you’re a seasoned casino table game player you are probably aware that poker variants have flourished in the past twenty years, and the game of Four Card Poker is no exception.It’s found everywhere in casinos worldwide and also online. Here is how the game is played:

How to Play Four Card Poker

As this article title describes, when playing Four Card Poker you are dealt 5 cards to make your best 4 card hand. The dealer takes 6 cards and turns one face up.One may wonder why the house takes the extra card. The reason for the extra dealer card is to safeguard the house edge.

Before play begins, you must first make an Ante bet, decide if you want to play or fold after looking at your cards.If you fold, you forfeit your Ante wager. If you decide to call (play) you must make a Play wager of one, two, or three times your Ante, then discard one card to make your best 4 card hand. The dealer then turns over his or her remaining 5 cards for the showdown. If your hand ties or beats he dealer’s 4 card hand you win even money. If the dealer prevails, you lose. Unlike Three card Poker, a tie wins for the player and there are no dealer qualifiers.

Bonus Payout

If you are dealt one of the following top three hands you will receive a bonus payout for which you are paid even if you lose the hand to the house:

  • 3 of a Kind – Pays 2 to 1
  • Straight Flush – 20 to 1
  • 4 of a Kind – 25 to 1

Aces Up

There is also an Aces Up side bet that is independent of your play wager. Which simply means that if your 4 card hand contains a pair of Aces or higher, you’ll win the following even if you lose the original hand to the dealer:

  • Pair of Aces – Pays 1 to 1
  • Two Pair – 2 to 1
  • Straight – 5 to 1
  • Flush – 6 to 1
  • Three of a Kind – 7 to 1
  • Straight Flush – 30 to 1
  • 4 of a Kind – 50 to 1

Basic Strategy

There is a simple basic strategy that is recommended when you are playing Four Card Poker. Here it is. If you have:

  • Pair of 2’s or less – Fold
  • Pair of 3’s through 9’s – Raise 2 times your bet
  • Pair of 10’s or higher – Raise 3 times your bet

The house edge is about 2.8% without betting the Aces Up, and about 3.4% when betting that option.

Good Luck!

Baccarat – A Casino Card Game With III Phases and a Bit of History

Before I explain this Baccarat game that dates back to the 15th Century, let’s review a brief bit of history. Americans got their first real glimpse of this casino game during the 1962 James Bond movie, Dr. No, when Bond, played by Sean Connery, was winning in a Monte Carlo casino. The game was Chemin de fer.

Phase I – Chemin de fer

In this original version Players wagered among themselves and won or lost with their own money. A dealer shoe rotated around the table counterclockwise after each hand. Players could decline the bank and pass the shoe to the next player. A 5% commission for winning bank hands paid to the house was to cover the casino overhead.

Phase II – Punto Banco

Punto Banco, meaning Player, Banker, was introduced in Nevada from Cuba in the late 1950’s, where it was very popular until Castro closed he mob run casinos. The main difference from the French version is that the house banks the game. A tie bet was added to increase the house edge, and the 5% commission to the house for a winning bank bet remains in place. Eventually the name baccarat, Italian for zero, was coined. Today baccarat is played in high limit rooms throughout the world where millions are won and lost each day.

Phase III – Mini-Baccarat

Eventually gaming establishments saw profit potential with Baccarat however they had to make it attractive to the average player. Hence, a new version was born, Mini-Baccarat.The rules for this game are exactly the same as Punto Banco except one house dealer controls he game for up to seven players. Table minimums are as low as $5 or $10. Numerous optional side bets have been added to increase the house edge.

How to Play Baccarat

The objective of baccarat is for the player to come as close to the number 9 as possible. Aces count as one, 2’s – 9’s are face value and 10’s – K’s count as zero.

Regardless of the number of players, the dealer only deals two hands from a six or eight deck shoe. Prior to the deal players must first place one bet on either the bank hand, player hand, or tie. Croupiers pass the shoe so players have the option in turn to deal the cards. In Mini-Baccarat, the shoe remains in place and the dealer controls all the action.

When a hand is totaled, it cannot exceed 9. If the two cards total more than 9, the first digit is dropped. The second digit becomes the total. Ex: 7,8=15. (the 1 is dropped) total = 5.

Baccarat requires no skill to play. All the player needs to do is place one bet before the deal. The dealer examines both hands to determine if a third and final card should be drawn. The determination is made according to a fixed set of game rules. Here they are:

Game Rules for Player Bet

The player position always draws on a 0, 1, and 2,3,4,5, unless the banker has a natural 8 or 9. Player always stands on 6,7,8, and 9. When the play bet has a natural 8 or 9, the game is over.

Game Rules for Banker Bet

The banker position always draws on a 0, 1, and 2 unless the player has a natural 8 or 9. The banker always stands on 7,8, and 9. When a banker has a natural 8 or 9, the game is over.

Strategy

No playing strategy is required. Always bet the bank which has the lowest house edge at 1.06%, even with the 5% commission owed to the house. A player bet has a house edge of 1.24% while the tie bet that pays 8 to 1 has a whopping house edge of 14%!. This bet is not recommended. A number of optional side bets at the mini tables have house edges from 2 to 13%. These are not recommended.

Good luck!

Three Card Poker: More Playing Options But Beware of the House Edge

If you play Three Card Poker, there are a number of variants to the base game that are available is some casinos. Be aware that some carry a Huge House Edge. The edge for the basic game is about 3% for the ante and play wagers and jumps to about 7% if the Pair Plus option is wagered. Your chances of being dealt a pair is about one in four. Here are the variants:

Face Up Ultimate Three Card Poker

Players must also make a blind wager in addition to the ante. The dealer will then turn one card face up. If you decide to fold, your ante and blind bets lose. If you decide to stay in the hand and make a play bet, you have the option to raise the blind up to 3X your ante provided you have a pair or better. If you have less than a pair your play bet can only equal your ante wager.

The dealer will then reveal the other two cards. If the dealer’s hand beats yours, the play, ante, and blind bets lose. If the dealer has less than a Queen high, the ante bet pushes. If the hand ties those bets push. If your hand beats the dealer’s, the play and ante bets win even money. The blind bet pays if your winning hand is at least a flush. Otherwise it pushes. Here is the winning blind pay table:

Pair or less – Push

Flush – 1 to 1

Straight – 2 to 1

Three of a Kind – 10 to 1

Straight Flush – 20 to 1

Mini-Royal – 100 to 1 (suited K, Q, A)

You will undoubtedly need are larger bankroll for this version due to the additional blind wager and the option to raise it up to 3X. The following strategy is recommended when playing:

Fold with any hand less than J, 7, 4

Raise 3X with any pair or better

The House Edge is about 4.3%.

Three Card Poker Progressive

This an easy Three card Poker side bet that pays a huge jackpot if you have a Mini-Royal Q, K, A of Spades. You can place a wager up to the size of your ante in the progressive betting position when placing your ante bet. The average jackpot payout is around $4,000 for a $1 bet. Pay tables vary between jurisdictions. The pay tables are X for one, not X to one. This means that the house takes the original bet. Here is a common table:

Progressive Pay Table

Straight – 6 for 1

Three of a Kind – 60 for 1

Straight Flush – 70 for 1

Mini-Royal – 500 for 1(Hearts/Diamonds/Clubs)

Mini-Royal (Spades) – Jackpot

This looks very tempting but the House Edge is about 22.3%

6 Card Bonus

This is another optional side bet where a player’s 3 card hand is combined with the dealer’s 3 card hand to make the best poker hand. A winning hand is paid according to the following pay table regardless of the outcome of the ante and play bets. Pay tables may vary between jurisdictions:

Three of a Kind – 7 to 1

Straight – 10 to 1

Flush – 15 to 1

Full House – 20 to 1

Four of a Kind – 100 to 1

Straight Flush – 200 to 1

Royal Flush – 1,000 to 1 (9 through A)

The House Edge for this pay table is about 8.6%.

The $ Million Option

There is also another 6-card bonus option that gives a player a shot at a One Million Dollar payout! This option is exclusive to Caesars Entertainment properties in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Players must also bet the ante, play, and pair plus positions when making this bet to win the following payouts:

6 Card Super Royal – (Diamonds) – $1,000,000

Six card super Royal – (Hearts, Clubs, Spades) $100,000

5 Card Royal Flush 1000 to 1

5 Card Straight Flush 200 to 1

Four of a Kind. 50 to 1

Full House. 20 to 1

5 Card Flush. 15 to 1

5 Card Straight. 10 to 1

Three of a Kind. 5 to 1

In case you’re wondering the House Edge is 18% and the probability of hitting a Diamond Royal is 1 in over 20 million!

Good Luck!