Springbok has built a great reputation as the top online casino for South Africa. One reason is that we play in Rand. Another reason is that we regularly publish articles that give you tips on how to play the games we offer. Today we will talk about the great game of Red Dog.
The basic rules of Red Dog are quite simple. You get two cards. If the two cards run consecutively, the hand is a push. That’s to your advantage because you could never win such a hand. If the two cards are the same, you don’t get a chance to raise. Instead, the dealer gives you another card. If it is also the same rank, you win at the rate of 11-1. If it is of any other value, the hand is once again a push. This is also to your advantage.
The decision you have to make comes when the two cards are of different value but are not consecutive. Then you have to decide whether the next card will fall in between the two cards you already have. If you think it will, you raise your bet. Here the house has an advantage; you can only raise a bet that is equal to your ante bet. If you have doubts, you stand pat with the original bet you made and in both cases, you get a third card.
If the card does fall in between the two other cards, you win. If it doesn’t, you lose.
Now for the Strategy
There is a pay table that dictates payouts for winning hands. The highest payout rate is 5-1 for a gap of one rank. The lowest payout rate is 1-1 for gaps of four cards or more.
The best strategy comes in three parts.
Bet Again Only with the Statistical Advantage
Beginning with a gap of seven numbers or more, the chances of your winning rise above 50%. So, these are the rank gaps that you should bet on. If you get very lucky and win with a gap of one number, you’ll get 5-1 for the ante bet but it would be very poor strategy to make another bet with such a small gap in ranks.
There are some analysts that say that you can reduce the house edge from 2.61% to less than 1% by not raising unless the gap is nine numbers or more. In this way, you don’t lose those unlucky times you have the statistical advantage and the cards still come out against you.
At Springbok, we play Red Dog with two decks so you can increase your advantage by counting cards. This both similar to counting cards in blackjack and yet it is also quite different. Counting cards in Red Dog means counting both the three highest cards, the King, Queen, and Ace and the three lowest cards. These are the cards that will most often fall outside the raising parameters you set for yourself.
If you know that there are fewer of these cards around than cards in the middle of the deck, you can raise with five or even four ranks between your two cards.
Taking care of your bankroll is important in every game. In Red Dog, as in so many casino games, there are people who push a progressive betting system. Just as in all the other games in which a progressive betting system is pushed, that type of system doesn’t work in Red Dog.
Unlike in video poker and in progressive jackpot games, there are no extra incentives in Red Dog to bet the maximum. So, we offer this advice: if you are playing for the fun of it and can afford the risk of losing some money, play Red Dog for the minimum wager. You’ll get a lot of gaming enjoyment from the game.
Playing with Partners
The rules of Red Dog are so straightforward that it is one of the best games to play with your significant other. Some couples prefer games like Red Dog and roulette over slots simply because in each of these games there is a decision to make and yet the decision is easy to make in most cases.
Some partners like to assign the task of counting cards to one and the actual playing to the other and then to switch roles after a while.
Red Dog differs from video poker in that the suits of the cards are irrelevant. For that reason, many card game lovers like to take a break from video poker and play the more relaxing Red Dog for a short time.
The Great Online Advantage
As always, playing online has many advantages. One is that Red Dog is not generally in the top ten of favourite games for gamers. It is generally seen as a relaxing game to clear one’s head after playing blackjack, video poker, or even slots.
Therefore, many land based casinos don’t even offer Red Dog. They can’t afford to take away floor space from a popular slot in favour of Red Dog. At Springbok, we have virtually unlimited space so you can always play Red Dog whenever you would like to.
At Springbok, we also allow unlimited free play in all games. Cyberspace is certainly vast so we can easily make that great offer. We encourage all our players to avail themselves of our free play mode as they are trying out a new game so that they don’t have to make any bets until they are ready to do so.
Finally, online casinos offer a lot more bonuses than land based casinos can offer. With the virtually free money you get from a casino bonus, you can play an eclectic set of online casino games. That’s one of the reasons we offer such a large variety of games.
Red Dog is many of the so-called parlour games that are prevalent at Springbok and other online casinos. We categorize Red Dog as a table game but most players treat it as a fun adjunct to the games they play more often. To have fun at Red Dog, play smart, play for fun, and play with a friend.