Red Dog Card Game

Red Dog Card Game Classics

Card games have been a source of entertainment and strategy for centuries. They come in various forms and rules, catering to players of different skill levels and preferences. One such game, the Red Dog card game, is a simple yet engaging game that has captured the hearts of players for generations. In this article, we will explore the origins and rules of Red Dog and delve into its various variations.


Vibrant Red Dog card game adventure with chips and wins.

Origins of Red Dog

Red Dog, also known as Yablon, is a classic American card game that traces its roots to the 19th century. Its origins are somewhat murky, and it is often associated with the American West, where it was played in saloons and gambling halls. The game was originally played with a special deck of 45 or 49 cards, which included one or two jokers. However, modern versions typically use a standard 52-card deck.

Basic rules of Red Dog Card Games

Its simplicity makes it an accessible game for players of all levels. It is typically played with two to eight players. The objective of the game is to bet on whether the rank of a third card will fall between the ranks of two other cards dealt face-up.

  • Setting Up: Use a standard 52-card deck, and the players sit in a circle. The dealer shuffles the deck and places it in the center.
  • Ante: Each player places an agreed-upon ante (initial bet) into a central pot.
  • Dealing: The dealer starts by dealing two cards face-up in the center of the table. These two cards are the “spread.”
  • Spread Analysis: Players then have the option to place additional bets on the likelihood that a third card, to be dealt shortly, will have a rank that falls between the ranks of the two cards in the spread. If the two cards in the spread are consecutive in rank (e.g., 7 and 8), the round is considered a push, and the bets remain in the pot for the next round.
  • Dealing the Third Card: The dealer then draws the third card from the deck and places it face-up between the two cards in the spread. Players who have bet on the outcome now discover whether they win or lose.
  • Determining the Outcome: If the rank of the third card falls between the ranks of the two cards in the spread, the player wins and receives a payout based on the strength of their bet. If the third card matches one of the two cards in the spread or is of a higher or lower rank, the player loses their bet, and it goes into the central pot.
  • Payouts: Payouts are determined based on the difference between the ranks of the two cards in the spread. The larger the gap between the ranks, the higher the payout. The payouts typically follow a schedule, such as 1:1 for a one-card gap, 2:1 for a two-card gap, and so on.
  • Collecting Bets: The dealer collects the losing bets and distributes the winnings to the winning players.
  • New Round: The Red Dog card game continues with a new round, starting with the player to the left of the dealer.

Variations of Red Dog

While the basic rules of Red Dog are relatively consistent, different variations and house rules have emerged over the years. These variations add depth and complexity to the game, keeping it fresh and engaging for players. Here are some popular Red Dog card game variants:

High Card Pool

In this variation, instead of dealing the third card between the two cards in the spread, the dealer places the third card face-up at the center of the table. Players then take turns announcing whether they want to bet on the card’s rank falling between the ranks of the two cards in the spread. The betting continues until no player wants to bet, and then the third card is revealed. Payouts are determined as in the traditional Red Dog game.


Acey-Deucey is a more complex version of Red Dog card game that introduces a special rule for when an Ace or a Deuce (a 2) is dealt as the third card. If the third card is an Ace, the player can choose whether it will be considered the highest or lowest card. If it’s a Deuce, the player can also choose whether it will be the highest or lowest card. This adds an element of strategy and unpredictability to the game.

Red Dog Poker

Red Dog Poker combines elements of Red Dog with traditional poker hands. After the two cards in the spread are dealt, players can place bets on the outcome of the third card, and the ranking of the third card is used to determine the Red Dog winner. For example, if the third card is a 10 and a player bet that it would be a high card, they win. If the third card is a 2 and a player bet that it would be a low card, they win.

Between the Sheets

This variant of Red Dog card game that has a more romantic and risqué theme. Instead of using traditional ranks, it uses suggestive terms like “Between the Sheets” (a perfect match between the two spread cards), “One-Ten” (the spread cards are consecutive), and “Pair” (the two spread cards match). The payouts are adjusted to reflect these themed outcomes.


Slide-By is a fast-paced Red Dog Casino variation where players bet on the outcome of the third card without a spread analysis. The dealer deals a single card, and players bet on whether the next card from the deck will be higher or lower in rank. If the prediction is correct, the player wins. This version eliminates the spread analysis, making it a quicker and more straightforward game.

Timeless Classic

Red Dog card game is a classic game that has endured for centuries due to its simplicity, excitement, and adaptability to various rule variations. Whether you prefer the traditional Red Dog rules or enjoy exploring its exciting variants, the game offers plenty of opportunities for strategic thinking and entertainment. As you gather around the table with friends and family, the mystique of Red Dog will continue to captivate players, as it has for generations, making it a timeless favorite in the world of card games.