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  Four Card Poker:

Many of the most popular types of poker, such as Texas Hold ‘Em, are played with hands of five cards. The other alternative is three cards. Four Card Poker, therefore, is an interesting, if perhaps initially confusing, novelty on the gambling scene. The good news is that the hand rankings are more or less the same, and there is not much difference between five-card hand rankings and those in Four Card Poker.

Even so, it makes sense to get the details of the hand rankings in this game out of the way first. In Four Card Poker, the highest hand is four of a kind, the higher the card value, the better. This is followed by a straight flush (also the higher the better), three of a kind, a flush (same suit), a straight (numerical order, but mismatched suits), two pair, one pair, and, if both player and dealer have “bad” hands, the hand with the highest card.

As with most casino games, you have to place a bet in order to begin and be dealt five cards. Aside from this ante bet, you have the option of placing an aces-up bet, which you get a return on if your hand contains at least a pair of aces. The dealer gets five cards, plus one card which has to be face up. The point of the game is to make the best four-card hand you can out of the cards you have been dealt, and to bet on whether your hand is better than the dealer’s. Based on your own cards and the one card the dealer lets you see, you decide whether or not you want to fold. Of course, if you fold, you forfeit your ante bet. If you like your odds, you place another bet, which is the same amount as your ante bet, or double or triple that amount. Then you and the dealer compare hands, which determines whether you lose all the money you have wagered, or you win.

Four card poker


You will have noticed that the dealer is given one more card than the player. This rule definitely gives the house a large edge over you. However, this advantage is at least partly undercut by the fact that you know what one of the dealer’s six cards is. Fortunately, the choice of exactly which card is left face-up is taken away from the dealer. He or she cannot choose the most deceptive card to leave face-up, which would lead you to make a wrong guess about your relative odds. You may also try to pay close attention to what the dealer does with his or her face-up card. Is it discarded, or incorporated into the hand? The dealer’s decision might yield a small clue as to the other cards he or she holds.

In this game, the player makes two major decisions. The first one is deciding on which four of the five cards go into making the hand. This is probably the easier decision. The fact that you can choose to set aside only one card narrows down your decisions a great deal. In fact, it is often quite obvious which card you ought to leave out of your hand. It is true that the dealer has more choices, but you can also say that his or her decision is a bit harder than yours.

The second decision, once you have assembled your hand, involves choosing whether to fold or raise your wager. Most of your mental effort will go into making this choice. As this card game is relatively new, knowledge of extremely sophisticated strategies for it is not widespread. Still, there are a few basic strategies you can employ when deciding on whether or not to fold. If your hand contains a pair of twos, or worse, you should probably fold, no questions asked. If you have something from a pair of threes to a pair of nines, raise your bet, but not too high. Try placing a second bet that is equal to your ante bet. If your hand is better, you can probably afford to be more aggressive, and make a second bet that is double or triple your initial wager. You can also take advantage of the bonus bet feature, which allows you to get returns for high cards or certain combinations, even if the dealer’s hand beats yours. Set aside a very small amount for a bonus bet, but stay focused on your main strategy.

This game is most suitable for players who are already familiar with other poker variations like Draw Poker and Texas Hold ‘Em. Beginners may be turned off by the fact that the dealer gets to take an extra card. Veterans, on the other hand, may find these “unequal” rules challenging, and will enjoy trying to make a guess based on that tantalizing face-up card. In fact, the face-up card makes this game a little similar to blackjack, so blackjack fans may enjoy this particular poker variation, as well.

Four Card Poker is very similar to other popular poker variations in the sense that both luck and skill are involved, and you have to spend a great deal of time pondering whether to raise or fold. However, the idea of being able to discard one card, and having one less card than the dealer adds enough novelty to attract players who might have become a little jaded with more familiar types of poker. This novelty will attract them to the game, despite relatively steep odds against their favor due to unequal rules that aid the dealer’s luck. However, the bonus bet feature is enough to sweeten the deal, for some players, since they may be able to snatch some kind of victory from the flames.

If you have learned and tried many types of poker, but are growing a little weary of this particular family of card games, do give Four Card Poker a try. You might just find that your appetite for the game is rekindled.

  List of casinos with Four Card Poker:

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Sun Poker

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Grand Vegas

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Poker Kings

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Poker 770

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Titan Poker

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World Series of Poker

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