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How To Play Four Card Poker
The game of poker has many different variants and versions.

Apart from live poker and online poker, there are different ways to play the game of poker, some of the examples are Omaha, Hold’em and Stud poker.

One somewhat new version of the game is called ‘Four Card’ poker and like most poker games this has its own set of rules and regulations which make it different from the rest.

The first thing to learn about Four Card poker is the basic requirements when playing the game.

The game was developed by Roger Snow of Shuffle Master and hence also requires a shuffling machine for the cards to be dealt.

It is quite similar to the Three Card poker game developed earlier and can be considered as two games in one.

The deck used for the game is a normal 52 card deck and this game also has a dealer, similar to blackjack.

A special table is used to play the game and has three circles in front of the player which are Ante, Aces Up and Ante 1X to 3X.

The base of the game is the Ante where you play against the dealer, again similar to Blackjack or Three Card poker.

The second part of the game includes the Aces up portion where you get a payment depending on the kind of aces you might have been dealt or other cards you might have received.

Each player is dealt five cards while the dealer is provided with six cards during a round of Four Card poker.

How to play the game

A player starts the game by making an independent bet on either the Ante or Aces Up portion of the table or both.

You must bet the same amount if you are going to put across bets on both the Ante and Aces Up.

The player is then dealt five cards, all face down, he then has to select his best four cards to make a hand but should not reveal them as yet.

The dealer deals himself six cards and he too chooses his best four cards to make a hand.

A player here can either decide to play on or fold his cards, in the case of the latter, he will lose his Ante or he can make another bet and continue playing the game.

The bet has to match the bet made earlier or more depending on how you think your cards are stacked up.

After all the final bets have been made, the cards are revealed for both the player and the dealer.

The ranking of the hands are provided below for easier understanding of who wins the game:

Highest cards to lowest cards:

Four of a kind: Four cards of one rank like four 9’s or four Kings.

Straight flush: Four cards which are sequential and off the same suit, like the Q, J, 10 and 9 of hearts.

Three of a kind: As the name suggests three cards of the same rank.

Flush: Four cards, all off the same suit like the 10, 7, 6 and 2 of diamonds.

Straight: Four cards which are in sequence but not of the same suit.

Two pair: A hand that consists of two pairs of cards which are off the same rank but different suits like K, K, 9, 9. The King of diamonds and the King of clubs with the 9 of spades and the 9 of hearts.

One pair: Similar to the two pair but this hand would only consist of one pair of cards of the same rank.

High card: A hand made out of the rank of cards available but not matching any of the above conditions. For eg: K, 9, 6, 4 but none of the cards are of the same suit.

Payment

If the player defeats the dealer hand then a payment is made depending on certain conditions, there is also a bonus payment made when a certain condition is met.

This is called the ‘Ante bonus’ and it depends on the hand of the player during the Ante game.

If a player has a three of a kind he is paid 2 to 1, if the player has a straight flush you are paid 20 to 1 and if he has four of a kind, the player is paid 25 to 1.

A player is paid for the bonus even if the dealer defeats his hand but this is a rule which needs to be checked up and differs from casino to casino.

Aces Up

The Aces Up bet is not dependent on the hand of the dealer and if a player does have a pair of aces or better cards, he is eligible to get paid based on the table posted regarding the pay out.

The fun part of this bet is that even if you do lose your Ante bet you can still win the Aces Up bet.

Again you need to be sure about the pay schedule before you try to figure how much you might have won.

Strategy

Like any version of poker there are multiple strategies to play this game but the fact that this game only uses four cards, the complexities of the game are not as much as say Texas Hold’em.

This is a fun game for everyone to try out and all you really need to have is a little bit of hand knowledge before you can think about winning a ton of hands.

Shuffle Master has already provided an extensive write up on the perfect strategy to play the game but here is a simple one which has been provided at various Shuffle Master tables regarding four card poker.

If you have a pair of 2’s or less you must fold, you might lose the initial bet but its better than losing out a lot.

Pair of threes through nine’s you should bet at least Ante X1

Pair of ten’s or better, max up the ante and bet Ante X3

Again it depends on what you sometimes feel at the table also, poker is about gut feel and luck also.