Four Card Poker was invented after the immense popularity of Three Card Poker. While the concept of three card and four card poker are the exact same, there are several clear differences between the two games. Players start the hand by placing an ante bet and/or a side bet known as Aces Up.
There is no requirement that forces the player to make a wager on the ante or Aces Up, meaning the player can choose either or. A bet may be placed on just one of the two bets offered at Four Card Poker, or both bets, according to their personal preference.
Four Card Poker deals a different number of cards to players than it does to the dealer. Unlike some other types of poker, this game places all players against the house (dealer) as opposed to playing against each other. Players will start by receiving five cards. The dealer starts the hand with six cards. Only one of the dealer’s cards is placed face up.
Once bets are placed and all cards are dealt, the player then looks at his five cards. The card that fits the hand the least is discarded. If the ante was played, the decision to play or fold must be made here. Players must raise to stay in the hand. The allowed amounts are one, two, or three times the original ante. The other option is to fold, in which case you will lose your ante bet. There is never a circumstance that requires you to play two times the wager, according to Four Card Poker basic strategy.
Once all decisions have been made, the dealer shows all of his cards and chooses the four that give him the best hand. The other two cards are discarded. If the dealer has a better hand than the player, the house wins and the player loses his ante bet(s). If the player beats the dealer or there is a tie, the player’s ante and raise bets are matched by the house.
A player that makes three of a kind or better wins a bonus on the ante. This is paid, even if the player loses to a freak hand held by the dealer. Below we have outlined these payouts:
– Four of a kind: 25-1
– Straight flush: 20-1
– Three of a kind: 2-1
1. Four of a kind
2. Straight flush
3. Three of a kind
6. Two pair
7. One pair
8. High card
There is no dealer qualifier so the house plays every hand regardless of how bad it is. This is another differentiating factor from Three Card Poker, where the dealer must have at least a queen to qualify. Each player is up against the dealer. The value of other players’ hands at the table is not considered when grading the hand.
Compared to other poker games such as Texas Hold’em and Ultimate Texas Hold’em for example, the basic strategy for Four Card Poker is pretty simple. Just remember to raise three times your ante bet with a pair of tens or better. A pair of 2’s through 9’s should be raised one times the ante. All other hands should be folded.
The Aces Up side bet gives the player a chance of winning regardless of whether the overall hand is better than the dealer’s cards. This is a completely separate and optional side bet than the ante. It is sometimes the only bet placed by a player, or can be placed in conjunction with an ante bet. The pay table for an Aces Up Side Bet is as follows:
Four of a kind: 50-1
Straight flush: 40-1
Three of a kind: 9-1
Two pair: 2-1
Pair of aces: 1-1