How To Play Four Card Poker

The Game

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Four Card Poker is another poker based game developed by Roger Snow of Shuffle Master. It is played on the same type of table and utilizes the Shuffle Master automatic shuffling machine that is used for Three Card Poker. There are some similarities but there are some distinct differences in the game and strategies.

Four Card Poker is similar to Three Card Poker in the fact that it is two games in one. The base game is the Ante-Play where you compete against the dealer as you do in Three Card Poker. The second portion of the games is called Aces Up and you receive payment on a hand of a pair of aces or better based on the pay table.

How To Play
Four Card Poker is played with a 52 card deck on a Blackjack type table. There are three circles in front of each player marked: Aces Up, Ante and 1x to 3x Ante. The play begins with the player making independent wagers on either the Aces Up or Ante portion of the game or both by placing the bet in the corresponding circle. You must bet the same amounts on each game if you chose to play both games.

Although it is called Four Card Poker the player is dealt five cards face down and must make the best four card hand. The dealer is dealt six cards which are used to make the best four card hand. One of the dealer’s cards is dealt face up.

Unlike Caribbean Stud and Three Card Poker, the dealer does not have to qualify in order for the game to continue. After looking at your cards you can fold and lose your Ante bet or make an additional Play bet to continue. The minimum bet you can make must be equal to your original bet but you can elect to make a bet up to three times the amount of your original Ante bet.

Hand Rankings
The ranking of hands for Four Card Poker differs from the traditional five card poker hands. The order is based on the mathematical frequency of hands and is made using just four of your five cards. The hand rankings are as follows.:

Four of a Kind- Four cards of the same rank.
Straight Flush- Four cards of the same suit in sequence.
Three of a Kind- Three cards of the same rank.
Flush- Four cards of the same suit.
Straight- Four Cards in sequence.
Two Pairs- Two cards of equal value and Two other cards of equal value.
Pair of Aces- A pair of aces.

After all the players have made their playing decisions the dealer will turn over his hand and then the player’s hands. If the player’s hand beats the dealer’s hand they win the Ante bet and the Play bet. If the dealer wins the hand the player loses both bets. In the event of a tie the player will win. Ties are based on four cards only and the fifth card is never used to break a tie.

Bonus Payment
Four Card Poker also offers an Ante Bonus that is paid in addition to the Ante and play bet, based on the player’s hand for the Ante game. If you have a three of a kind you are paid 2 to 1. If you have a straight flush you are paid 20 to 1. If you have four of a kind you are paid 25 to 1. You will be paid for the bonus regardless if the dealer beats your hand or not. (This pay schedule may vary in different casinos.

If you decide to continue playing you should bet either one time your Ante Bet or three times your Ante Bet. Never bet two times. You want to have as much money wagered when you have the advantage which you will have when strategy dictates making the larger bet.

Shuffle Master has published a basic strategy that gives the players a 98.41 percent return on the game based for the combined Ante/Pay and Ante Bonus. The house edge is dependant on the pay schedule but is usually around 3.63 percent. The strategy is very simple to remember.

Bet 3 times your Ante if you have a pair of Tens or better.
Bet one times your Ante if you have a pairs of 3 through 9.
Fold if you have less than a pair of 3’s.

Based on this strategy you will find that you will fold about 47 percent of the time. You will bet 1 times 24 percent of the time. You will bet 3 times about 29 percent of the time. The player can expect to win about 70 percent of the times they bet the maximum.

Aces Up
The Aces Up bet is not affected by the dealer’s hand. If the player has a pair of aces or better they will be paid for the Aces Up bet based on the pay out schedule posted on the table. Even if you lose your Ante bet you can still collect for the Aces Up bet. The pay table for the Aces Up bet varies from casino to casino. Three of the tables are listed below.

Four Card Poker is a fun game with a simple strategy that is easy to use. Why not give it a try.

Until Next time remember:
Luck comes and goes.....Knowledge Stays Forever.

Aces Up Pay Table

Aces Up Pay Table

4 of a kind 50 to 1 50 to 1 50 to 1
Straight Flush 40 to 1 40 to 1 30 to 1
3 of a kind 9 to 1 7 to 1 7 to 1
Flush 6 to 1 6 to 1 6 to 1
Straight 4 to 1 5 to 1 5 to 1
2 Pairs 2 to 1 2 to 1 2 to 1
Pair of Aces 1 to 1 1 to 1 1 to 1

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