How To Play Four Card Poker

You gotta learn to play it right
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A newer poker-based table game found in many casinos is Four Card Poker. The game pits each player against the dealer and the object is to make the best four-card poker hand. As in Blackjack, you only have to beat the dealer's hand to win, not the other players. Here are the basic rules.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 15 minutes

Here's How:

  1. To start playing, each player makes an ante wager, and can also make a Aces Up. Only the ante wager bet is required, though.
  2. Each player is dealt five cards, while the dealer gets six cards, one of which he will show face-up. The extra card is the house's advantage in this game.
  3. After seeing your cards and the dealer's face-up card, you can either fold (in which case you lose your ante and/or aces up bet), or you can play by betting 1-3 times the amount of your ante. In other words, if your ante bet was $5 and you want to play, you can either bet $5, $10, or $15.
  4. When betting is done, you discard one card and show your best 4-card hand. The best hands, in order are:
    • Four of a kind
    • Straight flush
    • Three of a kind
    • Flush
    • Straight
    • Two pair
    • One pair
    • High card
  5. The dealer exposes all six of his cards and selects the best four-card poker hand to play.
  6. Player by player, the dealer will determine if your hand beats his.
    If the dealer's hand is higher you lose the ante and raise.
    If the player's hand is higher or equal then you'll get one to one on your ante and raise.
    If your hand is three-of-a-kind of better, you will receive a bonus, even if the dealer's hand beats yours. The bonus amount is: 2 to 1 for three of a kind; 20 to 1 for a straight flush; 25 to 1 for four of a kind.
  7. If you have played the Aces up bet, you can win even if the dealer's hand beats yours. Aces Up Wagers pay out for a pair of aces or better. The bonus amount varies from casino to casino and should be posted prominently at the table.


  1. The basic strategy for whether to fold or bet your hand, is that if you don't have at least a pair, fold. If you have a pair of 2s to 9s, bet one times your ante. If you have a pair of 10s or better, bet three times your ante.