A Guide to Four Card Poker

By John Grochowski

From name alone, Four Card Poker looks like players could expect a rerun of Three Card Poker. But there are twists and turns that make Four Card Poker its own game with its own intrigue.

Devised early in the 2000s by Roger Snow at Shufflemaster – now part of Scientific Games – Four Card Poker sometimes pops up in large live casinos, but of late is finding a new niche in online casinos. That’s a strength of online play: physical space isn’t a constraint, so online operators can offer more varied games.

Overview of Four Card Poker

Four Card Poker has an ante-play option and an Aces Up option. That’s similar to Three Card Poker’s ante-play and Pair Plus options.

A key difference is that in the ante-play section, dealers don’t have to make a qualifying hand for play bets to be active. In Three Card Poker and many poker-based games, the house edge comes from the qualifying hand stipulation that leads to only partial payoffs on many winning player hands.

So how does the house get an edge? By dealing more than four cards. Players each get five cards and the dealer gets six. From those cards, everyone makes their best four-card hand.

That gives the dealer more chances to make a better hand. On the average, the dealer hand will be higher than the player’s, giving the house its edge.


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