Roger Snow of Shuffle Master is credited with inventing this game. It is very similar to three-card poker, but with a number of important differences. The game uses a standard fifty-two card deck and a table with a special layout.
Card Combinations in Four Card Poker
Because the players use only four cards, this form of poker has a different seniority than the standard five card versions of the game.
Below is a listing of combinations in descending order of seniority:
- Four of a Kind – four cards of the same rank.
- Straight Flush – Four cards of the same suit in order.
- Three of a Kind – three cards of the same rank.
- Flush – Four cards of a single suit.
- Straight – Four cards of different suits in order.
- Two Pairs – Two cards of the same suit and two cards of a different suit.
- Pair – Two cards of the same rank.
- High Card – the highest card in the hands of the player or dealer.
It’s easy to see that the main difference from the more usual ranking combinations is that the face card is higher than the straight flush, and the three cards are higher than the flush and the straight. This is due to the frequency of these combinations on the four cards.
Betting in four-card poker
In four-card poker, you can make two types of bets, which are played independently of each other.
- Ante/Play are the player’s main wagers, which win or lose after comparing his cards with the dealer’s cards. An Ante is the initial bet and Play is when the player continues to play. The amount of Play bets the player chooses for himself in the range of one to three Ante. If you win both of these bets are paid in a ratio of 1:1.
- Aces Up (Aces and Up) is an additional optional bet which wins if the player gets a pair of Aces or a higher hand. It can be bet without Ante, and if both are bet, it must be equal to the Ante. In this case the payout is made even if the player’s main bet is lost.
Payouts at Aces Up bet can vary quite significantly (the payout ratio by combinations is not proportional in all casinos), so the following is a range of possible odds:
- Four of a Kind – 50:1
- Straight Flush – 30-40:1
- Three of a Kind – 7-9:1
- Flush – 6:1
- Straight – 4-5:1
- Pair of Aces: 1:1
To make sure you get your payout ratio right from the casino you’ve chosen to play.
How to Play 4 Card Poker
Each player starts the game by betting individually on Ante, Aces Up or both (in which case the bets must be of the same size). The croupier shuffles the cards carefully and deals five cards to the players (despite the fact that poker is called four-card stud) with six cards for yourself by putting one of them face down.