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From best to worst, the hand categories are as follows:. Once all players have finished making their hands, the dealer will reveal their cards. They will make their own best possible hand, discarding the two other cards. The player hands will then be compared to the dealer hand.
If the dealer hand can beat a player, then that player will lose their bets. If the player hand is better or in the case of a tie , the player wins. Winning players receive even money on both their ante and raise bets. If the player makes a hand of three of a kind or better, they also receive a bonus — which is paid whether or not they actually won the hand.
The most common bonus pay table is as follows:. Again, there are various pay tables that are possible for this game, but the most common one is as follows:. Four Card Poker is a very fair game by casino standards.
The only problem is that the strategy required to achieve that exact return to player is devilishly complex. Instead, there are a number of simplified strategies that can get players fairly close to the best possible results. This strategy only requires you to remember three rules, which are as follows:.
The rules of that strategy are as follows:. The following return table is based on optimal player strategy under the Ante Bonus pay table. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 2. The average final bet under optimal strategy is 2. The standard deviation, relative to the original bet, is 2. Raise 3X with a pair of tens or higher. Raise 1X with a pair of twos to nines.
According to the second edition of "Beyond Counting" by James Grosjean, this "simple strategy" results in a house edge of 3. Against the Ante Bonus pay table, the house edge is 2.
Below we have outlined these payouts:. Four of a kind 2. Three of a kind 4. 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. Just remember to raise three times your ante bet with a pair of tens or better. All other hands should be folded. 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.