Every Pgjazz time I walk into a casino, I am immediately on the hunt for the latest games. That habit is partly due to the nature of my career, but I love casino games and want to see the latest additions in action on the casino floor.
Four Card Poker is one of the exciting games I’ve come across in my search for something different. It falls under the umbrella of poker derivative games, but it’s not poker at all.
Like all other poker derivatives, this is a house game. The players are competing against the house rather than other people.
It resembles poker because the game uses a deck of cards and familiar hand rankings from poker. Still, that can be confusing for novice gamblers who have heard that poker can make them a profit.
Can Four Card Poker change your fortunes?
Let’s look at all areas of the game and determine whether Four Card Poker is a hit or a miss.
Playing Poker Derivative Games
The first thing you should know about poker derivative games is that the casino has an advantage. In comparison, there’s no house edge when you play standard poker games like Texas Hold ’em. That’s because players are battling each other, and the house takes a rake.
You will be facing the dealer in games like Four Card Poker. Most players will be familiar with this if they’ve ever tried blackjack.
The setup automatically creates a considerable difference for the player.
The house can’t lose, so you are destined to fail in the long run.
The sole function of these games is to entertain the casino guests, so make sure to pick one that you like playing.
The good news is that you can always get lucky and leave the house ahead, just don’t count on it.
Where Did Four Card Poker Originate?
Four Card Poker comes to us from the people at Scientific Games, which owns Shuffle Master. Not everyone has heard that name, but any casino cards player has undoubtedly seen their product in action.
Shuffle Master provides shuffling machines, card shoes, and many other casino staples for most U.S. casinos.
Thanks to the Scientific Games, they are also responsible for many of the new table games that you see in casinos. They also make a generous profit for creating the latest and most exciting slot machines available.
Scientific Games is constantly working on new products, so that’s how Four Card Poker was brought to this world.
How to Play Four Card Poker
Four Card Poker rules are fairly straightforward. Your objective is to build a more substantial four-card hand than the dealer. Here’s what the flow of a typical hand looks like.
Players make their initial wagers on the ante or the Aces Up spaces on the table. The dealer then deals each player five cards, but the dealer gets six cards.
All of the dealer’s cards remain face down at this point except for the sixth card. The players who made an ante bet must now choose between a fold or a raise.
Players who raise must bet between 1-3x their ante bet. Players who fold are out of the hand.
The players then build their best four-card hand. The dealer will then develop their best four-card hand using the six available.
The winning hands are paid 1 to 1, and the dealer collects losing bets. If the players have three of a kind or better, they’ll also receive a bonus.
Players who made the Aces Up bet will be paid for any pair of Aces or better. I’ll get into the structure of the pay tables momentarily.
First, I want to cover one area of Four Card Poker that makes it better than many poker derivative games. That is the lack of any qualifiers on the dealer’s hand.
Many poker derivative games pad the house advantage by nullifying any hands where the dealer doesn’t have a minimum result. These rules are garbage, and I’ll flatly refuse to play any casino game where there are such blatantly poor conditions.
Four Card Poker Pay Table
The way the pay tables break down in Four Card Poker varies based on the games and what wager you make. For the bonus payouts on the ante bet, the breakdown is as follows.
These bonuses don’t pay as much as the Aces Up bet but don’t require players to make any additional wagers. However, the more lucrative Aces Up bonuses are less regular than the ante bonus.