Have you ever thought about trying 4-card poker? If you’re looking to up the ante a little with your poker-playing efforts, poker variations – such as 4-card poker – could be just the game you need.
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However, while many people are becoming aware of four-card poker, it’s still not always clear how to play 4-card poker.
With this thought in mind, today, we’re looking at some of the key 4-card poker rules, strategy options, hands, and odds to help you decide if it’s the right style of poker for your needs.
What is 4-Card Poker?
Before we go any further, we first need to define what four-card poker is.
4-card poker is a unique poker game that’s based on the original, but with a small twist: rather than betting against other players, players bet directly against the house. This places a unique twist on the 4-card poker game, which makes it a versatile alternative to traditional rounds of poker.
As a further notable feature of 4-card poker, the game does not include any qualifying bets. This means that every hand will play, as there are no requirements for a hand to be playable. An example of this occurs in three-card poker, where a dealer must have at least queen-high; without this, the hand is not played.
How to Play 4-Card Poker
During a four card poker game, you will be dealt a hand of five cards, and before you see these, you will need to place an ante bet, which requires you to have a minimum of a pair in your hand. In addition, the dealer will also receive six cards, all of which are initially kept face-down. You’ll need to set an ante bet at this point and an optional “ace up” wager; ace up bets that you’ll have at least a pair of aces in your hand.
At this point, you will be able to look at your hand of five cards, from which you will need to create the best possible combination. It’s important to note that you should ideally aim to achieve pairs, triples, and quadruples where possible, as these massively increase the value of your hand.
If you are unhappy with your hand, you can fold to forfeit your turn – but this will mean you lose your ante wager. Alternatively, you can play to raise your bet; if you do so, you’ll need to play a wager worth up to three times the value of your Ante bet.
4-Card Poker Rules
There are several 4-card poker rules you’ll need to consider during your game of four-card poker.
One of the most important things to remember when learning how to play four-card poker is that you should ideally aim for 4-card poker hands containing one pair or more. While this may not always be possible – after all, 4-card poker is still a game of odds and luck – it’s important to keep this in mind. However, if your hand doesn’t contain a pair or better, the winning hand will be the one with the best 4-card poker hand rankings overall.
In addition, you should never forget that an ace in 4-card poker hand rankings has the highest card rank. The only exception to this is when the ace is in a sequence of 4-3-2-ace when it has a ranking of one.
Finally, as is typical, the 4-card poker rules require players to be seated (and remain seated) during the game. You cannot wager on a 4-card poker game if you are not already seated yourself. This 4-card poker rule matches most poker variants, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
What are the Best 4-Card Poker Winning Hands?
The best 4-card poker winning hand rankings are as follows.
- Four-of-a-kind always has the best bonus;
- The next-best 4-card poker winning hands are straight flush (same suit in sequence);
- Three of a kind;
- Flush (where all cards are of the same suit).
After this, lower-ranking 4-card poker hands include:
- High-card rankings.
However, these hands are much less likely to be high-winning compared to the aforementioned card types.
4-Card Poker Strategy Ideas
At the end of the day, coming up with a 4-card poker strategy can be a little tricky since it’s invariably still a game of odds and chance. However, there are several simple 4-card poker strategy ideas you could follow to make the most of your winning hands.
Still, even when you implement these strategies, you’re still playing by chance; thus, you must never bet more on 4-card poker games than you can afford to lose.
Triple Ante Bets
First, placing a 3X ante bet on a hand that has any less than a pair of tens may often be risky. While it’s not impossible for this to pay out, it will likely result in losing more often than not. As such, try to focus your triple ante bets only on hands that are already promising.
Consider Folding if Needed
The lowest 4-card poker hand rankings are hands with no pairs. As such, it’s generally best to fold if you receive a hand with no pairs. The only exception to this strategy idea is potentially when you get an unpaired hand with high-value cards (e.g., ace, king, queen, and jack). However, this could still be risky, as a well-paired hand will likely still beat this.
Take Into Account the Dealer’s Exposed Card
During a game of 4-card poker, rules require the dealer to show one of their cads. As such, one common 4-card poker strategy idea is never to triple the ante unless your pair is significantly higher than the dealer’s exposed card.
However, once again, this can never guarantee a win – for all you know, the dealer could have three more of the same number in the rest of their hand, giving them the highest-scoring four-of-a-kind hand bonus.
4-card poker is an increasingly popular game, but to get the most from your game, you’ll need to start out with the ideal 4-card poker strategy. Fortunately, we’ve outlined everything you need to know about 4-card poker rules, odds, and hands today to help inform your decision in the future. After all, finding the perfect poker game shouldn’t be a major struggle, but we’ve summarised everything you need to know today to help.