Red Dog

How To Play Red Dog

Red Dog was originally said to have been a banking game where people bet that they had a card in their hand that was high than any card in the same suit that the dealer pulled out of the deck. There are also many variations of Red Dog that is known by different names. Some of the most common variations of Red Dog are Shoot, Slippery Sam, Polski Pachuck, and Stitch. The game of Red Dog itself is also known as High Card Pool. Red Dog has been played for many years and is a lot of fun.

Common Card Terms

The following are common terms used in Red Dog with which all players must be familiar.

Deal: The act of handing out cards to the players. The deal is also the period of time in the game between when the cards are handed out until the end of the hand.

Draw: This means to take one or more cards from the deck.

Pot: This is the collective money, chips, or counters for which the players are competing. Winners can get part of or the entire pot.

Stock: This is the cards left in the deck that have not been dealt out to the players.

How To Play

Red Dog is played with a standard deck which has 52 cards. The cards in the deck rank from ace which is the highest card all the way down to the two which is considered the lowest card. Between 2 and 10 people can play at one time. Each person gets a turn to be the dealer. The first dealer can be randomly chosen or each player can choose a card from the deck and the one that gets the highest card become the first dealer. With each subsequent hand, the player to the left of the current dealer becomes the new dealer. This continues until everyone has had a chance to deal. Once the dealer is chosen, the game can begin.

The Ante

The object of the game is to win your bet when it’s your turn to play. In Red Dog players can bet using money, poker chips, or counters. Before the cards are dealt, each player puts the same amount of money or chips into the pot. This is called their ante. A dealer will give each player 5 cards. If there are more than 8 players in the game, each player is given 4 cards. The remaining cards are placed on the table face down and serve as the stock. The players are then given a moment to look at their cards before additional betting begins.


Once the players have had a chance to look at their cards, each player, beginning with the one that is on the dealer’s left and moving clockwise has the opportunity to make a bet. At that point, the player can wager any amount they would like as long as it is at least the amount that was the ante. Players can bet up to the amount of the entire pot. They then put their stake next to the pot. After each person bets, the dealer takes a card from the top of the deck, displays it to the players, and puts it at the bottom of the deck face up. The dealer places a card face up in front of the player that has placed their bet. Each player can decide not to bet, but they must put a chip in the pot.

Winning The Hand

At that point, if the player has a card that is in the same suit as the one dealt to them but higher in rank, they show the card and take their stake back. The dealer reaches into the pot takes out the amount equal to the size of the bet, and gives it to the player. If the player does not have a card that’s in the same suit as the dealt card and higher in rank, that player must show their entire hand. The dealer sweeps their stake into the pot and that players cards and the dealt card are turned face down and set aside. It is now the next player’s turn to make a bet. Each player is given a chance to make a wager. The dealer turns the top card of the stock up and the player has the opportunity to beat it. This continues until everyone has been given the chance to make a bet. After that, it is the next person’s turn to be the dealer.

The Size Of The Pot

If there is no money in the pot or the amount left in the pot is not enough to cover the minimum bet, each player must once again put in the amount of the initial stake. Any money that is in the pot remains there and becomes part of the next hand. Each player must once again add their ante to the pot. However, if at that point the players agree the pot is too large, the pot can be equally split among the players and they can then ante up for a new pot.

Red Dog is played among family members, friends, and acquaintances or between rivals in the club setting. It can also be seen in casinos worldwide.