Four card poker is a relatively new casino card game similar to three card poker, invented by Roger Snow and owned by ShuffleMaster .
The player makes an ante bet and may also make an ‘Aces Up’ bet. Five playing cards are dealt to the player who has to make the best four-card hand possible. The dealer is dealt five cards face down, and one card face up, a total of six cards. He also he has to make the best four-card hand. After seeing his cards and the dealer’s face-up card, the player can opt to fold, in which case he receives nothing, or play, by betting between one and three times his ante.
The best four-card hands for player and dealer will be compared according to the following ranking (from best worst):
Four of a kind
Three of a kind
If the player has three-of-a-kind or better, he will receive a bonus based on the ante wager as follows: three-of-a-kind: 2 to 1, straight flush 20 – 1, four of a kind 25-1.
The Aces Up bet is resolved independently of the dealer’s hand, purely on the rank of the player’s payout. The specific payout depends on the payout in use, with payouts for a pair-of-aces (pays even money on the Aces Up wager) or better.
The dealer has an advantage in having an extra card from which to select the best four, and the fact that if the player folds, he will lose his ante, even if his hand was better than the dealers. The player gets return from the bonus bet payment and from the ability to raise by more than one unit one the hand is good.
Strategy for when to raise and fold is fairly complex, but with optimal play the ante + play bet has a house edge of about 3.36% of the initial bet .