Four Card Poker: Rules, Tips & Tricks!

Four card poker logo

Have you ever heard of Four Card Poker? Well, if not I tell you. It’s a relatively new casino card game similar to Three Card Poker, with differences in how you play wager, invented by Roger Snow and owned by Shuffle Master, just like Yggdrasil gaming a game provider.

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The best feature of Four Card Poker is that you can play against the dealer directly. To be able to play against the dealer is a big thing, for you as a player don’t have to worry about the other players. Instead, each participant squares off against the house.

The other feature is an optional side bet which they call Aces Up bet. Aces Up is a side bet that the player’s hand beats the dealer will a 1 pair of aces or better. 


If you play Four Card poker, it’s best that players familiarize themselves with these terms:

Ante- a stake put up by a player in poker and similar games before receiving cards.

Wager- risk (a sum of money or valued item) against someone else’s on the basis of the outcome of an unpredictable event; bet.

Hand rankings- A poker hand consists of five cards, which are rank according to the layout of the cards. The poker hands, from highest to lowest are; royal flush, straight flush, four of a kind, Full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pairs, pair, and high card.

Pay tables- the name for the list of payouts on a card game, slot machine, or video poker machine. The paytable shows, regarding 4 card poker, the corresponding pay according to the card at hand.

Rules and Instructions

The rules are simple. The gameplay is quite similar to three card poker. Make the best four-card hand than the dealer. As soon as the bets are placed, the dealer offers a player five cards, but you can only use 4 cards to make the best four-card hand. The dealer gets six cards, and one of the six cards would be a face-up card. In this game, the dealer always qualifies, unlike three-card poker.

The hands rank the same as in other poker games. From lowest to highest they are – 

  • High card
  • Pair
  • Two Pair
  • Three-of-a-Kind
  • Straight
  • Flush
  • Full house
  • four-of-a-Kind
  • Straight Flush
  • Royal Flush

Betting Options

There are two different bets in Four Card Poker – the ante bet and Aces Up. You have to place a bet on at least one of them or place bets on both. Aces Up is a side bet wagering that your hand will contain a pair of aces 1 or better. If you have a pair of aces, you’ll get paid 1 to 1 on your bet. If you make a better hand or beats the dealer’s hand you’ll get paid even more based on the paytable.

Payouts and Bonuses

Here’s a look at some standard Four Card Poker Aces Up bonus payouts:

If you do make a Progressive Wager, chances are you’re eligible for an “Envy” bonus. (Be sure to check with your casino to make sure this is the case.) You’ll get paid if another player at the table makes either a Straight Flush or Royal Flush. 

If the player has at least a three of a kind, then he shall also be paid a Bonus, even if the dealer’s hand got 4 of a kind.

Playing an ante, a player entitled to a 1 to 1 payout. And the same payout applies if you tie with the dealer. Also when you do ante wager and play wager with the dealer, a player entitled to a bonus depending on your hand. The table below shows what hand gives which bonus. 

  • Four of a Kind 25 to 1
  • Straight Flush 20 to 1
  • Three of a Kind 2 to 1

With ante bonus, if the dealer gets a better hand than you do, you’ll still be paid. For instance, the dealer gets 4 of a kind, and your hand is a straight flush you get a 20 to 1 payout. Jackpot!

Tips and Strategies

The strength of the player’s hand will speak for itself in Four Card Poker. For Aces Up, you simply table your hand and see what you have. Simple as that.

When you make an ante bet, the only strategy centers on two decisions – 

  • whether you will forfeit the ante wager or make an additional Play bet, and if you choose the latter, 
  • whether you’ll wager one time, two times, or three times their ante wager.

A simple Four Card Poker strategy for beginners suggests the following:

  • Play three times your ante wager w/ a pair of tens of higher
  • Play one time your ante wager w/ a pair of nines or lower
  • Forfeit your ante wager whenever you can’t make at least a pair

If you’re slightly more experienced, you might refine your strategy a bit. For example, you have a pair of face cards like jacks, queens, or kings. Players might only bet three times their ante wager when the dealer’s exposed card is lower than your pair. If it’s bigger, like an ace, you might consider lowering it to either one time or two times.

 With that knowledge, the players may confidently make a three times play wager.

The objective, while you place an ante bet, is to get the best four-card hand combination that beats the dealer.

Bottom Line

Remember, either your a beginner, intermediate, or advanced strategy player the house edge result is calculated accordingly. Playing with basic strategy will give you a good house edge which is an advantage to make money from the dealer’s hand or from the paytable. The house edge can be as low as 2.788 % if you use the best strategy.

Whether, placing your bet to ante wager or aces up bet and trying to land a pair of aces or better, 1 two pair, just take it easy and don’t get excited, don’t forget that the Aces Up bet depends solely on the player’s hand. Those who play the game wisely don’t lose, they just improve.

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