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Last Updated: May 27, 2014

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Dragon Tiger

Introduction

Dragon Tiger is about as simple as gambling gets. It is basically a two-card version of baccarat. To be more specific, two cards are drawn, one to the Dragon and one to the Tiger. The player bets on which one will be higher. There are also some proposition bets on the individual cards. I have never seen the game, even in Macau, but the game is rumored to be found in Cambodia. It can also be played at online casinos using the services of LCB, including Bodog and software brands like One Touch.

Rules

  1. Any number of standard decks can be used. For this analysis, I shall assume eight.
  2. Cards are ranked as in poker, except aces are always low.
  3. A single card is given to each of the Dragon and Player hands.
  4. The primary bet is on which hand will get the higher card.
  5. Other proposition bets are available, as explained below.

Dragon/Tiger

The Dragon and Tiger bets will win if the chosen hand gets the higher card. Ties lose half. The following return table shows a house edge of 3.73%.

Dragon and Tiger

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Win 1 39,936 0.462651 0.462651
Tie -0.5 6,448 0.074699 -0.037349
Loss -1 39,936 0.462651 -0.462651
Total 86,320 1.000000 -0.037349

Tie

The Tie bet will win if the Dragon and Tiger cards are equal in rank. Wins pay 8 to 1. The following table shows a house edge of 32.77% (ouch!).

Tie

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Win 8 6,448 0.074699 0.597590
Loss -1 79,872 0.925301 -0.925301
Total 86,320 1.000000 -0.327711

Hypothetically, here is what the house edge would be on the Tie bet at various pays from 8 to 12 to 1.

Tie House Edge

Pays House Edge
12 2.89%
11 10.36%
10 17.83%
9 25.30%
8 32.77%

Suited Tie

The Suited Tie bet will win if the Dragon and Tiger cards are equal in both rank and suit. Wins pay 50 to 1. The following table shows a house edge of 13.98%.

Suited Tie

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Win 50 1,456 0.016867 0.843373
Loss -1 84,864 0.983133 -0.983133
Total 86,320 1.000000 -0.139759

Big/Small

The player may bet whether a particular card will be over or under seven. If the chosen card is exactly seven, then the wager will lose. Wins pay even money. The following table shows a house edge of 7.69%.

Big/Small

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Win 1 192 0.461538 0.461538
Loss -1 224 0.538462 -0.538462
Total 416 1.000000 -0.076923

Odd/Even

This pair of bets are mathematically like the Big and Small bets above. I suspect aces are a loss for both bets and the other ranks are divided between six evens and six odds. Not all tables offer the Odd and Even bets.

Red/Black

This pair of bets are also mathematically like the Big and Small bets above. The sevens are a loss for both bets. Not all tables offer the Odd and Even bets.

Suit

The player may bet on the suit of a particular card. Wins pay 3 to 1. However, if the chosen card is exactly seven, then the wager will automatically lose. The following table shows a house edge of 7.69%.

Suit

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Win 3 96 0.230769 0.692308
Loss -1 320 0.769231 -0.769231
Total 416 1.000000 -0.076923

Two Red & Two Black

Asia Live Tech offers a pair of side bets that both cards will be red or both black. A tie results in losing half, regardless of the colors of the cards. The math on Two Black is obviously the same. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 3.73%.

Two Red

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Two red 3 19,968 0.231325 0.693976
Tie -0.5 6,448 0.074699 -0.037349
Loss -1 59,904 0.693976 -0.693976
Total 86,320 1.000000 -0.037349

These bets would obviously be very vulnerable to card counting (shut up Wiz!).

One Red & One Black

Asia Live Tech also offers a side bet that that wins if one card is red and the other black. A results in a half loss, regardless of the colors of the cards. The lower right cell in the table below shows a house edge of 3.73%.

One Red & One Black

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Red & Black 1 39,936 0.462651 0.462651
Tie -0.5 6,448 0.074699 -0.037349
Loss -1 39,936 0.462651 -0.462651
Total 86,320 1.000000 -0.037349

Advice

For the non-counter who must play, I would stick to the Dragon and Tiger bets since they offer the lowest house edge. Please note the odds are a lot better in baccarat. The counter will have no trouble noticing that the big, small, and suit bets would be highly countable.


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