Share this

Wizard Recommends

Last Updated: February 14, 2018

Four Card Frenzy

Introduction

Four Card Frenzy and its twin Crazy 4 Poker are four-card poker-based games in which the object is to have a higher-ranking poker hand than the dealer. Both games have a raise or fold decision after the player cards are revealed. Four Card Frenzy made its Nevada debut at the Santa Fe Station on January 17, 2018. It offers a low Element of Risk and a very simple strategy.

Rules



If you're already familiar with Crazy 4 Poker and just want to know how Four Card Frenzy differs, scroll past the rules.

  1. Play starts with the player making equal bets on the Ante and Odds bets. The player may also bet on the 4 Card Bonus and Prime side bets at this time.
  2. Following is the ranking of hands from highest to lowest:
    • Four of a kind
    • Straight flush
    • Three of a kind
    • Flush
    • Straight
    • Two pair
    • Pair
    • Four singletons
  3. All players and the dealer get five cards each.
  4. The player may fold or raise.
  5. If the player folds, then he forfeits the Ante and Odds bets. Any side bets still have action.
  6. The Raise bet may be up to three times the Ante bet, if the player has at least a pair of aces. Otherwise, the Raise bet must be exactly equal to the Ante bet.
  7. Players then make their best four-card poker hand, and discard the fifth card.
  8. After all decisions have been made, the dealer will turn over his cards and select the best four out of five.
  9. The player's hand shall be compared to the dealer's hand, the higher hand winning.
  10. For purposes of the Ante and Raise bets, the dealer needs at least a king high to open. If the dealer can't open the Ante will push and the Raise will win.
  11. The Ante bet pays as follows:
    • Dealer does not open: Ante pushes.
    • Dealer opens and player wins: Ante wins.
    • Dealer opens and ties: Ante pushes.
    • Dealer opens and dealer wins: Ante loses.
  12. The Raise bet pays as follows:
    • Dealer does not open: Raise wins.
    • Dealer opens and player wins: Raise wins.
    • Dealer opens and ties player: Raise pushes.
    • Dealer opens and dealer wins: Raise loses.
  13. The Odds bet pays as follows. It is not pertinent whether or not the dealer opens.
    • Player has straight or higher and player wins: Odds bet wins.
    • Player has straight or higher and dealer wins: Odds bet wins and pays more than for a win, known as the Beat Beat Bonus.
    • Player has less than straight and wins or pushes: Odds bet pushes.
    • Player has less than straight and loses: Odds bet loses.

Following is the pay table for the Odds bet. All wins are on a "to one" basis.

Odds Bet Pay Table

Player Hand Player Wins Dealer Wins
Four aces 200 n/a
Four 2-K 30 100
Straight flush 15 50
Three of a kind 2 4
Flush 1.5 3
Straight 1 2

There are a few differences between Crazy 4 Poker and Four Card Frenzy, as follows:

  • What is called the Play bet in Crazy 4 Poker is called the Raise bet in Four Card Frenzy.
  • What is called the Blind bet in Crazy 4 Poker is called the Odds bet in Four Card Frenzy.
  • Instead of a Super Bonus, as in the case of Crazy 4 Poker, the player is paid at a premium on the Odds bet if he has a winning or losing flush or higher. With a flush or higher, the player is paid more on the Odds bet for losing than winning, known as a Bad Beat Bonus.
  • In Crazy 4 Poker, the Blind bet automatically pushes if the dealer doesn't qualify. In Four Card Frenzy, if the player loses to a non-qualifying dealer hand, the Odds bet loses. Note that if the player is following either the optimal or KQ84 strategy below this rule would never come into play, because the player would never play a queen high or less.

Example



In the image at the top of the page I bet $5 each on the Ante and Odds bets. My best four cards formed a flush so I made the maximum $15 raise. The dealer opened with a pair of fours. My flush beat the dealer's hand so my Ante and Raise each paid even money. My winning Odds bet paid 3 to 2, or $7.50. Thus, my total win was $5 + $15 + $7.50 = $27.50.

Strategy

Optimal strategy would be tedious and complicated to memorize. However, the player can get extremely close to it with this simple strategy below.

  1. Make large raise when allowed (pair of aces or higher).
  2. Make small raise with K-Q-8-4 or higher.
  3. Fold all other.

The increase in house edge with the KQ84 strategy, compared to optimal, is 0.000089%.

Analysis

The next table shows the number of combinations for all possible outcomes under optimal strategy. The bottom right cell shows that the player can expect to lose 2.71% of the Ante bet for every hand played, compared to the size of his Ante (or Odds) bet. For example, if the player started with $100 on both the Ante and Odds, then he could expect to lose $2.71, assuming optimal strategy.

Four Card FrenzyExpand

Raise
Bet
Player
Hand
Dealer
Opens
Winner Pays Combinations Probability Return
3 Four aces Yes Player 204 56,580,432 0.000014 0.002895
3 Four aces No Player 203 17,048,640 0.000004 0.000868
3 Four 2-K Yes Dealer 96 147,576 0.000000 0.000004
3 Four 2-K Yes Player 34 764,060,808 0.000192 0.006516
3 Four 2-K No Player 33 119,340,480 0.000030 0.000988
3 Straight flush Yes Dealer 46 2,130,644 0.000001 0.000025
3 Straight flush Yes Player 19 2,708,500,216 0.000679 0.012908
3 Straight flush No Player 18 467,451,204 0.000117 0.002111
3 Straight flush Yes Push 0 239,544 0.000000 0.000000
3 Three of a kind Yes Player 6 75,428,689,424 0.018920 0.113522
3 Three of a kind No Player 5 13,332,036,480 0.003344 0.016721
3 Three of a kind Yes Dealer 0 1,214,000,080 0.000305 0.000000
3 Flush Yes Player 5.5 140,729,630,976 0.035300 0.194151
3 Flush No Player 4.5 26,782,817,436 0.006718 0.030232
3 Flush Yes Push 0 11,157,384 0.000003 0.000000
3 Flush Yes Dealer -1 8,290,346,628 0.002080 -0.002080
3 Straight Yes Player 5 119,196,689,556 0.029899 0.149495
3 Straight No Player 4 23,224,891,224 0.005826 0.023303
3 Straight Yes Push 0 260,904,096 0.000065 0.000000
3 Straight Yes Dealer -2 13,484,776,836 0.003382 -0.006765
3 Less than straight Yes Player 4 217,319,921,292 0.054512 0.218048
3 Less than straight No Player 3 51,462,003,780 0.012909 0.038726
3 Less than straight Yes Push 0 20,057,376 0.000005 0.000000
3 Less than straight Yes Dealer -5 45,115,566,024 0.011317 -0.056583
1 Less than straight Yes Player 2 859,165,302,444 0.215511 0.431022
1 Less than straight No Player 1 356,483,913,240 0.089420 0.089420
1 Less than straight Yes Push 0 822,112,008 0.000206 0.000000
1 Less than straight Yes Dealer -3 1,093,014,959,196 0.274169 -0.822507
0 Fold -2 937,150,828,416 0.235072 -0.470145
Total 3,986,646,103,440 1.000000 -0.027127

The bottom right cell of the table above shows a house edge of 2.71%. This is the ratio of the expected player loss to the Ante bet. One might argue that since the Odds bet is required that I should define the house edge as the expected loss to the sum of the required starting bets. However, in the interests of consistency with how the term is defined in other games, I choose to base the house edge on the Ante only. So, for every $100 you bet on the Ante you can expect to lose $2.71 between the Ante, Raise, and Odds combined.

Overall, the player has a 18.56% chance of making a big raise, 57.91% for a small raise, and 23.54% for folding, for an average final wager of 3.14 (I love that number) units. Thus, the element of risk of the game (ratio of expected loss to average total bet) is 2.71%/3.14 = 0.86%.

The standard deviation is 13.43, based on the Ante bet.

The next table shows the probability and contribution to the return for all possible net wins.

Net Win

Win Combinations Probability Return
204 56,580,432 0.000014 0.002895
203 17,048,640 0.000004 0.000868
96 147,576 0.000000 0.000004
46 2,130,644 0.000001 0.000025
34 764,060,808 0.000192 0.006516
33 119,340,480 0.000030 0.000988
19 2,708,500,216 0.000679 0.012908
18 467,451,204 0.000117 0.002111
6 75,428,689,424 0.018920 0.113522
5.5 140,729,630,976 0.035300 0.194151
5 132,528,726,036 0.033243 0.166216
4.5 26,782,817,436 0.006718 0.030232
4 240,544,812,516 0.060338 0.241351
3 51,462,003,780 0.012909 0.038726
2 859,165,302,444 0.215511 0.431022
1 356,483,913,240 0.089420 0.089420
0 2,328,470,488 0.000584 0.000000
-1 8,290,346,628 0.002080 -0.002080
-2 950,635,605,252 0.238455 -0.476910
-3 1,093,014,959,196 0.274169 -0.822507
-5 45,115,566,024 0.011317 -0.056583
Total 3,986,646,103,440 1.000000 -0.027127

4 Card Bonus

The 4 Card Bonus bet pays based on the best four-card hand the player can make with his original five cards. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 3.80%.

4 Card Bonus

Player Hand Pays Combinations Probability Return
Four aces 200 48 0.000018 0.003694
Four-card royal 100 192 0.000074 0.007388
Four 2's - K's 50 576 0.000222 0.011081
Straight flush 40 1,880 0.000723 0.028935
Three aces 20 4,512 0.001736 0.034722
Three 2's - K's 7 54,144 0.020833 0.145831
Flush 4 114,616 0.044101 0.176403
Straight 3 101,808 0.039173 0.117518
Two pair 2 123,552 0.047539 0.095078
Pair Q's - A's 1 242,916 0.093467 0.093467
All other -1 1,954,716 0.752115 -0.752115
Total 2,598,960 1.000000 -0.038000

Prime



The Prime bet pays based on how many of the player's five cards are the same color. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 4.74%.

Prime

Player Hand Pays Combinations Probability Return
Five-card Prime 6 131,560 0.050620 0.303721
Four-card Prime 1 777,400 0.299120 0.299120
All other -1 1,690,000 0.650260 -0.650260
Total 2,598,960 1.000000 -0.047419

External Links

Demo game by Galaxy Gaming. Very well done.


Written by: Michael Shackleford

Wizard Recommends