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Last Updated: February 14, 2018
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Four Card Frenzy
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.
If you're already familiar with Crazy 4 Poker and just want to know how Four Card Frenzy differs, scroll past the rules.
- 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.
- Following is the ranking of hands from highest to lowest:
- Four of a kind
- Straight flush
- Three of a kind
- Two pair
- Four singletons
- All players and the dealer get five cards each.
- The player may fold or raise.
- If the player folds, then he forfeits the Ante and Odds bets. Any side bets still have action.
- 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.
- Players then make their best four-card poker hand, and discard the fifth card.
- After all decisions have been made, the dealer will turn over his cards and select the best four out of five.
- The player's hand shall be compared to the dealer's hand, the higher hand winning.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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|
|Three of a kind||2||4|
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.
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.
Optimal strategy would be tedious and complicated to memorize. However, the player can get extremely close to it with this simple strategy below.
- Make large raise when allowed (pair of aces or higher).
- Make small raise with K-Q-8-4 or higher.
- Fold all other.
The increase in house edge with the KQ84 strategy, compared to optimal, is 0.000089%.
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
|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||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|
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.
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
|Four 2's - K's||50||576||0.000222||0.011081|
|Three 2's - K's||7||54,144||0.020833||0.145831|
|Pair Q's - A's||1||242,916||0.093467||0.093467|
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%.
Demo game by Galaxy Gaming. Very well done.
Written by: Michael Shackleford