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Last Updated: May 4, 2007

Two Cards High

Two Cards High is a new table game I noticed at the Las Vegas Flamingo on April 15, 2007. It was later removed.

  1. The game is played with one 40-card deck, containing ranks ace to ten, without face cards.
  2. Play begins with the player making a bet.
  3. Both player and dealer receive five cards, face down.
  4. The player sets his cards into a 3-card hand and 2-card hand.
  5. Both 2-card and 3-card hands will be scored as in baccarat, in which the point value of the hand equals the terminal digit of the total number of points. For example, if the player has a 5, 6, and 9 the point value is 0 (the terminal digit of 20).
  6. A two-card hand of a pair is higher than two singletons. The highest pair is tens and the lowest is aces.
  7. The 3-card hand must have zero points, otherwise the player's bet will lose.
  8. After the player has set his hand, the dealer will do so in the same way, maximizing the value of the 2-card hand, while attaining 0 points in the 3-card hand.
  9. If the dealer cannot set his 3-card hand with 0 points, then the player will win even money.
  10. If the dealer can make a 0-point 3-card hand, then the player's and dealer' two-card hands will be compared.
  11. If the player has a winning pair, then the player's bet will pay 3 to 2.
  12. If the player has a winning hand other than a pair, then the player's bet will pay even money.
  13. If the player and dealer tie, then the player's bet will pay even money.
  14. If the dealer has the higher hand, then the player's bet will lose.

The following return table shows the probability and return of all possile outcomes. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 1.33%.

Two Cards High Return Table

Event Pays Permutations Probability Return
Player doesn't qualify -1 28609168896000 0.302391 -0.302391
Dealer wins -1 20473610678784 0.216400 -0.216400
Dealer doesn't qualify 1 21303300932352 0.225170 0.225170
Tie 1 3612204702720 0.038180 0.038180
Player wins with 0 to 9 1 16021887160320 0.169347 0.169347
Player wins with pair 1.5 4589739949824 0.048512 0.072768
Total 94609912320000 1 -0.013326

The strategy in this game is simply to make the highest two-card hand while keeping the 3-card hand at zero points.


Written by: Michael Shackleford

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