In-Between (a.k.a. Between the Sheets)

If you like Red Dog, you’ll probably like In-Between (also called Between the Sheets and Acey-Deucey, and confusingly, sometimes called Red Dog). Like Red Dog, it requires players to bet against the pot rather than each other, and makes for a nice break from poker in dealer’s choice games.

Object of In-Between

The object of the game is to win lots of money by betting high when the third card dealt to you is in between your first two cards in rank.

Setup

You need one standard fifty-two card deck of playing cards. If you’re using Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, you have excellent taste. Like in Red Dog, you also need to determine a minimum bet. A tame group of players will set it to be equal to whatever the lowest chip value is. A more wild set of players will make it higher.

All players ante.

Game play

The player to the left of the dealer is first to act. The dealer deals two cards face up on the table (leaving some space between the two). The player places a wager of any amount of money, between the minimum bet and the amount in the pot, based on the perceived strength of their hand. Any aces in the hand are designated as being either high (above a king) or low (below a two) by the player. After the wager is placed, a third card is dealt between the other two. If this card’s rank falls between the ranks of the other two, the bet wins, and the dealer pays them at even money from the pot. If it does not, the bet loses, and is added to the pot. Note that matching one of the end cards, called hitting the post, is merely a painful loss, not a win.

If two consecutive cards are turned up, the player forfeits the minimum bet to the pot, with no third card turned up (because a loss is assured). If a pair is turned up, the player is immediately paid two times the minimum bet and no third card turned up.

After a player’s turn of play, the three cards are discarded and play passes to the next player to the left. Shuffle after the dealer’s turn of play. Game play continues until a player takes the whole pot. Alternately, since In-Between has the tendency to suck money into the pot at an alarmingly high rate, even more so than Red Dog, play until everyone’s had enough, then equally split the pot.

House rules

One can make the game more interesting by allowing betting on a third card when a pair is dealt. In this case, the win condition is getting a third card of the same rank, which has a 1 in 25 chance of happening for the first player to act, but which can vary dramatically throughout the hand. A winning bet would be paid out at 25 to 1, or the entire pot if the former payout would exceed the size of the pot. Whether the player is compelled to bet in such a situation, or if they can just opt to take the standard two-times-minimum-bet payout, is up to the house.

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