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

A game of In-Between in progress, showing a pile of red and green poker chips, a deck of cards, and three face-up cards: the queen of hearts between the seven of clubs and the ace of spades.

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. It also 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 accurately judging when the rank of the third card dealt to you is likely to be in between that of your first two cards.

Setup

To play In-Between, you’ll need one standard fifty-two card deck of playing cards. Your players wouldn’t want to play with sticky, gunky cards, so be sure to get an easily-washable deck of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards for your game.

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 to open the pot.

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 based on the perceived strength of their hand. The bet may be any amount of money between the minimum bet and the amount in the pot. The player designates any aces in the hand as being either high (above a king) or low (below a two).

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 player wins. The dealer pays their bet out from the pot, at even money. If the third card’s rank is not in between the other two, the player loses. Lost bets are 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. (No third card is turned up because a loss is assured.) If a pair is turned up, the player is immediately paid two times the minimum bet. Again, no third card is turned up.

After a player’s turn of play, the three cards are discarded. Play then 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.

In-Between does have the tendency to suck money into the pot at an alarmingly high rate, even more so than Red Dog. Therefore, if everyone agrees that they’ve had enough, the game can be ended by equally splitting 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. This has a 1 in 25 chance of happening for the first player to act, but it can vary dramatically throughout the hand. A winning bet would be paid out at 25 to 1. If a 25-to-1 payout exceeds the size of the pot, the player wins the entire pot.

It is up to the players 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.

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