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Last Updated: December 29, 2018

Top Card

Introduction

Top Card is another name for the game Dragon Tiger, a simple game based on betting which of two random cards will be higher in rank. Instead of having Dragon and Tiger cards, there are Home and Away cards. A tie nicely pays 11 to 1, as opposed to the stingy 8 to 1 that Dragon Tiger usually pays.

The game can be played at Internet casinos offering live dealer games by Evolution Gaming.

Rules

  1. Any number of standard decks can be used. For this analysis, I shall assume eight.
  2. Cards are ranked as in poker, except aces are always low.
  3. A single card is given to each of the Home and Away hands.
  4. The primary bets are on which hand will get the higher card. Wins pay even money. In the event of a tie, both bets lose half.
  5. The player may also bet on a tie, which pays 11 to 1.

Home/Away

The Home and Away bets will win if the chosen hand gets the higher card. Ties lose half. The following return table shows a house edge of 3.73%.

Home and Away

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Win 1 39,936 0.462651 0.462651
Tie -0.5 6,448 0.074699 -0.037349
Loss -1 39,936 0.462651 -0.462651
Total 86,320 1.000000 -0.037349

Tie

The Tie bet will win if the Dragon and Tiger cards are equal in rank. Wins pay 11 to 1. The following table shows a house edge of 10.36%.

Tie

Event Pays Combinations Probability Return
Win 11 6,448 0.074699 0.821687
Loss -1 79,872 0.925301 -0.925301
Total 86,320 1.000000 -0.103614

Hypothetically, here is what the house edge would be on the Tie bet at various pays from 8 to 12 to 1.

Tie House Edge

Pays House Edge
12 2.89%
11 10.36%
10 17.83%
9 25.30%
8 32.77%

Advice

I would stick to the Dragon and Tiger bets since they offer the lowest house edge. Please note the odds are a lot better in baccarat.


Written by: Michael Shackleford

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