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Dragon Tiger

The game of Dragon Tiger is an Asian casino game that was first introduced in Cambodia. It can be played at many online casinos and players love it because of the speed and simplicity of the game. It is also a favorite of streak bettors, who often follow each winning hand on a score pad and bet accordingly.

Dragon Tiger is played with Standard English decks of 52 cards. No jokers or wild cards are used, and the game is most often dealt from a blackjack shoe holding six or eight decks. Unlike most casino games, Dragon Tiger players do not play against the dealer. Instead, like baccarat, the object of the game is to correctly choose which hand, either the Dragon or the Tiger, will receive the highest card. Unlike baccarat, where the player or banker draws additional cards, Dragon Tiger is actually closer to the game of Casino War, as just a single card is deal to the Dragon spot and then one to the Tiger spot. No additional cards are drawn.

dragon-tiger-table
2 different games of Dragon Tiger – standard Flash format and a live dealer game on the right

Placing Bets

After placing a wager on either the Dragon or the Tiger, the player waits for the dealer to place the cards on the layout, face-up. The highest card wins, but there are two important rules to consider. First, aces are low, so the order of cards, low to high, is Ace-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q-K. In addition, regardless of whether the player wagers on the Dragon or the Tiger, if both spots receive the same rank card, such as 8 verses 8, the hand is a tie, and the house takes ½ of each wager. Otherwise the high card wins and the low card loses.

The casino would have no edge if it didn’t take something from each tie. There are a total of 86,320 possible outcomes for each hand. Of those, 6,448 result in a tie, which gives the casino an edge on the Dragon and Tiger wager of 3.73%. That edge is higher than Casino War, and much higher than baccarat.

Tie Bet

Players may also wager on a tie, which is any one of those 6,448 outcomes from the possible 86,320 hands. The standard payoff for a tie is 8 to 1, which gives the casino a very healthy 32.77% edge. If you have played Casino War, you know that the tie bet there pays 10 to 1, for a casino edge of about half as much, at 17.83% In fact, an online casino can pay 11 to 1 and still retain a casino edge of 10.36%

Big and Small Bet

Players may also wager on whether a particular card (Dragon or Tiger) will be Big (over seven) or Small (under seven). This wager has six cards as Big (8, 9, 10, J, Q, K) and six cards as Small (Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). The wager wins if it is on the correct numbers, Big or Small, and loses is it is not. The wager also loses if the card drawn is a 7. The casino has a 7.69% edge on this wager.

Suit Bet

Players may also wager on which suit will be drawn. The wager pays 3 to 1 on a correct suit and loses when the suit selected does not appear for a chosen hand (Dragon or Tiger). Again, the casino derives its edge by taking the wager when a 7 appears.

Strategy

There is little strategy at Dragon Tiger, but many players bet along with the last winner, hoping to catch a streak of hands dominated by either the Dragon or Tiger spot. In addition, if the number of decks used is offered by the online casino and the software shows when the decks are being shuffled, there is the possibility that the casino edge can be reduced by counting cards, much like blackjack players do to turn the tables on the casino.

A player can keep track of either (or both) suits or big and small cards to gain an edge. Keeping track of the suits played is easiest, since there are only four possibilities. Any time three of the four suits have appeared more than a single suit, it would be an improved wager to bet on that one suit.

For instance, if a single deck was used and 10 cards were played and all of them were hearts, spades, and diamonds, then wagering on the suit of clubs would be a very good bet! There would be 13 winning cards to come and only 29 losers. If you were dealt all remaining cards, you would lose 29 bets, and win 13, each paid 3 to 1 (39 bets), and your overall win would be 10 units. Players may make their own charts to find winning parameters for other numbers of decks used. An eight deck shoe is most likely to be encountered and it is likely to be shuffled after four decks are used.