Ricochet Poker

A new casino poker game by James Ernest

Ricochet Poker Rules

Ricochet Poker is a fast-playing casino game for up to seven players. Players compete with the dealer for a central pot, as in live poker, but the dealer plays by house rules. The game is dealt face up, so it provides the analytical challenge of poker without the bluffing element.

The game has several unique features that distinguish it from any other casino game, including a well-concealed house edge and no “gotcha” rules. Yet it’s so simple, players pick it up in the very first hand.

Equipment: Ricochet Poker uses a single poker deck without jokers.

Players: The game can accommodate up to seven players. (Stadium rules are also conceivable.)

Bet Limits: All players and the dealer make the same size initial bet. There are two optional side bets that can be any size.

The Deal: First, all players and the dealer make their main bet. Players may also make side bets. The dealer shuffles the deck and deals two cards to each player, and five cards to herself, all face up.

Side Bets: After the deal, side bets are resolved. The side bets are the Quickdraw Bet and the Cover Bet.

  • Quickdraw Bet: This bet wins 5:1 if the player’s two card hand is higher than the dealer’s five card hand. (Ties are a win for the player.)
  • Cover Bet: This bet wins based on the quality of the dealer’s hand, using a paytable starting at 1:1 for a pair of fives or better, and progressing to a large jackpot for a Royal Flush.

The Pot: All players’ initiating bets, as well as the dealer’s bet, are collected into a central pot. This pot will be awarded to the high poker hand, whether player or dealer.

Kickout Hand: The dealer folds if her hand is sufficiently high. The threshold for the kickout hand varies with the number of players. For example, with four players, the dealer must fold two pair, tens up, or better. Her bet remains in the pot.

The Action: The turn passes to the player with the lowest two-card hand. That player has the option either to fold, or to play.

  • Fold: The player’s cards are removed and the player is out of the hand.
  • Play: The player places a second bet and receives three more cards, face up.
    • If the player’s hand is a straight or higher, that player earns a bonus payout.
    • Then, any five-card hand that is beaten by another five-card hand is folded.
  • Ties: For order of play only, ties are broken by the suit of the higher card.

Winning: After all hands have acted, the pot goes to the highest hand. The dealer loses ties. If there is a tie between players, they split the pot, with any odd coin(s) going to the player(s) who acted last.

House Advantage: The return to player (RTP) of Ricochet Poker is fully adjustable. We offer a set of pay tables that returns approximately 95.97% to 96.91% RTP with perfect play, depending on the number of players. Weak players can expect returns closer to 90%.

Win and Fold Frequency: The fold frequency for a perfect strategy varies from 22.9% when playing solo, to just 10.94% when playing with a table of seven players. Players win very close to 1 game in N where N is the total number of hands (player plus dealer). For example, a given perfect player’s win frequency is 25.79% with three perfect players and one dealer.

Mathematics and Intellectual Property: Our internal analysis was performed by a respected casino mathematician formerly of Bally’s and GLI, and has been certified by analysts at BMM. White paper is available on approval. Ricochet Poker is a registered trademark of James Ernest and Cheapass Games LLC, Seattle WA, and is for use under U.S. Patent 10,029,170.