In-Between, also known as Acey Deucey, is a Banking card game used for the purposes of gambling, similar to something like Faro.
The game is largely thought to have originated during the 20th century, when sailors on naval vessels with ample free time and access to playing cards decided they needed something to do when cooped up on a long voyage.
Thus, Acey Deucey was born. The name refers to the best possible deal, the Ace-Deuce, which has the highest odds of winning the game.
How to Play In-Between?
As it was a game for sailors, In-Between is played utilizing the most common deck in the Anglo-Sphere, the Anglo-American 52-card deck.
Setting up the Pot
Traditionally, there is a particular way to set up the pot in In-Between, though it can be simplified to have each Player including the Dealer, simply placing equal wagers into the pot at the start of each game.
When playing the traditional way, the Dealer will pay a stake into the pot. This stake is agreed upon by all Players at the start of the game.
This is the total wager the Dealer will make, so it should be many times larger than an individual wager.
For example, if Players individually can wager $1 on each game, then it would be appropriate for the Dealer to place a stake of $50 or more.
Players receive their payouts immediately, but Players that lose do not give their money to the dealer. Instead, all of the money is kept in the pot, added to the stake placed by the Dealer
The Dealer will use this large one-time wager to make payouts to Players based on their guesses. These payouts will be further explained in the Payouts section found below.
Usually, the game will last a predetermined number of rounds. This is so the Dealer has a greater chance of taking in earnings.
Players will agree before the game begins, for example, that 10 games will be played. After those 10 games are up, the Dealer collects all of the remaining money in the pot for themselves.
The Dealer may choose to play as long as the Player’s wish, which will extend the game for some time, though it does open the Dealer up to the risk of losing money more often than winning.
Once the Dealer has made their stake, the game will begin before Players make their wagers.
Setup and Deal
The Dealer will shuffle the deck, and then deal one face-up card to each Player sitting at the table. The Dealer does not deal any cards to themselves.
Each Player will then take turns, starting from the Player to the immediate left of the Dealer and continuing counterclockwise, playing individual games of In-Between during this round.
The Dealer begins the individual game by dealing the second face-up card to the Player.
Players are wagering on whether the 3rd card dealt will be in between these two face-up cards in rank value (Ordered low-high 2-10, J, Q, K, Ace).
Once the second card is dealt, Players may either choose to Fold, or Play.
If Players Fold, they do not wager against the Dealer, and simply pass on the game. The Dealer then moves on to the next Player in order.
If the Player chooses to play, they may make a wager up to the total value of the pot. Players may wager whatever they wish up to the total pot value, though many games involve a minimum required wager in order to play a hand.
In order to wager, Players place their bet next to the total pot, and are given an equal amount of chips from the pot upon winning, or place their chips into the pot upon losing.
Once a Player has placed their wager if they chose to Play, the third card is dealt.
- If it is between the value of the two previous cards, the Player wins.
- If it is outside of that range, then the Player loses.
- If the third card is equal to either of the first two cards, then the Player loses double their wager and must pay twice their original wager into the pot.
If Players wager the whole value of the pot, and win, they take the entire pot, and the game ends. However, if a Player loses, they must pay their whole wager into the pot essentially doubling it.
The game continues, with each Player being given their turn, and each Player choosing to fold or face-off against the Dealer.
If Playing using a pre-determined number of rounds, this constitutes one full round. The Dealer will collect the cards, shuffle them, and a new round will begin.
Alternate Wagering System
In-Between can also be played using an alternate wagering system, where each Player receives a set payout based on the odds of their success. This is more popular in casinos, and will be explained in the Payouts section below.
A summary of the game rules can be seen below:
- The Dealer pays a single stake, which is their total bet for the remainder of the game. The Dealer plays until all rounds have ended, or until the Dealer’s stake is completely depleted.
- Players may wager whatever they wish up to the value of the pot in the normal rules, though some games use a payout table.
- Players may bet or fold. If Players bet, they hope their third card is in between the two previously dealt cards. If they fold, they do not have to pay anything into the pot.
- If the third card is equal to one of the other two cards, Players must play double.
In-Between did enjoy a small stint in casinos, during which time it was played using a different set of rules than the traditional Stake and Wager system. In Casino Acey Deucey (also known as Red Dog), Players that wish to play rather than fold are compelled to make a wager that is between the table’s minimum and maximum, as is normal in casinos.
Players make their wager, and the Dealer, acting as the Banker, will give that Player a payout based on their wager according to the distance between the two first cards. This table is shown below:
|# of possible cards between the initial deal
|1 Card Between Them
|2 Cards Between Them
|3 Cards Between Them
|4+ Cards Between Them
So according to the table above, if the initial deal is a 3 and 9, then there are 5 cards between them (4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
This means if you are able to successfully win that hand of Acey Deucey, you will receive a 1:1 payout on your wager.
Imagine the following is a scenario of In-Between, played using the traditional Stake and Wager method.
Suppose these are the two cards of your initial deal:
This is the best possible hand in a game of In-Between, as you are extremely likely to win. There are only 6 cards in the remaining in the 47-card deck (assuming there are 4 Players and you were the first to take your turn) that can beat your hand.
This means there is only a 13% chance that you are forced to pay out double, and an 87% chance that you are able to win your wager.
There is no better hand to bet the total value of the pot than the eponymous Acey Deucey. When dealt this hand, always bet the full value of the pot.
There is limited strategy to be employed in In-Between. It is a game of luck almost entirely. However, just like in the game Blackjack, the face-up nature of the deal in this game does give the Player some control over their destiny.
Players can reason out what is likely to happen, based on the cards that are already visible at the table.
- For this reason, it is advantageous for a Player to be the last one to take their turn, if possible. Although this means you potentially have less to win from the pot, you will be able to count more cards.
- Not only should you sit at the last spot at the table, but you should also look to other Player’s cards to judge the likelihood of your deal. Using probability and the process of elimination, deduct other Player’s cards from the deck. For example, if there are two Players with Aces, you know that there are two less Aces in the deck that cannot be dealt again. In this way, you can do some simple mental math to determine if it will be better to play or fold a particular hand.