June 6, 2022

How to Play Dragon Poker [Beginner’s Guide]

Emily Tremblay
Written byEmily TremblayWriter

There has been a boom in Asian-themed poker games in recent times. While some have elicited mixed feelings, others like Dragon Poker Texas Hold’em have been warmly received in most quarters. So, if you’re keen to play the iconic Dragon Poker at the best online casinos, read the post till the end. You’ll learn everything, from the decks and rules to the side bets and strategies.

How to Play Dragon Poker [Beginner’s Guide]

What is Dragon Poker?

Do you know the fictional poker game in Little Myth Maker book by Robert Asprin? Yes, that’s Dragon Poker for you. However, this guidepost will mention a bit of the version in this book and discuss more of the actual casino game. 

Dragon Poker is an absurdly complex poker variant. On the one hand, it maintains the same basic rules as the classic stud poker. On the other, the face cards and the suits have different names. This game also takes a brand-new dimension, thanks to the Conditional Modifiers. This feature allows gamers to modify the game rules based on the chair position, number of players, etc.

Unfortunately, Asprin’s book doesn’t give out much about this poker variant. But still, that didn’t stop fans and game developers from devising their own rules. 

Dragon Poker Decks and Card Names

First and foremost, Dragon Poker uses the standard 52 decks of cards. Another similarity with stud poker is the card suits, including diamonds, hearts, spades, and clubs. Like Aces in the traditional poker game, the card representing this face value can be the lowest or the highest.

But that’s where the similarities end. The deck has 7 Dragon cards, 7 Phoenix cards, 8 Tiger cards, 9 Panda cards, and 10 Monkey cards. In addition, you’ll find 12 Rabbit cards. Of the 7 Dragon cards, 3 are Fire Dragons, 3 are Water Dragons, and 1 is a Gold Dragon, also the wild. According to the paytable, the Fire and Water Dragons have the same value.

How to Play Dragon Poker

Do you know why Dragon Poker is sometimes called Dragon Poker Texas Hold’em? Well, Dragon Poker and Texas Hold’em have somewhat similar gameplay rules. So, if you’re a master at playing Texas Hold’em, you won’t have any troubles getting started with Dragon Poker. 

With that in mind, play begins when the dealer deals 3 cards to the players and an equal number to themselves. Then, players can choose to fold or raise. But unlike in Texas Hold’em where a raise is two times the ante bet, in this case, it’s equal to the ante bet. 

Now the dealer and the player display their cards to know the winning hands. In this game, three of a kind is the highest hand value, followed by a pair and single. Remember, the Dragon is the top-value card, with the Rabbit being the lowest value card.

Meanwhile, creating a better hand than the dealer’s gives players an even-money payout on the ante bet and the raise or play bet. If the dealer creates a better hand, you lose your bet, and another round begins.

Dragon Poker Bonus Games

Dragon Poker players can also place two side bets alongside the main bet. First, you can play the optional 3 Cards Bonus game. Here, landing 3 Dragon cards gives you an impressive 40:1 payout, with 3 Phoenix cards having a 30:1 payout. You can also get a 15:1 payout on 3 Tiger cards. 

In addition, two cards on Dragon, Phoenix, and Tiger cards have 4:1, 2:1, and 2:1 payouts, respectively. Note that this bet only involves the Dragon, Phoenix, and Tiger cards. However, getting a three of a kind on all cards gives you a 10:1 payout. 

Another optional side bet in Dragon Poker is the Dragon Bonus game. Getting three Fire Dragon cards and three Water Dragon cards gives you a 1,000:1 payout, the highest in this poker game. You can also predict two Dragon cards and a Gold Dragon to enjoy a 7:1 and 5:1 payout. Finally, creating three Dragon cards, including a single Gold Dragon, a 200:1 payout awaits. 

Dragon Poker House Edge

The house edge in this poker variant isn’t the friendliest, going by what other games offer. You’ll come against a 3.7% house advantage in the base game, with the 3 Card Bonus following closely with 5%. Being the highest paying bet in this game, the Dragon bonus has the highest house edge at 14.4%. But again, the 1,000x maximum reward can be life-changing with the maximum bet.


Se, there’s nothing overly complex about Dragon Poker. If you’re a frequent poker player, you should enjoy smooth sailing in this game after carefully reading the paytable. But as said at the start, finding this game at the best online casinos can take some digging. So, do your homework!

About the author
Emily Tremblay
Emily Tremblay

Emily, a dynamic blend of tech-savvy and casino enthusiast, hails from the snowy landscapes of Canada. With her innate grasp of cultural nuances, she ensures online casino guides resonate deeply with Canadians. Emily's spirited and engaging nature makes her a favourite among peers.

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