3 Card Poker
3 Card Poker
Compete with dealers to find out who has the best 3-card poker card. Hit the dealer and win your bet (or bet). Shake premium hands like flush or straight and you get paid well.
You lose at the dealer and you lose the bet. Simple is not it?
How to Play 3-Card Poker
3 Card Poker uses the name “poker” because it uses a standard poker leaderboard, but it is more a casino game than a poker game itself.
You can easily change bets to track premium cards or other bonuses, but there is no poker strategy – for example, you can decide which cards will be held or drawn, and place bets on other players.
Just pick a few bets before the deal, look at the 3 cards you received, and hope for the best.
There are important exceptions to standard poker hand rankings, but you should note:
Because 3 poker cards are harder to play directly than flush, the ranking of straight and flush has changed. It means:
- A straight is MORE valuable than a flush in 3 Card Poker
Otherwise there is no change in the ranking of hands except that all hands that need more than three cards are eliminated.
This makes things easy, because you can only play six possible 3-card poker hands. Here they are classified from highest to lowest:
This makes things pretty simple as there are only six possible 3-card poker hands you can make. Here they are ranked from highest to lowest:
- Straight flush
- Three of a kind
- High card
How to Make Your Bets in 3-Card Poker
When you take your seat at a 3 Card Poker table you can usually choose between a couple of bets depending on the type of table you pick.
At most 3 Card Poker tables you can play:
- Ante bet
- Play bet
- Both Ante and PairPlus bet
The Ante, PairPlus and Play Bets
Before you receive any cards you have to make a decision. Will you bet
- A) Just the Ante bet or
- B) The Ante and the PairPlus bet
Bet, you have to place to get a ticket. PairPlus is optional. Basically, you can only bet if you think of making a pair or a higher deal with a 3 card poker card.
After each player has 3 poker cards at the poker table and makes a bet, the dealer offers 3 cards face down to all players. You can then see your map.
After looking at your card, make another decision: Do you want to know which dealer is higher?
If you do, place a “play” bet that matches the Ante bet. The following are the main lines of the game.
- Place your ante bet (or ante and PairPlus bet)
- Receive your cards
- Choose to fold (losing all your bets made already) or make the Play bet (matching the ante)
If you refuse, you will lose your PairPlus assignment (if you have already done so). If you play (according to antenna size), compare your hands with the dealer to see if you get paid.
How Do I Win a 3-Card Poker Hand?
To win your bet, your 3-card poker card must be higher than the dealer.
The dealer must have at least one queen to qualify.
- If the dealer does not qualify the player receives 1:1 on his ante and is returned his or her Play bet.
- If the dealer qualifies and the player wins, the player receives 1:1 on both the ante and Play bet.
- If the dealer qualifies and the player loses the player loses both bets.
- If the dealer qualifies and ties the player, the player pushes: both bets arereturned.
In addition to the player versus dealer payout players playing Ante and Play receive bonus payouts (regardless of the dealer’s hand) for strong hands:
- Straight Flush – Pays 5:1
- Three of a Kind – Pays 4:1
- Straight – Pays 1:1
The PairPlus Bet
Possibly the easiest of any casino table game you can play, the PairPlus bet requires absolutely no decision making on your end.
- Place your PairPlus bet before the deal (the bet must be between the table minimum and maximum bet amounts)
- Receive your cards
- Get paid (or not)
If you do hit a 3 card poker hand that is a pair or higher, the payout scale is as follows:
- Straight Flush – 40:1
- Three of a Kind – 30:1
- Straight – 6:1
- Flush – 4:1
- Pair – 1:1
If you have just a high card and no pair you lose your PairPlus bet but you can still win your Ante bet if your high card is higher than the dealer’s (remember the dealer must have at least a Queen for his or her hand to qualify).
Likewise you can still lose to the dealer and lose your Ante and Play bets but hit your PairPlus bet and get paid. You don’t have to win your ante or play bet to qualify for the PairPlus payout.
3 Card Poker Strategy: The Golden 3-Card Poker Rule
Because 3-Card Poker is so simple, most players like to play “blind” – or play whatever hand, whatever they get.
Although it can be fun at any time, there are consequences – basically increasing the house’s advantage to around 7% from 3% of the standard.
Because of this huge leap to the edge of the house, the most experienced 3-card poker player sticks to the general strategy rules when you play each hand
What does that mean?
- Only play hands that have a Queen, 6 and 4 or higher
If you stick to that requirement you keep the house edge as low as possible – between 2-3% depending on the casino.
Should I Play the Ante, Play and PairPlus Bets or Just One or Two of Them?
It really depends on how much action you are looking for and how much you are willing to lose. Statistically, playing Ante and PairPlus bets offers the best statistical opportunities for maximum long-term returns.
But, of course, this will be accompanied by several consecutive defeats – especially if you hope to complete PairPlus bets. Here’s your chance to meet Pair Plus:
Three of a kind .24%
Straight Flush .22%
In simpler terms, you have more or less a 25% chance to hit a pair or better. The flipside of that is obviously you lose that bet 75% of the time.
To give yourself the best odds against the house you really should never play the Pair Plus bet (or the 6-Card Bonus bet – more on that below.
The way to ensure you lose the least amount of money only play the Ante bets and the Play bet if you have Q64 or higher.
3-Card Poker: Stay Away From the 6-Card Bonus
A bonus bet. It always seems so attractive that you just sit there and offer huge opportunities and crazy high payouts when you hit one.
But the truth? If there is, you will rarely do it. The long-term opportunity to get the most bonus bets is too big to make it profitable over time.
This is definitely the case with 6 card bonus bets on some 3 card poker tables.
In short, the 6 card bonus is a payment based on a combination of your 3 card poker cards, dealer cards with 3 poker card cards.
- Royal Flush: 1,000 to 1
- Straight Flush: 200 to 1
- Four of a Kind: 100 to 1
- Full House: 20 to 1
- Flush: 15 to 1
- Straight: 9 to 1
- Three of a Kind: 8 to 1
Looks good, right? But while you might get a nice rush from hitting the bonus every now and then the casino edge is well over 7% for that one – meaning you just can’t make any money on it over time.
If you do hit on one of the bonus hands, though, your bet is paid out whether you win either of your ante/play bets.
Play 3-Card Poker Free Online!
If you want to play poker 3 cards online, it offers almost every virtual casino in its offer because it is a customer’s favorite. For example, at 888casino you can even play 3 poker cards with the dealer directly!
Each online casino also has a free game section where you can try the game (and learn the rules) before you spend your own money. Look at the list above to find the best online casino where you can play poker 3 cards for free!