Three Card Poker has gained in popularity as an extension of the boom in poker. Both players and online casinos love it. Having said that, Three Card Poker shares very little similarity with real poker. No bluffing is required in Three card poker which is the core feature of poker.

Three Card Poker Table Layout

Three Card Poker 182

The table layout is the same as blackjack with the dealer one side and up to 6 to 8 players on the opposing side. Each position has the same advantage as each other. There is no difference in where the player seats at the table. And all players and dealers can see everyone’s plays.

How to play Three Card Poker

In front of each player, there are three betting boxes. They are called: Ante, Raise and Pair Plus respectively. The Pair Plus box is in fact used for a completely separate game, which we will park to the side for the moment.

The player places their bet in the Ante. Once all players have placed their wager in the Ante, three cards are dealt face down in front everyone – dealer and players. After all cards have been dealt, the players can reach for their cards and look at them.

After reviewing the cards, the players come to a decision point.

  • If the cards dealt will form a poker hand better than the dealers, then the player can place a bet equal to that of the Ante in the Raise box.
  • If the poker hand is believed not to beat the dealers hand, the player can fold, thereby forfeiting the ante and lose.

After all the players have made their decision, the dealer flips over his three face down cards and creates the best hand possible with them.

The order of value of hands at Three Card Poker are as follows:

  • Straight Flush
  • Three of a Kind
  • Straight
  • Flush
  • Pair
  • Queen High, followed by highest card lower than Queen

Take note, that unlike poker the Straight is stronger than a Flush in Three Card Poker. This is because with only three cards being dealt it is much more likely that you will have a Flush than a Straight.

Dealer Qualification

For the dealer to remain in the game, he must hold a hand that holds at least one Queen, or that has a poker hand. If not then the dealer loses and all players are paid out at 1 – 1 their Ante, with a stand off against the Raise.

If the dealer qualifies and remains in the game, and the player has a higher hand, then the Ante plus the Raise is paid out at 1 -1.

If the dealer has a higher hand, then the player loses the Ante and the Raise.

What happens if there is a tie

Sometimes that both the player and dealer will hold a similar hand. If this occurs then the second or third card values are examined.

Whoever holds the higher, second or third card will be the winner.

If there is an exact tie, whereby both dealer and player has exactly the same cards, then irrespective of the card suits, there is a stand off and the money is returned to the player.

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Three Card Betting Strategy

In general, copying the house strategy of playing any hand that holds a queen or better is usually the best option. If this strategy was followed the house holds an edge of approximately 3.4%.

With a house edge of 3.4% begin playing with small wagers. If you come across a winning streak then perhaps increase the wager slightly, but in general keep to a small wager.

There aren’t many other strategies that can be implemented as Three Card Poker is a relatively simple game. As seen in the how to play section, there’s no bluffing involved, and the decision is very much either to continue to play or to surrender. Even the arrangement of cards is very simple as there are only three cards dealt.

Summary

Three Card Poker is a relatively simple game that is growing in popularity. You don’t need to bluff in Three Card Poker unlike real poker, and this is what makes this game so simple yet exciting. Please be aware that a Flush is higher than a Straight

Keep to the strategy of playing on if your hand holds a queen and a six, or poker hand. If not, then surrender/fold from the game.