3 Card Poker is a thrilling game with a unique twist on traditional poker. Despite being played with only three cards, the game offers challenging and exciting gameplay with big payouts.
In this game, players compete against the dealer rather than each other, making it an excellent option for beginners.
This guide will provide you with everything you need to know to play Three Card Poker. We cover the best sites to play, the rules, hand rankings, and winning strategies.
Whether you are a seasoned pro or a new player, this guide has everything you need to maximize your winnings.
Best Three Card Poker Online Casinos 2023
How to Play Three Card Poker
This exciting poker variation is played with only three cards, but don’t let that fool you. 3 Card Poker is packed with thrilling yet challenging gameplay and big payouts. Of course, it’s all up to the luck of the draw and your skill at the table, but it’s much easier to play!
Here is how to play 3 card poker:
- Players must place an ante bet on the table to start the game.
- Three cards are dealt face-down to each player, as well as to the dealer.
- Then, players can either fold or play.
- After players have made their decision, the dealer will reveal their hand.
- The dealer needs to have at least a queen or higher to qualify.
- If the dealer does not have a qualifying hand, all remaining players win even money on their ante bets. Play bets are returned as a push.
- If the dealer does have a qualifying hand, they are compared.
- If the player’s hand beats the dealer’s, the player wins even money on their bets.
- If the dealer’s hand beats the player’s, the player loses all bets.
- If the player’s and the dealer’s hands are of equal value, it is a push, and both the ante and play bets are returned.
Three Card Poker Rules
3 Card Poker is a fast-paced and exciting card game played with a standard 52-card deck. Here are the basic rules of the game:
- The game is played using an ante-betting system. This means there are no blinds in this game.
- Players only have the option to fold or play after seeing their cards.
- The dealer must have at least a queen-high hand to qualify. If not, all remaining players win even money on their ante bet and play bets push.
- Once the dealer qualifies, the hands are compared. If the player’s hand triumphs over the dealer’s hand, they receive even money. If the dealer’s hand beats the player’s, the player loses. If the hands tie, it’s called a “push.”
Some casinos may also offer additional betting options, such as the Pair Plus bet, which pays out for hands containing a pair or higher. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific rules of the Three Card Poker game you are playing before placing any bets.
3 Card Poker Hand Rankings
Since 3 Card Poker is played with only three cards instead of the traditional five-card hand, the hand rankings will also vary. See an outline of the rankings of the different hands in Three Card Poker, from highest downwards:
|Straight Flush||Three cards in sequential order of the same suit (e.g., 4-5-6 of Hearts)|
|Three of a Kind||Three cards of the same rank (e.g., 3-3-3)|
|Straight||Three cards in sequential order of any suit (e.g., 6-7-8)|
|Flush||Any three cards bearing the same suit (e.g., A-10-7 of Diamonds)|
|Pair||Two cards of the same rank (e.g., K-K-5)|
|High Card||Any hand that does not fall into the above categories. The highest card in the hand determines its value (e.g., A-10-7 beats K-Q-J).|
How We Select the Best Three Card Poker Casinos
When selecting a 3 Card Poker casino, here are some factors to consider:
Look for a casino with a good reputation for fair play and reliable payouts. Check reviews from other players to get an idea of the casino’s reputation.
Check to see if the casino offers a variety of 3 Card Poker games and variations. A good casino should have different tables with varying betting limits and payout structures.
Consider the software providers that the casino uses for its Three Card Poker games. Some of the top software providers for Three Card Poker include Evolution Gaming, Playtech, and Microgaming.
Bonuses and Promotions
Look for casinos that offer bonuses and promotions specifically for Three Card Poker players. These can include welcome bonuses, free spins, and cashback offers.
Make sure the casino offers a variety of secure and convenient payment options for both deposits and withdrawals. This can include credit/debit cards, e-wallets, bank transfers, and cryptocurrency.
A good casino should offer excellent customer support. There also have to be multiple ways to contact them. Customer support must also be a helpful and knowledgeable team to assist you with any questions or issues.
3 Card Poker Strategy
Here are some general 3 Card Poker strategies that can help improve your chances of winning:
Learn the Rules and Paytables
Before playing, ensure you understand the game’s rules and the payout structure for the different bets.
Play With a Sound Strategy
There are optimal strategies for the ante and play bet and the Pair Plus bet. A basic strategy for the ante/play bet is to only play hands that contain a queen, six, and four or better.
Manage Your Bankroll
Setting a budget for your session and adhering to it is crucial. Avoid pursuing losses, and refrain from wagering more than you can afford to lose.
Know When to Fold
If your hand doesn’t meet the minimum ante/play bet requirements, it’s usually best to fold and wait for the next hand.
Avoid the “Pair Plus” Bet
The “Pair Plus” bet can be enticing with its potentially hefty payouts. However, it has a higher house edge than the ante/play bet and is generally considered riskier.
Don’t Make the “Play” Bet Too Often
If you make the ante bet and your hand meets the minimum requirements, be mindful of how often you make the play bet. Making the play bet too often can increase your bet’s overall amount and decrease your bankroll faster.
Three Card Poker Payouts
The payouts for 3 Card Poker can vary depending on the specific casino and paytable used. However, here are some typical payouts that you might find in the game:
If the player makes an ante bet and gets a straight or better, they receive a bonus payout regardless of whether they beat the dealer. The bonus payout typically ranges from 1:1 for a straight to 5:1 for a three-of-a-kind.
If the player makes a Pair Plus bet, they receive a payout based on the quality of their hand. The payouts typically range from 1:1 for a pair to 40:1 for a straight flush.
Suppose the player makes an ante bet and continues playing by making a play bet. They receive a payout if they beat the dealer.
The payout for the play bet is typically 1:1 on the player’s original ante bet if the player beats the dealer. If the dealer has a qualifying hand and the player has the winning hand, the payout will be based on the ranking of the player’s hand.
It’s essential to keep in mind that payouts can vary depending on the specific casino and paytable being used. So always check the payouts at the table before playing to ensure you understand the potential payouts and any bonus payouts that may be available.
Live Three Card Poker
Live Three Card Poker is a version of the popular casino game that is played in real time with a live dealer. The game is streamed to players’ devices from a studio or casino floor.
In Live 3 Card Poker, players can interact with the dealer and others in real time. This thus creates a more immersive and engaging experience.
Free Online Three Card Poker
Playing free 3 Card Poker online can be a great way to learn the game’s rules and practice different strategies. However, remember that free games may not accurately reflect the experience of playing 3 Card Poker for real money. The stakes and payouts may also be different in real-money games.
To play free online 3 Card Poker, simply visit an online poker site and look for the game in their selection of table games. You can play the game for free in demo mode without depositing any money or creating an account.
3 Card Poker FAQs
In 3 Card Poker, a flush is a hand with three cards bearing the same suit. For instance, if you have the 3, 7, and 10 of spades, you have a spade flush.
In Three Card Poker, a straight flush is a hand consisting of three cards in numerical order and of the same suit.
While a straight is ranked higher than a flush in 3 Card Poker, a flush is still a strong hand. However, a flush is ranked lower than a straight flush or a three-of-a-kind. For example, if two players have flushes, the player with the highest-ranked card in their flush wins.
If their highest cards tie, the second-highest card is used to determine the winner, and so on.
After each player has placed an ante bet, the dealer deals three cards face down to each player simultaneously.
As with any casino game, 3 Card Poker is beatable. However, like all poker games, you must be skilled and apply some strategy to win.
3 Card Poker has moderate to good odds compared to other casino games. The house edge for the ante/play bet varies depending on the specific paytable and strategy used but typically ranges from 2% to 4%.