Three Card Poker
Three Card Poker is based on one easy-to-follow concept: whoever has the higher three-card hand—dealer or player—wins. That’s it.
Object of the Game
Win the pot by making the best three-card hand possible. Bets are paid either by beating the dealer’s hand or simply based on how good a hand is.
How to Play
1. Each round starts with the player making an Ante bet, and/or a “Pair Plus wager.” A Pair Plus wager is a bet that they’ll receive at least a pair or better. If they make the Ante bet, they can also place a side wager for a shot at the “Six Card Bonus,” explained below.
2. Once bets have been placed, the dealer gives three cards to each player and themselves. All cards are dealt face down.
4. The dealer reveals their three cards to the table. They must turn over a Queen or higher in order to “qualify” for the round.
5. If the dealer doesn’t have a Queen or higher, the dealer is disqualified and the player wins their Ante and Play bets push into the next round.
6. If the dealer qualifies, the player’s hand is compared to the dealer’s hand. The highest hand wins.
Once all the cards on the table have been revealed, it’s time to see who won.
- If the player has the higher poker hand, both their Ante and Play bets pay even money e.g., A winning bet of $1 will result in the player getting back $2.
- If the dealer has the higher poker hand the player loses all bets.
- If the player and dealer tie, the player’s Ante and Play bets push into the next round.
How bets are paid
If the player made an Ante bet and ends with a straight or higher, they win an Ante bonus no matter what hand the dealer has.
Pair Plus bet
If the player made a Pair Plus bet, their payout depends on the value of their hand.
Six Card Bonus
If the player wagered on the Six Card Bonus, the bet pays based on the best five-card poker hand that can be made combining their hand and the dealer’s three-card hands.
Know the hands
Since each hand consists of only three cards, Three Card Poker rankings are different from standard poker. Hands are ranked from high to low as follows:
While there is no way to make the cards fall in any particular order, the game does offer a 44.91% chance of winning on the Ante. Some players consider this to be one of the better bets in a casino.
Odds on the Pair Plus bet are less favourable: while it pays out 40 to 1 when it wins, it’s more likely to lose than win. It’s a gamble!
Want to know how poker odds work?
Three Card Poker has one strategy considered to provide optimal odds or the lowest house edge: raise on any hand higher than a Q-6-4 and fold on anything else.
If you want to feel the excitement of the Pair Plus bet, go for it, but don’t use it as a strategy for chasing back your losses.