Skip to Main Content
NOVELTY POKER
NOVELTY POKER

Rather than compete with the other players at the table, Novelty poker games pit you against the dealer or a pay table. Some of the rules and pay tables may vary slightly by casino, but each game has its own unique spin on the poker classics.

A number “3” is shown with three cards.

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.

Payouts

Three cards are flipped over on each side. On the left is a 7 of diamonds, a 7 of spades and a Jack of Diamonds. On the right is a King of Diamonds, a King of Spades and a 3 of clubs

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

A poker chip.

Ante bonus

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.

Two cards with a heart symbol on each has a plus sign next to them.

Pair Plus bet

If the player made a Pair Plus bet, their payout depends on the value of their hand.

HAND

PAYOUT

Straight flush
40 to 1

Three of a kind
30 to 1

Straight
6 to 1

Flush
3 to 1

Pair
1 to 1

A stack of cards say “six” on top.

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.

HAND

PAYOUT

Royal flush
1,000 to 1

Straight flush
200 to 1

Four of a kind
25 to 1

Full house
20 to 1

Flush
10 to 1

Three of a kind
5 to 1

Know the hands

Three stacks of cards are shown. One stack has a King of Diamonds on top, another has a Queen of Diamonds and the last has a Jack of Diamonds.

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:

HAND

MAKE UP

Straight flush
Three consecutive cards of the same suit

Three of a kind
Three cards of the same rank

Straight
Three consecutive cards of mixed suits

Flush
Three cards of the same suit

Pair
Two cards of the same rank

High card
One single card

Odds

A hand holds a phone that shows a calculator on the screen. The calculator is displaying the number 44.91%.

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?

Learn more about poker odds

Strategies

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.

TIP

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.