Three Card Poker

Three Card Poker

Poker that is played with 3 cards dates back to the origins of the game of poker. It is a variant of poker which is played in a lot of casinos. Just like other games it is also played online and is one of the most profitable table games ever, when measured by win generated for casinos. The game was invented by Derek Webb in 1994 in an effort to create a game that combines the excitement of poker and the speed of your standard casino games. His main efforts were to get the three important factors of any casino game right; the game rules are very easy to understand, the payouts are large enough to attract players and the house edge is big enough so that casino owners are interested in adopting the game. Here are the main rules of the game:

  1. Player has to make an Ante or Pairplus bet.
  2. The dealer hands each player three cards and himself three cards. Players can examine their own cards while the dealer’s cards are dealt face down.
  3. In the case that the player made the Ante bet, he must either fold or raise.
  4. If he folds, the player forfeits his Ante wager.
  5. If he chooses to raise he must make an additional Play bet, which is equal to his Ante bet.
  6. Then the dealer will turn over his cards
  7. The dealer requires a queen high or better to qualify.
  8. In the case that the dealer does not qualify the player will win money equal to the Ante bet and the Play bet will push.
  9. If the dealer qualifies, his hand and the player’s will be compared with the higher hand winning.
  10. When the player has the higher hand the Ante and Play will both pay even money.
  11. When the dealer has the higher hand then the Ante and Play both lose.
  12. If both the dealer and the player’s hands are tied, the Ante and Play bets will push.
  13. If the player made the Ante bet and has a straight or higher then he will get an Ante bonus, regardless of what value the dealer’s hand has.
  14. The Pairplus bet will pay depending on the value of the player’s hand. This is all shown on a Pairplus section which is affixed to the table.

Optimal strategy in ante and play is to normally raise if you have a queen/6/4 or greater. This is the borderline hand in this type of poker, meaning that betting on it will be a wise choice most of the time. Always keep an eye out for ties as some casinos will resolve ties in favour of the player.

There are a lot of variants of this style of poker out there, including California Rules, Macau Rules, Ultimate Three Card Poker and many more. If you’re truly interested in playing this game look up some extra strategy guides which will surely help you master it.


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