Poker news | Mar 24, 2023
How to play 3 Card Poker online
By RTR Alex
The 3 Card Poker game is a unique twist on one of the most popular casino games in history - Texas Hold'em.
Following the same hand rankings and a similar objective, 3 Card Poker offers a way for poker players to experience the fun of Texas Hold'em but only risk their wager against the hand of the dealer, not the other players.
The objective of 3 Card Poker is to make the best possible three-card hand out of the cards dealt by the dealer.
In 3 Card Poker, you are playing against the dealer - so the objective is to have a higher hand than them. You aren't concerned with the cards of the other players.
The game is played with a single deck of 52 cards, and the ranking of the cards is the same as in traditional poker. Ace is high, and the ranking is as follows: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.
3 Card Poker rules are relatively simple compared to other card games and follow just three different types of wagers.
To start the game, the player must place an Ante bet, which is the initial wager. The dealer will then deal three cards to the player and three to themselves, all face down.
Once the player has seen their cards, they have two options: to fold or to continue playing. If the player folds, they lose their Ante bet, and the game is over. If the player decides to continue playing, they must place another bet, which is equal to the Ante bet. This bet is called the Play bet.
After the player has made their decision, the dealer will turn over their cards. To qualify, the dealer must have at least a Queen high. If the dealer does not qualify, the player wins even money on their Ante bet, and the Play bet is returned. If the dealer does qualify, the player's hand is compared to the dealer's hand, and the best hand wins.
If the player has a better hand than the dealer, they win even money on both their Ante and Play bets. If the dealer has a better hand, the player loses both bets. In the event of a tie, both the Ante and Play bets are returned to the player.
In addition to the Ante bet, 3 Card Poker also offers a Pair Plus bet. This bet is optional and is based solely on the player's three cards. The player wins if they have a pair or better, regardless of whether the dealer qualifies or not. The payout for the Pair Plus bet varies from casino to casino, but typically, a pair pays 1:1, a flush pays 4:1, a straight pays 6:1, and a three-of-a-kind pays 30:1.
Once the players have seen their cards, they have the option to either fold or place a play bet (equal to their ante) in the designated area on the table. If a player folds, they lose their ante and any bonus bets. If they place a play bet, the dealer reveals their cards.
To qualify, the dealer must have a Queen high or better. If the dealer doesn't qualify, the player wins even money on their ante and the play bet is returned. If the dealer qualifies, the player's hand is compared to the dealer's hand.
In 3 card poker, the hands are ranked as follows (from highest to lowest):
Straight Flush: Three cards of the same suit in sequence
Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank
Straight: Three cards in sequence of mixed suits
Flush: Three cards of the same suit
Pair: Two cards of the same rank
High Card: The highest card in your hand if you don't have any of the above hands
Three Card Poker payouts come in three basic forms:
If the player has a higher hand than the dealer, they win even money on their ante wager and play bets.
If the dealer has a higher hand, the player loses both their ante and play bets.
if the player and dealer tie, both the ante and play bets push (are returned to the player).
But if the player placed a bonus bet (Pair Plus), they'll receive a payout based on the strength of their hand, regardless of whether they beat the dealer. The payout for Pair Plus bets varies by casino, but a common payout table is:
Straight Flush: 40-1
Three of a Kind: 30-1
3 Card Poker strategy is relatively simple, so long as you just play the odds.
It is recommended that the player always make the Play bet if they have a Queen, 6, and 4 or better. If the player has less than this, they should fold. When it comes to the Pair Plus bet, the player should consider their budget and the payout odds before deciding to place the bet.
This strategy is simply playing the odds and will consistently give you the best chance to win, but as always - the house has the edge.
Where can you play 3 Card Poker online?
As a fairly common game, you can find 3 Card Poker at most online casinos, but here's a list of our favourites. You'll find a mixture of real money and play money options.