The Smart Players Guide To Three Card Poker
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3 Card Poker

Three card poker is a casino card game based on poker. It is a relatively new game compared to other games having been developed in the 1990's. There are two bets you can make an in realty each bet is a different game. As the name indicates the game is played with three cards instead of the normal five.

Aim of the Game

  • Ante / Raise Bet - to beat the dealers three card hand
  • Pair Plus Bet - to get a pair or higher with your three cards

Decks Used

  • One 52 card deck is used for all three card poker game

Hand Rankings

Three card poker uses slightly different hand rankings when compared to standard poker hands. You obviously cannot get a royal flush or four of a kind. The highest hand in three card poker is a straight flush followed by three of a kind. The straight then outranks the flush which is opposite to normal. This is because it is easier to make a straight with three cards then it is to make a flush.

Game Play

You can make a bet on either the Ante / Raise or the Pair Plus or both. The bets are separate and do not effect each other. The game play for each of the bet types is as follows.

  • Pair Plus (See Pay Offs Below)
    1. Player makes a bet on Pair Plus
    2. Player is dealt three cards
    3. Hand wins or loses based on players cards
  • Ante Raise
    1. Player makes a bet on Ante
    2. Player and dealer are dealt three cards
    3. Player may fold or raise
    4. Player and Dealer hands are compared
    5. Dealer must qualify with at least Queen high
    6. If Dealer does not qualify raise bet is paid 1 to 1
    7. If Dealer qualifies and players wins both bets pay 1 to 1

Pair Plus Pay Offs

The pay offs for the Pair Plus bet vary from casino to casino but in general they are 40 to 1 (Straight Flush), 30 to 1 (Three of a Kind), 6 to 1 (Straight), 4 to 1 (Flush) and 1 to 1 for any pair.

Ante Bonus

Some casinos offer an extra bonus for the Ante Raise bet if you get a straight or higher. The pay offs for the bonus are typically 5 to 1 for a straight flush, 4 to 1 for a three or a kind and 1 to 1 for a straight.

Best Strategy

There is no strategy for the Pair Plus bet as you cannot control the cards you get. The Ante Raise bet however has a choice of whether to raise or fold. You should always raise with Queen, Six, Four or higher and fold with anything less.

Where To Play Three Card Poker

The game has become quite widespread online although the name used varies. Some casinos call it Poker Three or Tri Card Poker. All of the online casinos below feature at least one table and all use the standard rules and pay offs.
Casino USA Games Bonus Software Details
Bodog Casino Bodog Casino Yes 100+ 10% RTG Review
Spin Palace Spin Palace No 300+ $1000 Microgaming Review
Platinum Play Platinum Play No 300+ $1500 Microgaming Review
InterCasino InterCasino No 200+ 100% Cryptologic Review
Also see our Top 10 Casinos list or our A to Z of Online Casinos.
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