Rules of Three Card Poker

An Introduction to Three Card Poker
The game of Three-Card Poker is relatively new; the credit for inventing the game goes to Derek Webb, a poker player. Webb came up with this game in the 1990s and it has since found an avid following at online casinos. Three Card Poker is basically a table game that has as its point of origin Three Card Brag, an English poker game. 

Three-Card Poker is fun to play and easy to learn. With this brief background, we will now get into a discussion on the rules governing Three-Card Poker. 

Basic Three Card Poker Rules
As with most other poker games, you use the standard 52-card deck to deal the cards in Three-Card Poker. As the name suggests, each player gets three cards that form a hand. Usually, one pack is enough for a game; however, if there are a number of players then you can use multiple packs. 

As in all other poker games, the different hands are ranked in a specific hierarchy. The hand with the highest value is the Straight Flush, which is followed by the Three of a Kind. In third position in this ranking is the Straight, with the Flush following it. Bringing up the rear are the Pair and finally, the high cards (you do not have cards in any specific pattern, just a set of three disparate cards that do not fit into any of the types mentioned above).

Three Card Poker Rules – Bet Types
There are two main types of bets you can opt for in Three-Card Poker. They are:
Pair Plus
Ante and Play
You can choose to use any of these two bet types while playing. You need to consider the scenario carefully before betting as each of them is unique and has its own plus and minus points.

Three Card Poker Rules – The Pair Plus Bet
The Pair Plus bet is quite different from the Ante and Play. In the former, it is the ranking of the hand you hold that determines whether you win or lose the bet. If you opt for this bet, you stand to win if the hand you hold is at least a pair, otherwise you lose. In the Pair Plus bet, it does not matter what hand the dealer holds; you win based on what hand you have. 

In the Pair Plus bet, because the result is based on the ranking of the hand you hold, the payout is not the same for all the hands. Each hand has, based on its ranking, a different payout. So if your hand is a Straight Flush, you will obviously make more money than, say, if your hand was a Pair.

So what are the payouts associated with each of these hands in Three-Card Poker? In this game, the Straight Flush has a high payout of 40 to 1. Following close on its heels is the Three of a Kind, with a payout of 30 to 1. These two hand rankings have high payouts; the other hands have relatively lower payouts. The Straight has a payout of 6 to 1, the Flush payout is 4 to 1, and a Pair pays out even money, i.e. 1 to 1.

Pair Plus Winning Payout Chart
Straight Flush  40 to 1 
Three of a kind 30 to 1
Straight 6 to 1
Flush 4 to 1
One Pair 1 to 1 

More Three Card Poker Rules – Ante and Play
This bet type functions differently from the Pair Plus bet. Here, as a player, you make an ante bet before the dealer deals you the cards. Once the hand is dealt, you can do one of two things: you can fold, in which case you lose the money you had wagered, or you can play, in which case you would need to make another bet that is at least equal to the original bet amount.

From this, it becomes clear that the results are not dependent just on your hand; the dealer’s hand also has a vital role to play. If you do not fold up and instead play, you would lose the game if the dealer’s hand was ranked higher than yours. This is how it works: if you opt for the Play bet instead of folding, you need to play against the dealer. The dealer can play if he dealer has at least a Queen as a high card. 

The following are some of the scenarios that may arise when you opt for the Play bet. For one, the dealer may not qualify, in which case you win even money on the Ante bet, while the Play bet is returned. If the dealer’s hand qualifies but your hand is ranked higher than the dealer’s (meaning you win), you win even money on both the Play and the Ante bets. If the dealer’s hand qualifies and is in fact higher than yours, you lose both the Ante and Play bets. In case of a tie, both the Ante and Play bets push.

There are a couple of things that you should know about the bets in Three-Card Poker. For one, it is not necessary that you opt for just one of the two bet types. You can opt for both types during the course of a game. The advantage is the possibility of winning on both bets, and the disadvantage is the possibility of losing on the Pair Plus bet as well should you fold after opting for the Ante bet.

Apart from this, there is an additional bonus associated with the Ante bet. This bonus comes into play if your hand, as a player, is at least a Straight It is also independent of the hand that the dealer holds. It pays 5 to 1 for a Straight Flush, 4 to 1 for a Three of a Kind, and even money (1 to 1) for a Straight.

Use our Three Card poker strategy to cut the house odds.

Three Card Poker table
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