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Three Card Poker Strategy- What Players Should Know

3 card poker has gained popularity recently. Even though it is easy to learn, it is also fun to play. With a bit of luck and strategy, you can start playing in no time. A little bit of skill is needed to play the game, even though the basic 3 card poker strategy can be learned in a few minutes.

What Is Three Card Poker?

The 3 card poker game was invented in 1994 by Derek Webb (Derek Webb gave partial rights to the game with an offer of $3 million by Joseph Lahti, not all rights reserved at that time). It is a casino poker game, which implies that it has stemmed from the typical player poker vs. classic player games, but rather the player should play against the house. It is considered a simple and straightforward game with a standard 52 card deck, where the player places an Ante wager; the dealers and the player are dealt with three cards each face down. The player is permitted to look at their cards. They need to decide whether to fold (throw away) their cards by ending the round, which means losing the Ante wager or play by placing an additional wager equal to Ante wager for continuing the round. Further, an Ante and play version are where the players compete against the dealer to get the best hand. Three Card Poker

Features of Three-Card Poker

Given below are the few features –

  1. The poker 3 cards game is described as a poker-style casino game in which the player will play against the dealer.
  2. Besides, 3 card poker games use a 52 card deck, and three cards are offered to the player and the dealer.
  3. The three-card poker game’s main objective is to make a three-card poker hand better than the dealer’s hand.
  4. There are also two optional side bets – the 6 card bonus side bet and the pair plus side bet.

The Basics

Let us discuss some of the basics of three card poker game –

  • Every player should start with a few fundamentals. If you are ready to bet and the dealer doesn’t have a Queen or other better card, the dealer doesn’t play, you win your Ante bet, and your Play bet pushes; it is either success or loses, regardless of the dealer’s hand beats your hand. On the contrary, if the dealer has Queen high or higher, at that point, to win, you should beat the dealer. If you win, you are paid on your Play bet and Ante bet. In case you lose, the dealer takes the two bets.
  • Ranking of most hands is the same in Poker, other than if you are utilizing just three cards and a straight is higher than a flush. If the straight flush and mini royal flush are at the highest point of the hand rankings, it is followed by three of a kind, like straight, pair, flush, and high card. If your highest card and the dealer’s highest card are the same, the tie is broken by the second highest card. If the dealer’s hand and your hand are the very same, you end up in a tie, and the bets push.


Three Card Poker RulesOver recent years, three card poker games have attained more popularity because it is easy to learn, but it is also fun to play. Moreover, in this game, the player not only plays against the dealer, but they even win depending upon how good their cards are. The main objective of this game is to find the best poker hand by using only 3 cards.

How to Play Three Card Poker

To start playing, the player needs to place an Ante wager or pair plus wager betting so that they can have a hand for at least a pair or better.

  • The game is dealt with face down to the player and dealer. The player is playing only with the dealer and not with other players present at the table.
  • The next step would be to look at their card and determine whether to place a play wager to bet his hand against the dealer’s hand or vice versa. The optimum strategy states that the player should play all the hands greater than the queen 6 4 or better (q 6) and fold all hands or worse.
  • When a player folds, the hand is complete, and the dealer will collect the ante wager of the player and the pair plus wager.  Further, if the player places a play wager, the card will be turned over to determine if the player is having a better hand than the dealer.
  • In a situation where the dealer has the upper hand, both the play bets and ante bets are collected. Besides, the pair plus bet is independent of what the dealer has.

What Are the House Rules?

We are all aware that every casino is different in several ways. Below given are some of the views that might differ from casino to casino in terms of house rules – the House Rules

  • Several casinos permit their players to play one hand at once, where other casinos allow a player to play several hands at a time. So the player needs to check out these criteria before they proceed.
  • Few card rooms have a strict one player per hand policy; other rooms allow several players to share their cards and help each other decide how to play their hands.
  • Few casinos require that the player place an Ante chip to a 3 card poker hand by leaving pair plus as an optional wager category. With other casinos, they have an option of playing together like Ante chip or Pair plus wager.

What Is the Strategy to Win at Three Card Poker?

For the Ante and Play bet, the best strategy is to play if the player has Q, 6, 4, or higher. Let us discuss some of the strategies to play the game like a Pro – Strategy to Win at Three Card Poker

Learning the Rules

By playing the tri-card poker online, you have the Pair plus and Ante-Play options. You can understand and learn about the rules of the options mentioned above so that you can be aware of which direction to bet.

With the Pair Plus option, you can win any time if your 3 cards have a flush, pair, straight flush, straight, or three of a kind.

With the Ante-play option, you will need to bet if you are holding a Queen-6-4 or better. You need to become familiar with bets or hands to fold by using Ante-Play to take the correct moves during the game.

Practice the Game

When you have learned about the strategies and rules, you should practice what you have learned in action. You can also find an online casino that provides the game in a Play Mode so that you can practice a few games and all set to play for real money.

Set Your amount

Set aside a sum you want to play with and do not change. If you are new to the game, you can decide to bet with a small amount. Most online casinos offer to bet $1, $5, $25, etc. You can use $1 and $5 bets till you feel more confident with the strategies and rules of betting, and then try betting with large amounts.

Two Games at One time

If you need to keep your loss/win even, it is good to play two three-card poker games for real money all at once. You can play the AntePlay and Pair-Plus bets on the same hand to avoid big losses by selecting one option for betting.

Choose the Best Casino

Few online casinos are unique and different, and also every three-card poker option for gaming will also vary. You can visit some of the casinos and take notes about the games on offer by explicitly studying the payout tables. You need to choose a good payout, so you are offered the best value for your money.

Why Should You Play Three Card Poker?

Why Play Three Card PokerLike other online casino games, three-card poker is easy to play even though it is not based on luck. By reviewing the basic strategy and guidelines, you can make choices to earn a profit. Few online casinos offer variations of three-card poker. You can play this game from the comfort of your home, whenever you have time. You need to learn the strategy and the rules.


Ranking in three-card poker games differs slightly from traditional poker. It is because poker 3 card games are played with three cards instead of 5, which changes the probability of obtaining certain hands. Moreover, in this game, a straight would beat a flush. Below given is an overview of the ranking of 3cardpoker –

  • Three of a Kind -Three cards that are of the same rank
  • Straight Flush – 3 suited cards in the correct sequence
  • Flush – 3 suited cards
  • Straight -3 cards in the correct sequence
  • Pair – 2 cards of the same rank
  • High card

What Are the Odds of Winning in Three Card Poker?

If the dealer wins,  the player loses their bets. On the other hand, if the player wins, they receive money on their ante and play bets. If there is a tie, the player pushes their bets; the percentage of odds are given below –

  • 55.03% if the dealer wins
  • 44.91% if a player wins
  • 0.06% if there is a tie

Besides, there is also an Ante bonus. This payout is not related to the strength of the dealer.

What Are the House Edge Advantages in Three Card Poker?

For 3 card poker games, the house edge mainly depends on the strategy, and it also depends on whether the player should play with their cards. The house edge is 3.37% against ante, but the house edge is only 2.01% against the queen 6 4 or better (queen-6-4 is not a money-making hand for players) if the player decides to make a play bet. In a Pair Plus wager, the casino has a slightly higher edge at 2.32%.

What Is a Flush in Three Card Poker?

A flush can be described as a hand where all three of a kind cards are of the same suit, but they are not in a sequence; for example, three of a kind cards might be all of the spades. Further, two flushes can be compared to be high card hands; the highest-ranking card is compared for determining the winner. If both the hands have the same highest card, then the next highest-ranking card will be compared until a difference is found.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, the player should learn about the basic rules of 3 card poker game and future strategies to help them play and win. This game is easy to understand compared to other games where the player needs to get the hang of it. It is one of the best table games out there. There is no foolproof winning strategy for 3 card poker games; the player might be losing some of their money and might gain some money in the long run. So, learn about this game and give it a try.

Janice Graziano

Janice has joined Times of Casino team as a casino news writer. Along with writing, she is additionally a content manager. Janice has over five years of experience in inscribing. Her zealousness for casino and online gaming draw her to casino industry. In her spare time, she relishes playing online poker games.

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