Go Back
3 Card Poker Rules You Must Know

3 Card Poker Rules You Must Know

Attention-grabbing casino games need to meet three factors to help bring higher revenue for a casino. These include comprehensive game rules, having attractive payouts, and a high percentage of house advantage, making casinos more inclined to adopt the game. As 3 Card Poker rules are easy to understand, and give irresistible returns along with a house edge of 2% to 3%, it automatically fits the aforementioned criteria, and many players enjoy it.  

Game Flow of 3 Card Pokers

A regular deck of 52 cards is required to play this game. 3 cards are dealt with the player as well as the dealer. Wagers are placed at the beginning of the game. Bets can further be placed, or players can choose to fold, making them lose their initial bets. Once if you place all bets, then start comparing and declaring the cards between the opponent and winner. Although this game is played in front of other players, you need to understand that the competition takes place between each individual and the dealer.   

Terminologies of 3 Card Poker

  1. Bets: One of the essential 3 Card Poker rules is placing bets. At most 3 Card Poker tables you can play the following: 
  • Ante Bets: Ante bets are mandatory and are placed at the beginning of the game before the cards are dealt. The compulsory bets which have an equal amount of money or chips are placed in pots by all players before a game begins. 
  • Play Bets: After Ante’s are placed, the dealer deals 3 faces down cards. As per the 3 Card Poker rules, to continue their game, each player needs to place a Play Bet against the dealer who is equivalent to the Ante Bet, or they can choose to fold. The cards will later be turned over to determine the winner.
  • PairPlus Bets: A PairPlus wager is an optional bet. This wager is placed when the gambler is confident that his cards will have a pair or higher. The wager amount needs to be between the table minimum and maximum bet amounts. Usually, most people play this bet along with Ante Bets at the beginning of the game. This bet is most attractive as it promises high rewards, but it also increases the house edge from 3% to 7% as irresistible incentives can lure more people into participating in this wager.  

Card Rankings:  Win your game, it is essential to have the highest-ranked cards in your hand. 

  • Straight flush: This means the player’s cards consist of identical suites in numerical order. The highest card at the top of the sequence is declared a winner in cases of a tie. The highest form of a straight flush is the royal straight flush, and it includes an ace, king, Queen, jack, or the ten of a suite. This series is considered to be unbeatable.
  • Three of a kind: In this hand, all three cards dealt belong to the same rank. E.g., 10, 10, 10 or Q, Q, Q. The highest-ranking cards win in cases of a tie.
  • Straight: The player has three cards of sequential ranking. E.g., 10, 9, 8 or 3, 2, A. Highest ranking card of the sequence is considered a winner in cases of a tie. 
  • Flush: The cards will belong to the same suites. In case of a tie, the player holding the highest ranked card wins.
  • Pair: When a player’s hand consists of two cards of the matching rank, it means he has a pair, and in the event of a tie, the highest-ranking pair wins.
  • High Card: Any hand that does not qualify in the above-mentioned criteria falls into this category. 

Wins, Losses, and Payouts: How to know if you win or lose? 

As per the 3 Card poker rules, the dealer needs to have the cards that qualify to continue the game. 

  • If the dealer has a hand of Jack- higher or worse then the play bet is returned to the player as the dealer needs a Queen in his hand to participate in the play. Note that if the dealer’s hand is better than the player’s, but the dealer doesn’t qualify due to the absence of a queen, the player wins.
  • If the dealer has a hand of Queen- higher or better then both the play and ante wager is paid out at 1 to 1, only if the player has a good strategy. 
  • The dealer can collect play bets and ante if the strategy gives a good result.
  • It will become push if the play bets and ante get tied. 

What are Payouts like?

The most common PairPlus wager payouts in the US are:

  • Straight Flush: 40 to 1
  • Three of a kind: 30 to 1 (or 25 to 1)
  • Straight: 6 to 1 (or 5 to 1)
  • Flush: 3 to 1 (or 4 to 1)
  • Pair: 1 to 1

Card Strategy

Despite the various 3 Card Poker rules, one of the most optimum strategies a player can adopt is to play all hands greater than the Queen, Six, and Four and fold all hands worse. 

Since this game is considered to be easy, most players choose to play blind, or even regardless of the cards they’re dealt. This action increases the house advantage to 7% from the standard 3% and also increases their chances of losses.

House Rules

Different casinos have different 3 Card Poker rules imposed. Sometimes players are allowed to play only one hand at a time, while other times players have the luxury to play multiple hands. Some casinos also keep ante wagers optional just like PairPlus Wagers whereas some require the ante wagers to be placed before the game.

Casinos have set up various virtual tables with live streaming to help players enjoy a similar experience at their homes. The 3 Card Poker rules are the same when accessed in an online casino.