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Learn how to Play Three Card Poker

Basics of Three Card Poker

Three card poker is a game that is becoming increasingly popular in casinos all over the world, as well as for online casino players. The game play is very simple as the player and the dealer are both dealt three cards and the person with the best ranking hand wins and thus a new hand begins.

The game can be played with multiple players at the table and a single 52 card deck is used and being re-shuffled every hand. Some casinos use multiple decks, but they are not mixed together like they do in blackjack for example.

The casino has a very small house edge over the players in this game, so for poker players it is a great casino play to play, as your chances of winning overall is quite high and you get the same poker like feeling that you get from playing poker. 

Game Play

The game play of three card poker is very simple and straight forward. You will be forced to place a bet both in ante box at first, which is what you will receive prizes from. Furthermore you can bet on PairPlus, which is a special extra betting feature where you can win additional funds if you hit a good hand.

Once the bet has been placed you will receive three cards face down, which you then have to evaluate if you want to continue with your hand or not. If you wish to continue then you will have to place a bet in the play box to go to a showdown with the dealer. If you don't want to continue with your hand, then you fold and lose your ante bet, which can in many cases be better than going to a showdown with a bad hand.

At showdown you will need to have a better hand than the dealer to win any prizes and the dealer will also need to qualify for you to win prizes from both ante and play bets. If the dealer does not qualify then you will receive even money on your ante bet and your play bet will simply be returned. If the dealer qualifies, then you receive payouts accordingly with the payout scheme of the casino.

You will also receive an additional bonus prize for good hands when you play, even if the dealer doesn't qualify.  Payouts can be found on the table you are playing or online in the rules of the game, as they vary from site to site. 

Hand Rankings

The hand rankings are the same as you find in regular poker, with the trick being that the dealer will need to have a qualifying hand.

A qualifying hand is when the dealer has queen high or better, which means that if the dealer holds J-5-2 it does not qualify, but if he holds Q-5-2 then it does qualify.  The rankings goes as follows:

  • High Card
  • Pair
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of a kind
  • Straight Flush

Pair Plus

Pair Plus is a extra bet that you can place when you play three card poker, which can provide additional high payouts while playing. The pair plus bet is lost when a player doesn't hold a pair or better and will pay out extra prizes according with the payout scheme below:

  • Even money for hitting a pair
  • 4:1 for a flush
  • 6:1 on a straight
  • 30:1 on three of a kind
  • 40:1 on straight flush

Pair Plus are in general advised against in strategy articles about three card poker, but it is entirely up to you if you want to place bets in these or not.