Three Card Poker
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When compared to casino staples such as blackjack and roulette, 3 card poker is a relative newcomer to the world of gambling games. However, in spite of this, it has quickly become one of the most played table games in both land-based and online casinos around the world. It's easy to play, has a relatively low house edge and most importantly, allows for big wins and fast action.
This page covers everything you need to know about this player favorite. To get started simply click the links below to jump straight to the section you want to visit.
- Find the best places to play real money 3 card poker online
- Try our free game, no email or registration needed
- Find out the short history of the game
- Learn how to play
3 Card Poker For Real Money
Three card poker is a fixture at every online casino, with more than 500 different sites offering the game. We have tested and compared a huge number of casinos in order to separate the good from the bad. After our extensive search, we have shortlisted the sites below. At each of these you can expect:
- Highly regarded companies with excellent online reputations.
- Easy sign up process with lots of quick and easy deposit and cash out options.
- Large selection of games and top notch customer support.
Try Our Free 3 Card Poker Game
If you're not quite ready to get your feet wet at the real money tables, then there's no better way to start than by using our free game. It's completely free to play and best of all you can start right away. We don't need you to sign up, register or download anything. Just click and play. Furthermore, if you bust your free bankroll, you can refresh the page to reload your chip balance. So you can get unlimited reloads for as long as you want. Could life get any better? Try it out now and enjoy.
History of the Game
The original Three Card Poker game was first created by Derek Webb in 1994. Webb had a vision for the game that combined the speed of regular casino games with the excitement that poker elicited. It was important for him to get threee factors correct for the game to be successful: large enough payouts to attract players, easy to understand game rules, and a good house edge that would attract casino owners. The game was first played in the US and later introduced to the UK by Shuffle Masters in 2002.
Three Card Poker is also known as Poker Three, Trey Poker, or Tri Card Poker. The game started out as a licensed casino game that fast became so popular among casino players that some casinos began offering it under a different name to avoid paying the royalties. So, if you run into either of the aforementioned names, just know the optimal playing strategy is more or less the same, and the rules are similar across the board.
Three Card Poker is played with a single 52-card deck and is actually two games in one. First, the Pair Plus game allows players to wager on whether they will be dealt a Pair or better, or not. Secondly, the Play/Ante game allows players to wager against the house (dealer) to see who has the highest hand. Some casinos will allow you to bet on either game, while others require that you place an ante bet before you place a bet on the Pair Plus portion of the game.
There are three circles on the table per each participating player. The Pair Plus is the top circle where you can place bets for the Pair Plus game. Below it are two more circles for the base game, one labeled "Ante" and another labeled "Play." The game begins when players have placed a wager on the Ante and/or the Pair Plus circle equal to the table minimum.
The dealer will give each participating player a three-card hand after all players have placed their wagers. Play will start with the player seated at the left most corner of the dealer and will continue clockwise around the table. Both the dealer and the players are dealt three cards each.
If a player has placed a bet on the Ante, after viewing his hand, can decide to fold or play on. If he's not happy with his hand, he can decide to fold and lose his Ante wager. However, if he chooses to continue, he must place an additional bet, equivalent to the Ante wager on the Play circle.
The dealer will then reveal his three cards after all players have made decisions on their hands. If the dealer has a Queen or better, he automatically "qualifies." However, if the dealer's hand does not contain a Queen or better, then all players who are still active in play will have their Play bet returned to them, and they will also receive even money for their Ante wager.
If the dealer's hand is a Queen or better, then all active players' hands will be compared to his. If any players have a hand that beats the dealer's hand, then those players will receive even money for their Play and Ante bets. If the dealer's hand is better than a player's hand, that player will lose all bets. More so, in the rare event of a draw, all hands will automatically qualify and ranked above the dealer's.
The hand rankings in Three Card Poker are a little different than normal since players are only dealt three cards, rather than the traditional five cards. Due to mathematical probabilities of making certain hands, the hands in Three Card Poker game are ranked as follows:
- Straight Flush: Formed by three cards of the same suit appearing in sequence. For instance, 5-6-7 of clubs.
- Three of a Kind: A hand with three cards of identical rank.
- Straight: A hand with three cards in sequence of mixed suits.
- Flush: A hand with three cards of the same suit.
- Pair: Two cards of the same rank.
- High Card: The highest card in your hand
You will get a bonus payout for holding certain hands when playing the Ante bet. You do not have to place an additional bet to participate. You will receive a bonus payout regardless of whether you beat the dealer or not when you have a 3 of a kind, a straight flush, or a straight. The bonus amount will depend on the paytable values for your specific table.
The Ante/Play strategy is quite simple. Fold whenever you have a hand that is a lower than Q-6-4. If you have a higher hand, continue and place a Play bet.
The simplest way to determine if you have a higher hand is to compare your highest card with the Queen; if it is higher, continue play and ignore the other two cards. If your highest card is a Queen and your second is higher than 6, continue to play and bet. However, if your second card is lower than a 6, you should fold.
Your Pair Plus bet is based on whether you have a Pair or better, regardless of whether you beat the dealer or he beats you in the Ante game. If you have a Pair or better, you win; if not, you lose-it's that simple.
Three Card Poker Summary
Three Card Poker is quite popular due to its simplicity, while still eliciting an exciting time for players. Remember you are betting against the dealer and not other players, so you can easily develop your own cheering squad from other players who would like to see you beat the dealer.