How to Play 3 Card Poker

How to Play 3 Card Poker

Poker is one of the most popular casino games in the world, and it’s almost impossible to go to Las Vegas without playing at least one variation of it. The same is true if you visit one of the many other cities on the globe where there is a large concentration of casinos. And thanks to the internet, poker is also readily available online. 

3 card poker is one version of poker that you might encounter when looking at different types of the game. It’s a popular game for beginners, and learning the skills required to play isn’t too difficult. In fact, you’ll likely have a much easier time finding out how to play 3 card poker than some of the game’s more complex other types. 

That doesn’t mean that you should blindly walk into a game with no prior knowledge, though. There are still several things that you need to know about 3 card poker, including the different payouts and some of the main rules associated with the game. You’re in the right place if you want to learn about both of those, as we’ll discuss the pair of them today. 

In addition to what we’ve just mentioned, you’ll also learn about some useful strategies to know when playing 3 card poker. There’s plenty more that we’ll discuss, too, so it’s worth sticking around until the end of this guide to get a better overall picture. 

What Is 3 Card Poker? 

Before we talk about anything else, it’s worth actually identifying what 3 card poker is. As you might have guessed from its name, you receive three cards in this version of the game; we’ll speak about why this is different from other kinds of poker in due course. The game is actually pretty new, and it has only been around since 1994. 3 card poker was also officially patented in 1997. 

Today, you can play 3 card poker in several land-based casinos – especially if you’re playing the game in the US. It also features in many venues across the UK, so you shouldn’t have too many issues finding the game if you visit London or another big British city. 

In addition to playing three-card poker at a land-based casino, you can also play the game in numerous places online. We’ll show you some of the best places to do that later. 

How Is 3 Card Poker Different From Other Kinds of Poker? 

Okay, so we can now move on and look at how exactly 3 card poker is different from other kinds of poker. Whereas this version of the game features three cards, the more traditional version of poker features five cards in a hand instead. This is the case across multiple other kinds of poker as well. 

3 card poker also has slight variations in some of the rules that occur as the game progresses. While having background knowledge of other poker types can be useful, you shouldn’t expect to be successful with this version of the game just because you know something else. 

That Is the 3 Card Rule Set? 

So, what exactly are the most important 3 card poker betting rules to think about?  

One main fundamental rule that’s similar to ordinary poker is that your task is to beat the dealer’s hand. From the three cards that you have, you’ll want to find a way to increase your chances of hopefully winning. The three cards you receive will be down on the table, meaning that you won’t see what you have until you pick them up. 

After seeing your cards, you can then decide whether you think you have a good chance of beating the dealer. If you determine that this is indeed the case, you can place a play bet on the outcome. Betting isn’t too different from other aspects of poker, and regardless of your hand, you’ll need to place the ante bet – which is the initial stake for each game. 

Another bet to keep in mind is the pair plus bet. You can receive a payout on these bets if you have a pair or better. 

See Also: How to be a Poker Dealer, The Ultimate Guide

3 Card Poker Payouts 

Having now understood the basic rules of 3 card poker, it’s a good idea to understand the different payouts. How you win (and how much you win) will depend on numerous factors. In some cases, such as when the dealer has a Jack-high hand or something less, you’ll receive your bet back. 

One essential thing to keep in mind is that you’re not competing against the other players. Instead, the only outcome that you should think about is whether you’ve managed to beat the dealer. 

Some payouts are worth less than others, and this is typically because they’re more likely to happen from a probability standpoint. Ante plus payouts range from EVS (1/1) to 5/1. Straights are 1/1, while three of a kind is usually considered 4/1 odds. A straight flush is 5/1 and the highest ante plus payout. 

As for pair plus payouts, there are several other options available for winning money. These have a much higher payout range, going from 1/1 to 40/1. 

Straight flush is the highest payout from these bets, paying 40/1. At the other end, a pair plays 1/1. 

Flush is 3/1, straights are 6/1, and you can get a 30/1 payout for a three of a kind. 

Common 3 Card Poker Bets 

There are a variety of common 3 card poker bets. Each player needs to place an ante bet, and you’ll do this at the beginning of each game. You can place a pair plus bet as well, but this can also be used as a replacement for the ante bet. 

You can also wager with a play bet. But whereas you must choose at least one of the other bets we’ve mentioned, this one isn’t mandatory. If you choose to place a play bet, your stake will be the same as the ante bet. 

Is There a Winning Card in Poker? 

There is not a single winning card in poker, and your main objective will still be to get a better hand than what the dealer has. Having said that, there are – like with other forms of poker – a selection of cards that have a higher value than others. And if you receive these, you can potentially increase your chances of winning. 

As is the case with many other types of poker, the Ace is one of the most sought-after cards in 3 card poker. Why? Because it has one of the highest values. The King and Jack are also both high-value cards that can help you form a strong hand and potentially beat the dealer. 

Other high-value numbers, like 10, 9, and 8, are also useful when you need to form a strong hand. On the flip side, lower numbers – such as 2, 3, and 4, could potentially hinder you in some cases. 

3 Card Poker 6 Card Bonus 

Now that we’ve covered the basics of 3 card poker, it’s worth looking at a couple of other aspects that some would consider to be quite niche. One thing that you might have heard about when looking at 3 card poker bets is the 3 card poker 6 card bonus. 

The 6 card bonus in 3 card poker effectively includes all of your cards and the three cards that the dealer has. This can, therefore, potentially increase your chances of winning. However, there is a huge caveat that you need to keep in mind here – and that is that the dealer has a significant advantage over you when you play this kind of bonus. 

For the six-card bonus, the house edge is typically increased to well over 15%. As a result, it’s often quite pointless to try and play this kind of game. 

Three Card Poker Betting Strategy 

Now that you know a bit more about the basic rules of 3 card poker, and the odds of winning 3 card poker it’s worth thinking about different strategies that you can follow. In this section, we’ll identify some of the most useful strategies that you can follow to potentially improve more quickly at the game. 

See Also: How to Win in Blackjack?

Learn the Rules of 3 Card Poker 

The best place to increase your chances of winning at 3 card poker is to, quite simply, learn the rules of the game. Doing so is thankfully quite easy, and we’ve covered the most important ones in this guide that you need to know. 

There will be a few other rules that you’ll naturally pick up as you become more proficient and play more frequently. And even though some casinos might put slight variations on their games, understanding the basics will allow you to be more adaptable. 

Consider Which Parts of Other Poker Games Are Worth Keeping in Mind 

While 3 card poker has differences compared to the main version of poker, it has one big benefit. What is that, we hear you ask? Well, it still has quite a few similarities to the main version of the game. As a result, you can take some of the things you’ve learned and apply them to this variation as well. 

If you’ve got experience playing other kinds of poker, think about what you’ve already learned. Then, you can consider which parts are still applicable to 3 card poker. This might require a bit of experimentation. 

Playing Your Hands 

Generally speaking, you’ll probably want to place additional bets if you have a good hand. These are no guarantees that you’ll win, but you should often have a bigger chance of doing so. It’s worth, however, using your judgment to ensure that what you’re doing is the right choice. In some games, it might simply not make sense. 

Understanding the House Edge 

The house edge is also worth keeping in mind when you play 3 card poker. When you normally play, the house will have an edge of around 3.37% on ante bets. If you choose the pair plus bet, you should understand that the house edge increases to 7.28%. As a result, the latter bets are higher risk. 

Don’t Look at How to Cheat 

One common thing that some new players will look for is how to cheat at 3 card poker. But to be quite honest, doing so is utterly pointless. Even if you do win, you might hinder your chances of actually collecting your winnings. On top of that, casinos may ban you if they find out that you’ve been cheating in games. 

Take the time to learn and improve at 3 card poker. There are no shortcuts with this game. 

Where to Play 3 Card Poker Online 

Now that you know the main rules associated with 3 card poker, it’s worth looking at where you can play it online. Many of the world’s biggest online casino operators offer this variation of poker to players, and you can often play it with many exciting themes. The only real restrictions are whether online casino games are legal where you live, and if you’re above the legal betting age or not. 

When playing 3 card poker online, you can play with a live dealer. Here are some of the best places to play 3 card poker online: 

  • 888 Casino: 888 Casino is one of the best-known casinos in the online space, and it has a huge range of games. 3 card poker is one of those, and you can sign up in several US states. 
  • Betway Casino: Betway Casino is another place you can play 3 card poker, and it’s another well-established online casino operator. You can play with the 52-card deck that is available in many land-based casinos, meaning that it shouldn’t take too long to adapt if you’re already played it offline. 
  • FanDuel: FanDuel is one of the most popular sports betting websites in the US, but did you know that you can also play various online casino games? If you’ve already got an account, playing 3 card poker is a great option with this website. 

When looking for an online casino to play 3 card poker at, it’s a good idea to look for bonuses and other useful things. Having these can allow you to play more effectively, and you might also find it easier to learn the basics. 

The Definitive Guide to 3 Card Poker

3 card poker is an excellent choice if you’re a beginner to casino games in general, as it’s pretty easy to learn. The same is true if you’re new to poker and want to begin playing more quickly. You should understand the rules and main differences, both of which should now be in your knowledge having read this guide. 

Playing 3 card poker is exciting, and you can enjoy the game both offline and online. Understanding the house edge is especially important with this game, and you should also gain a solid understanding of the different payouts – as these will vary depending on the bets you place. 

Now that you’ve read this guide, you’re in a better position to begin looking at where to play 3 card poker.

See Also: How to play poker