The Rules Of Three Card Poker

When it comes to card games at the casino, 3-Card Poker holds its own against classics like blackjack and Texas Hold ‘Em. The magic lies in its simplicity, speed, and the potential for sizable payouts. Learn here the rules of three card poker, readying you to hit the tables with confidence.

Understanding the Basics

This type of poker game, as the name denotes, is played with a standard 52-card deck and involves three cards dealt to the dealer and each player. The primary objective is to make a better poker hand than the dealer. The game combines two independent bets, ‘Ante and Play,’ and ‘Pair Plus,’ each with different payout possibilities.

The Preliminary Step: Placement of Bets

Before the cards are dealt, players must decide on their initial bets. If you’re betting on the ‘Ante,’ you’re wagering that your hand will beat the dealer’s. When betting on ‘Pair Plus,’ you’re gambling that your hand will be a pair or better. Lastly, you can choose to play either one or both bets on each hand.

The Deal and Hand Ranking

Once bets are placed, the dealer hands out three cards face down to each player and themselves. In three card poker, hands are ranked from highest to lowest as follows:

  • Straight Flush – Three cards of the same suit in numerical order.
  • Three of a Kind – Three cards of identical rank.
  • Straight – Three cards in sequence of mixed suits.
  • Flush – Three cards of the same suit, not in sequence.
  • Pair – Two cards of the same rank.
  • High Card – The highest card in your hand.

The Decisive Move: Fold or Play

Now comes the crucial decision—whether to fold or play. If you think your hand is too weak to compete against the dealer’s, you can fold and lose your ‘Ante’ bet. If you believe you have a solid enough hand, you can ‘play’ by placing an additional wager equal to your ‘Ante’ bet.

The Reveal: Dealer’s Hand

Once all players have made their decisions, the dealer reveals their cards. The dealer’s hand must be a Queen high or better to ‘qualify.’ If the dealer does not qualify, the ‘Play’ wager is a push (meaning your bet is returned to you), and the ‘Ante’ bet is paid 1 to 1.

If the dealer’s hand qualifies, it’s compared to the players’ hands. If your hand beats the dealer’s, both ‘Ante’ and ‘Play’ bets are paid 1 to 1. If the dealer’s hand is superior, you lose both bets. In case of a tie, both wagers push.

Winning with Pair Plus

Regardless of the dealer’s hand, if your hand constitutes a pair or better and you have placed a ‘Pair Plus’ wager, you win. Payouts vary based on the casino’s rules, and the ‘Pair Plus’ bet is not dependent on the dealer’s hand.