Three Card Poker is the most successful casino table game added to casinos in the past twenty years. Unlike blackjack, the game does not offer any serious strategy, but players love the game whether they are playing just the ante and play spots or incorporating the pair plus bet into their wagers.
Invented and initially placed in casinos around the world by English poker player Derek Webb, the game is quite popular with over 1600 tables in casinos. Learning to play the game of Three Card Poker will take the average reader less than ten minutes. Simply put, the best three-card poker hand wins! However, players may wager on three different bets, making the game more exciting. And, the game is also offered in a special progressive variety.The Play
Three Card Poker is played with a standard English deck of 52 cards. No jokers are used. Players places their wagers before the dealer delivers three cards to each player and themselves. Betting limits are listed at each table, but a $5 minimum is standard. There are two modes of play for the game: Ante and Play, and Pair Plus. Many casinos allow you to play either mode or both.
The pair plus bet is independent of the dealer's hand and is played by placing a single wager within the pair plus circle. Regardless of what the dealer has, players receive payouts on the pair plus bet according to the payoff chart.Standard Pair Plus Payoffs
- One Pair 1 to 1
- Flush 4 to 1
- Straight 6 to 1
- Three of a kind 30 to 1
- Straight Flush 40 to 1
In order to play the ante/play, a player places a single bet inside the ante circle. Players will have the options of folding their hand and losing their ante, or matching the ante wager by placing an equal amount in the play circle. The dealer will then turn over their own three cards. To qualify for play, the dealer's hand must be at least queen high. If the dealer does not qualify they will pay each player's ante wager only. If the dealer does quality, they will pay or take each player's ante and play wagers depending on who has the highest hand.
Standard poker rankings apply, except with regard to straights and flushes. In Three Card Poker a straight beats a flush since a flush is actually easier to make with just three cards. In addition, the house pays an ante bonus on three of the winning hands. There is no additional wager required for this bonus payoff.Ante Bonus
- Straight Flush 5-1 or 4-1
- Three of a Kind 4-1 or 3-1
- Straight 1-1
Obviously the higher payouts are more advantageous for the player. Some casinos such as the Wynn in Las Vegas, the Borgata in Atlantic City, and the Talking Stick Resort in Arizona offer a special Mini Royal Ante Bonus instead of the standard Ante Bonus.Special Mini Royal Bonus
- Mini Royal (Ace-King-Queen Suited) 50-1
- Straight Flush 8-1
- Three of a Kind 6-1
Three Card Poker has a very simple strategy. The play bet is a push unless the dealer qualifies with any hand that is at least queen high. If the dealer has no card as high as a queen and no pair, straight or flush, the bet is a push.
The simple strategy for Three Card Poker is to fold if you have a hand lower than Queen - 6 - 4 and play if your hand is the same or higher. That's all there is to it!