One element of the game of Three Card Poker is obvious enough in the name; it is a game of poker that uses three-card hands. In Three Card Poker, traditional poker hand rankings are used, but of course, only by incorporating three cards at a time so strong hands like the straight flush only require players to have three suited cards in sequence.
Three Card Poker requires players to place a play wager, and at some casinos additional wagers of ante and pair plus are optional adding more excitement. Online Three Card Poker is similar to what appears in brick and mortar casinos.
How to Play Three Card Poker
In order to start the game of Three Card Poker off, players must place their wagers before they even receive their cards. The general play wager is mandatory, and most online casinos will set a table limit for what players can bet. The amount will vary from casino to casino. Also depending upon the online casino, additional bets can be mandatory or optional.
The Ante bet in some cases will be optional, but at most online casinos it is mandatory. The pair plus bet that players can place on the other hand, which is an bet players can make on whether or not they think their hand will have a pair or better is almost always an option to players. After these initial bets have been placed, players will receive their three cards at once.
After cards have been dealt, players who have placed an ante bet have the option to place another wager if they desire. This decision can be made after they’ve looked at the cards they’ve received. Those who don’t want to place another bet only have the option to fold, or a play bet equal to the ante can be made.
After additional bets have been placed, all players at the table reveal their hands. A dealer is only kept in the game with a queen high or better. At this stage, after cards have been revealed, winnings are distributed.
If the dealer doesn’t have a hand to play, then players receive their play wagers and ante wagers paid out at 1:1. When a dealer has a hand to play, dealer and player hands are compared – if the player has the weaker hand then the ante and play wagers are lost. If the player wins the hand, then as when the dealer can’t play at all, both wagers are paid at 1:1. Players can also receive a payout at 1:1 on the ante wager if they have a straight or better, and it’s paid out regardless of the dealer’s hand. The pair plus wager also has nothing to do with the dealer’s hand and is paid at 1:1 if the player has a pair or better in their hand.
Three Card Poker Strategy
Since players don’t have the opportunity to discard and take new cards in this poker variety, it’s a game of luck primarily where the only strategy lies with the betting. In order to receive the best chance of winning, players need to understand poker hand rankings, and understand the betting options in the game. Many poker experts recommend that players always rise when they have a Queen/6/4 in the same hand, or raising anytime there is a queen or better. These strategies are not fool-proof and players can also examine the paytables with any game to see just what the risk is with any hand if they choose to raise instead of fold.