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Online 3 Card Poker basics

Published by Niki | March 28, 2019

Introduction to 3 Card Poker

The game of poker has been around for many hundreds of years. Through the ages, numerous versions of the game have been introduced. The original 5 card drawer table game has morphed into several variants, like “Jacks or Better”, “Deuces Wild”, or “Wild” card poker. Then there was the more current release of “Texas Hold’em” and other “Hold’em” poker varieties, such as “Casino Hold’em”’ which were instant hits. In this guide, we take a look at one of the latest card games in the gambling industry – 3 Card Poker.

Three Card Poker is a relatively new casino game on the market when compared to the age of all of the other popular card games available out there. A man by the name of Derek Webb from the UK introduced the game to the public back in 1994.

Guide to playing 3 Card Poker at online casinos

Although the initial introduction to the casino floor was met with mixed opinions, the game eventually won over the hearts of card-playing patrons all over the world. Its popularity in the United States was a trigger for the title to go global. Today 3 Card Poker is played in many different online and live casinos worldwide.

Why is 3 Card Poker so popular?

  • The game is super simple to play.
  • Basic strategies can be learned to improve your gameplay, thus upping your chances of good results.
  • There are two ways to play, both of which can be played with one hand.
  • A moderate house edge allows the players a decent chance of frequent wins.
  • It can be played from the comfort of your own home, from both online and live casino platforms alike.

Unique 3 Card Poker hands

Before playing any poker game, or even learning the rules, the first thing that a player must learn is the hands and their values. If you know the basic poker hands you are off to a good start, but be warned, 3 Card Poker hands are a little different. We have listed the hands below from highest to lowest:

  • Straight Flush: This is formulated by receiving 3 cards of the same suit, in which the number sequences runs in consecutive order (for example 6 of hearts, 7 of hearts, 8 of hearts).
  • Three of a Kind: This hand is formed when you receive 3 of the same card value (for example 8 of hearts, 8 of spades, 8 of diamonds).
  • Straight: This combination includes 3 cards from a mix of suits, with values that run in consecutive sequence (for example 6 of diamonds, 7 of clubs, 8 of spades).
  • Flush: A flush is when you receive 3 cards that are all the same suit. The sequence of values need not be consecutive (for example 2 of clubs 10 of clubs, 4 of clubs).
  • Pair: This is landed when two of your cards have matching values (for example Ace of spades, Ace of hearts, 3 of spades. The two Aces provide the win, the 3 is a spare card).
  • High Card: When playing against the dealer in the “Ante Bet” game, if you both do not land a combination, whoever has the highest card in the hand wins. A dealer must have a Queen or better to qualify to play the high card.

You will notice that there is no “Full House” because this hand is impossible to form with 3 cards. If you are an avid poker player, you will also note that certain hands’ values are not ranked the same way that they are in traditional poker. For example, a “Straight” pays more than a “Flush” in this game, because the chances of making a Straight with 3 cards is far more difficult than landing a 3-card Flush. Likewise, a Three-of-a-kind is a very rare combination and so sits second from the top, in rank.

Game rules

Table layout

  • The game will clearly be labelled “3 Card Poker”.
  • The game will be played with one deck of cards only.
  • On the far end of the table (dealer’s end), there are 3 card-shaped rectangles. This is where the dealer will place his hand, for all to see.
  • There is a circle betting spot marked “Pair Plus”.
  • Тhere is a diamond betting spot marked “Ante”.
  • Another card-shaped betting spot is marked “Play” on your end of the table. This is where your hand will be revealed and your play bet will be placed.
  • The Pay Tables will be displayed for “Pair Plus” betting as well as for “Ante” betting.
  • Minimum and Maximum bets will also be displayed on the table.

Red 3 Card Poker CasinoWow Chip

Play procedures

As stated earlier, there are two basic ways to play 3 Card Poker, and you can opt to play either on a hand, or even both if you so choose.

The first of the two games is called “Ante Play”. Here, the game is slightly more involved:

  • Firstly, you will need to place a bet in the space to indicate the game you are playing.
  • The dealer will then deal with each player and himself, three cards, face down.
  • Once you have had a look at your hand, you may decide whether to carry on playing, or whether you want to fold. If you decide to play on, you must match your Ante Bet precisely. The bet can be neither higher nor lower than your original wager. If you fold, you will lose your Ante Bet and the dealer will clear away your cards.
  • If you have decided to play on, the dealer will turn his/her cards, face up.
  • If the dealer has a Queen high card or better, they can continue to play. If they have no combinations, and the high card is a Jack or lower, you will be paid even odds on your Ante Bet and Play Bet.
  • If your hand is of better value than the dealer’s, he/she will pay you even odds for your bets.
  • If you lose, your bets are taken by the dealer.
  • An exact tie will result in a “Push”’, which means that you will retain your bet, however, it will stay in place for the next hand.
  • Whoever can make an “Ante-Play” combination will be given a chance at winning an ante bonus. You do not have to compete with the dealer to qualify for this bonus, just land a legitimate combinational hand. Common bonus wins in this game are 5:1 on Straight Flushes, 4:1 on a Three-of-a-kind, and 1:1 on a Straight.

The second of two games that could be played, on its own or simultaneously with the “Ante Bet” game, is the “Pairs Plus” game:

  • Firstly, you will need to place a bet in the round space to indicate the game you are playing.
  • The dealer will then deal with each player and himself, three cards, face down.
  • If you are only playing “Pairs Plus”, you need not take any further actions.
  • You do not have to beat the dealer to win on a “Pairs Plus” bet. Any hand of a pair or better wins.
  • Though there are many “Pairs Plus” payout tables, below is a list of the most popular ones:

- Straight Flush pays 40:1;
- Three-of-a-Kind pays 30:1;
- Straight pays 6:1;
- Flush pays 3:1;
- Pair pays 1:1;
- High Card: This is not playable in this game.

CasinoWow conclusion

As a result of this guide, you should be equipped enough to manage yourself at an online table of 3 Card Poker. As with everything in the online gambling arena, there is no substitute for confidence, so we at CasinoWow suggest that you find and play a few free versions of the game before trying your hand at real money. A mistake here could be a painful one. Once you have built up some confidence, go through our list of table game bonuses and hit the paid versions of the game to clean up the wins.

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