Beginner’s Guide to 3 Card Poker

This table game has become one of the favorites in today’s modern casino. It has become more popular than Caribbean Stud Poker and Let It Ride. So, here is your Beginner’s Guide to 3 Card Poker.

3-Card Poker Table

Derek Webb invented Three Card Poker in England in the mid-1990s. Originally, it was called Casino Brag, inspired by 3-card Brag. It was then adapted to create a casino game in which players bet against the house rather than against each other. Soon, the Americanization of the game changed the name Three Card Poker.  You will find it in any casino with table games, not to mention it’s second to blackjack in popularity.  Why? It’s easy to play, is a lot of fun, and is one of the least intimidating table games.


The game uses a single deck of 52 cards. Each player who has placed an ante bet receives three cards. Then, the dealer gives himself three cards. After viewing his three cards, the player decides to either make a play bet, placing an additional amount equal to the ante bet, or fold, losing the ante bet.

Dealer’s Hand

The dealer reveals his hand after the play/ante. Then there is a showdown that depends on if the dealer’s hand “qualified” as follows:

    • If the dealer does not have Queen high or better, the ante bet is paid even money, and the play bet is returned.
    • When the dealer does have Queen high or better, and the player’s hand beats the dealer’s hand, the ante bet and play bet are paid even money.
    • If the dealer does have Queen high or better and the player’s hand is equal to the dealer’s hand, the player’s ante and play bets are returned.
    • When the dealer does have Queen high or better, and the player’s hand is worse than the dealer’s hand, the ante and play bet are lost.

    3-Card Poker Table

  1. An additional bonus is also paid on the ante bet irrespective of the dealer’s hand or outcome of the hand if the player holds a strong hand
  • Even money for a straight
  • 4 to 1 for three of a kind
  • 5 to 1 for a straight flush

Pair Plus Payout

The Pair Plus wager is based on whether or not you will be dealt a pair or better.  The result of a Pair Plus® bet depends only on the three cards dealt with the player – the dealer’s cards are irrelevant. The Pair Plus® bet is lost if the player does not hold a pair or better. Winning hands are paid as follows:

  • Even money for a pair
  • 4 to 1 for a flush
  • 6 to 1 for a straight
  • 30 to 1 for three of a kind
  • 40 to 1 for a straight flush

In most casinos, you can bet on either of the games, but some casinos require you to make an Ante Bet to bet the game’s Pair Plus portion.

Important things to know about 3 Card Poker

  • This is a fast-paced game.
  • The strategy is simple for the Ante portion of Three Card Poker. You should fold if you have a hand lower than Queen – 6 -4, and you should continue and make the Play bet if your hand is higher. Yup, that’s all!
  • The hand rankings are not the same as the other poker games. The poker hands, made up of three cards only, have a slightly different hierarchy.  The main difference is the juxtaposition of the flush and straight. Here are common pay tables for the bonus “Pair Plus” ante – some better than others:

For all of the mathematical breakdown, go to the Wizard of Odds website below, or click on the right link.

Related Post – 3 Card Poker

3 card poker – 6 card bonus

The rules for the 6 card bonus are as follows:

1. A player shall only place a 6 Card Bonus wager if he/she has also placed an Ante wager before the initial deal.

2. Players place the 6 Card Bonus wager before the initial deal.

3. The 6 Card Bonus wager considers the three cards dealt with the player’s hand and the three cards dealt. A player then uses any of those six cards, regardless of the number of cards used from their hand or the hand, to make the best possible five-card poker hand.

5. The player is paid according to the posted pay if the player’s hand qualifies for payouts,

6. If the player’s hand does not qualify for payouts, the player-dealer collects the 6 Card Bonus wager.

7. The player-dealer will pay all winning 6 Card Bonus wagers and collect all losing 6 Card Bonus wagers.

8. The 6 Card Bonus wager may win or lose regardless of the Ante wager’s outcome.

9. the wagers not covered by the player-dealer are returned to the players once the wager has been exhausted

10. Winning 6 Card Bonus wagers pay as follows:

3 card poker 6 card bonus


For those poker players and enthusiasts who are searching for something new but still want the same exciting aspects and elements of the poker game, why not try three card poker?  The lowest limits in most casinos are $5 ($10 for both ante bets).

That’s all for now



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