3 Card Poker – A Primer

Three Card Poker was invented in England in the mid 1990’s by Derek Webb. It was originally called Casino Brag, since it was inspired by 3-card Brag, adapted to create a casino game in which players bet against the house rather than against each other. The name Three Card Poker was adopted when this game was introduced to America.

3 Card Poker’s popularity has separated it from the other fringe “carnival” type games.  It seems you can find it in any casino with table games.  There are usually more than one table, second to blackjack in popularity.  Why? it’s  easy to play, is a lot of fun and is one of the least intimidating table game. Here’s a primer.


thThe game is played with a single deck of 52 cards. Three cards are dealt to each player who has placed an ante bet and three cards to the dealer. After viewing his three cards the player must decide to either make a play bet, placing an additional amount equal to the ante bet, or fold, losing the ante bet.  Following this decision, the dealer’s hand is revealed and 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.
    • If 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.
    • If 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

    3-Card Poker Table

  1. An additional bonus is also payed on the ante bet irrespective of 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

There is also the Pair Plus wager, special side bet, 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 to 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

A winning Pair Plus® hand is paid out even if the player folds, though in fact this situation rarely occurs, since with any such hand the correct strategy is to place a Play bet.

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

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 you hand is higher. Yup, that’s all!
  • The hand rankings are not the same as the other poker games. Because only three cards can be dealt to any single player, the poker hands that they must create should be made up of three cards only, and thus 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:
Common Pay Structures
Hand Type A B C D
Straight Flush 40-1 40-1 40-1 40-1
3 of –a kind 30-1 25-1 30-1 30-1
Straight 6-1 6-1 5-1 6-1
Flush 4-1 4-1 4-1 3-1
Pair 1-1 1-1 1-1 1-1
House Edge 2.32 3.49 5.90 7.28

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


3 card poker – 6 card bonus

Three Card Poker 6 Card Bonus (TCP) is a Three Card Poker game that utilizes a player-dealer position. As in other games featuring a player-dealer, the players play against another player who will collect all winnings and pay all losing wagers to the extent that their wagers covers. The 6 Card Bonus is an additional optional bonus bet for Three Card Poker. The rules are as follows:

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

2. 6 Card Bonus wagers must be placed prior to the initial deal.

3. See the collection rate schedule for restrictions on the amount that may be wagered on the 6 Card Bonus Bet and any collection fees that may be taken.

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

5. If the player’s hand qualifies for payouts, the player is paid according to the posted pay below by the player-dealer.

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 will collect all losing 6 Card Bonus wagers.

8. The 6 Card Bonus wager may win or lose regardless of the outcome of the Ante wager. The 6 Card Bonus wager shall not be forfeited if the player folds their hand and does not place a Play wager.

9. Once the player-dealer’s wager has been exhausted, the wagers not covered by the player-dealer will be returned to the players.

10. Winning 6 Card Bonus wagers pay as follows:

3 card poker 6 card bonus

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

That’s all for now



Texas Hold ’em Nicknames For Your 2-Card Hand

texasholdemNames, names names.  It’s amazing the slang used in gambling for all sorts of things. If you visit the casino, you heard the basics before:

  • Action – the amount of money a player wagers during a playing session
  • Camouflage – any action made by a skilled gambler to hide his activities from the casino.
  • Eye in the sky – refers to surveillance cameras situated on the ceilings of the casino’s gaming area.
  • Whale – a high roller

But, poker players have their own slang, jargon…..whatever you want to call it. And, Texas Hold’m leads them all.

Here’s a list of Texas Hold’em starting hands and how they got their names –  a definitive list of names that are still actually used, and the convoluted (fancy word for “what may be a lie”) story behind them.  Thanks to the work of Al Moe, here it is. Check out his Bio below his article before you leave.

acesAce-Ace –  Aces only come around about once in every 221 hands, so your really enjoy them, except when they get cracked (beaten). That’s why sometimes a player will say they had eggs, and they got scrambled. Other names for the best starting hand in the game are: pocket rockets, bullets, and the nuts.

Ace-King – Big Slick (Those Texas Boys again, when you’ve got a slick of oil coming up from the ground you are pretty happy – it’s almost as good as AA, but you ain’t got no cash yet).

Ace-Queen – Little Slick or Big Chick are the favorites, Killer Queen is a backup, because it loses to AK.

Ace-Jack – Blue Dot Cleanser (Ajax used to be in every American kitchen).

Ace-Deuce – Acey Deucy, Top and Bottom, No Field Goal (no kicker to go with the ace).

pair-of-kingsKing-King – Cowboys, King Kong, Knuckleheads (when they are played hard and lose to AA)

King-Queen – Royal Family, Marriage.

King-Jack – Kay Jay, Kojak (1970’s police show).

King-Nine – K9 (canine), Dog hand, Big Dog.

Queen-Queen – Ladies, Bitches,

Queen-Jack – Maverick (1950’s western “Living on Queens and Jacks”)

Maverick, the Tv Show, 1957 - 1963

Maverick, the Tv Show, 1957 – 1963

Queen-Ten – QT, on the QT (silently, secretly, especially since QT makes a nice straight that is often over looked).

Queen-Nine – Quinine (an early anti-malaria drug).

Queen-Seven – Computer Hand (1980’s computer simulation showed the hand to be right in the middle of all hands, a break-even hand).

Jack-Jack – Jakes, Meat hooks, Fish hooks, U-turn and 0 and 20 (never wins).

Never wins!

Never wins!

Jack-Five – Motown (Jackson Five).


Jackson Five

Jack-Four – Tire changer (what’s a jack for?).

Ten-Ten – Audi (Audi TT), Dynamite (say it slow,TNT).


Woolworths Dept. Store.

Ten-Five – Woolworths Five and Dime (old stores with lots of goods for five and ten cents)

Ten-Four – CB Hand, Good Buddy, Broderick Crawford (1950’s cop show using the term 10-4 which meant “everything is alright).

Ten-Two – Doyle Brunson (who won two WSOP Championships with 10-2 on the final hand).


The original “agent 99” in Get Smart – Barbara Feldman

Nine-Nine – Barbara Feldman (Played Agent 99 on 1960’s Get Smart TV Show), Gretzky (the Great One’s hockey number).

Nine-Eight – Ninety-eight, Oldsmobile (the Old’s 98 was a hot car starting in the late 1940’s)

Nine-Five – Workday, Dolly Parton (from the movie 9 to 5), Workin’ Man (song by Merle Haggerd)

Eight-Eight – Ovals (88 looks like to race tracks), Snowmen, Dog Balls, Piano Keys (88 keys).

Eight-Six – Maxwell Smart (Agent 86 on 1960’s TV show Get Smart).

Seven-Seven – Sunset Strip (1960’s TV show 77 Sunset Strip), Crutches, Hockey Sticks, Hammers.

Seven-Six – Union Oil (old gas chain was Union 76), Independence (US – 1776.)

Worst hand.

Worst hand.

Seven-Deuce – Hammer (you’ll get hammered if you play the worst hand in Texas Hold’em), Beer Hand (you’ll be out of the game and at the bar if you play the hand).

Six-Nine – Happy Meal, Big Lick (sexual reference).

Six-Six – Kicks (1950’s Chuck Berry Song, Get your Kicks on Route 66), Hard Road

Five-Five – Sammy Hagar (sang “I can’t drive, 55), Double nickle.

Five-Two – Bomber (as in B-52)

A B-52D Stratofortress from the 93rd Bombardment Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., drops bombs. B-52Ds were modified in 1966 to carry 108, 500-lb bombs while the normal conventional payload before was only 51. (Historical U.S. Air Force photo)

A B-52D Stratofortress (Historical U.S. Air Force photo)

Four-Five – 45, Jessie James (was killed with a .45 caliber handgun).

Four-Four – Handgun, Magnum, Dirty Harry (1970’s Movies with Clint Eastwood, who used a .44 caliber Magnum handgun).

Three-Nine – Jack Benny (who always said he was 39 years old).

Three-Three – Craps (they look like ’em), short route (half of route 66).

Three-Ace – Baskin Robbins (31 flavors of ice cream).downloadTwo-Nine – Twiggy (1960’s fashion model who was thin).

Two-Four – Lumber Number (a two-by-four piece of wood).

Two-Two – Ducks, Quackers,

There are others, but those are the popular ones.  Who knew playing Texas Hold’em had so many names for your two card hand.  I’m still getting confused over Flop, Turn and River!


Special thanks to Al Moe for his many contributions to all levels of gamblers over the years. Moe is the author of Vegas and the Mob and has written for Gambling Times/Poker Player, Pokernews.com and Casino and Gaming Chips Magazine. His love for casinos and the history of gambling are only exceeded by the thrill he gets learning new casino games and his desire to teach new players how to get the most for their money at the casino. He writes the very fun & informative AboutCasinoGambling.com  which is a great resource for some of the simplest or hardest questions you may have, and everything in between.  Do yourself a favor and check his archives out.

Foxwoods Hosts This Year’s World Series of Poker as the first stop

wsop-logoThe 2015 World Series of Poker Main Event is in full swing, but not every poker player can afford the $10,000 buy-in and transportation costs to Las Vegas plus the time off of work, no matter how much they love to play. Enter theWorld Series of Poker Circuit. Last week, the World Series of Poker released the schedule for the 2015-2016 WSOP Circuit season, which gives poker players around the country the opportunity to compete in WSOP-sanctioned tournaments at relatively affordable prices.

Largest Poker Room in New England at Foxwoods

Largest Poker Room in New England at Foxwoods

The new WSOP Circuit season will kick off August 6th at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut with the Main Event taking place August 15th through August 17th. All told, there will be 25 stops on the WSOP Circuit in the coming season, 19 in the United States and six in other countries.

According to Dan Katz, of Poker News Daily, “Like last season, the WSOP Circuit season will end with the WSOP National Championship, but since there are now international events, that final tourney has had its name changed to the WSOP Global Casino Championship. A total of 100 players will qualify for a free seat into the $1 million guaranteed event. 25 of those will be the Main Event winners at each WSOP Circuit stop. At each stop, there will be a dozen “ring events” which award points based on order of finish. The player at each venue who earns the most points will be dubbed the “casino champion” and will earn a free seat in the WSOP Global Casino Championship – there’s another 25 players. The other 50 free seats will go to the 50 players who earned the most points during the entire WSOP Circuit season who did not win a Main Event or claim a casino championship. If more Circuit stops are added to the schedule, an additional $10,000 will be added to the WSOP Global Casino Championship prize pool for each additional free seat.”

th (75)After going to the WSOP website, I decided that I will include it below and under Resources in my sidebar.  Not only can you see the results of the 2015-2016, but on their website you can follow the players, watch live coverage and even practice and raise your skills with tips & strategy help.

You can also play for fun with their app, available on for Ios and Android devices.

May I also suggest for beginners, enthusiasts or pros, to check out two on the links on the side:

“You Can Bet On That” – lists many poker games for home poker get-togethers, and

“Wizard of Odds” – the best resource for all poker players alike, concerning odds, strategy, and correct play.

That’s all for now.