Three Card Poker is a casino game with a lot of fans. As the name would suggest, it is based on the famous game of poker but comes with simplified rules. Players are only given three cards per hand, and the goal is to beat the dealer's hand to win. Standard hand rankings apply as in poker, with some modifications to make up for the limited number of cards.
The variant was introduced in 1994, making it one of the newer table games available in casinos today. Despite its somewhat short history when compared to games like roulette and blackjack, Three Card Poker caught on very quickly and is famous worldwide. The vision for the game was an option that combines thrilling poker elements with the fast pace of regular gambling games. Derek Webb, the inventor of the game, made sure to provide game rules that all players can easily understand, high payouts that can catch the attention of bettors, and the right house edge that makes it profitable for casinos while not discouraging players.
Some casinos have made slight modifications to the payouts so the house edge can differ based on the establishment. However, the standard version of 3-Card Poker maintains a low house edge of about 3%. You can find the title in most land-based casinos, and it is also a popular choice on online gaming sites. Live Three Card Poker is available at top online casinos, bringing a mix of the two worlds for a more exciting gaming experience while at home.
Poker players are naturally drawn towards Three Card Poker for different reasons. First of all, it takes the regular card game and makes it a lot easier to play while still maintaining a high RTP. However, the strategy is a lot easier to follow and so it is not as stressful. Beginners can quickly turn into skilled players with the right tips and betting strategy.
What makes the game a hit is that it is appealing to all types of players. First of all, winning hands take place very often, almost every other round. In addition, there is a potential for big payouts of up to 5:1 in addition to the 1:1 rate for strong hands. Then there are the side bets that can further add excitement. Some versions of Three Card Poker take a side bet known as Six Card Bonus, which pays 1000:1 for a royal flush. There aren't any other casino card games that have such high rates.
For those who want to enjoy the main gameplay, 3-Card Poker is easy to follow, available at most casinos, and have a betting range that is very customer friendly. The only question remaining is why wouldn’t you try Three Card Poker given its mix of features?
When it comes to new casino games, the easier they are to learn, the better. Three Card Poker is definitely among the most welcoming titles you will stumble over in a casino. You don’t really need a lot of information in order to play and win. Here is a step by step guide to help you get started:
First, you need to find an open table. In brick and mortar casinos, the tables can have up to seven seats for the players, plus one for the dealer. If you want to play Three Card online, you can quickly start the game, and you will be the only one facing the house side. The table layout is kept pretty much the same, and you will see three main boxes. To take part in a hand, you need to place your bet on Ante or/and on Pair Plus. The latter is a side bet that can be played individually or together with an Ante bet, although it does not depend on winning the hand.
Once you have your bet placed, the dealer will give you three cards that only you can see. This is the case for every player at the table. The croupier also gets three cards facing down. If you placed an Ante bet, you can review the hand and make the decision to either Fold and give up or Play/Raise and add another bet equal to the Ante to go to the next round. Here, the players compare their hands with the hand held by the dealer. Poker hand rankings apply to each combination of three cards. Starting from the highest and going down, these are the hands available: straight flush, three of a kind, straight flush, pair, and high card.
The dealer must have at least Queen-high to qualify. If the dealer doesn’t qualify, the player gets paid 1:1 on the Ante bet and the Play wager is a push. If the dealer qualifies but has a weaker hand than the player, the payout is of 1:1 on both Play and Ante bets. If the Dealer has a stronger hand, both bets are lost. Additional payouts are offered on the Ante bet for solid hands. The actual rates can vary but are generally of 5:1 for a straight flush, 4:1 for three of a kind, and 1:1 for a straight. The bonus payout is added to the regular winnings.
The Pair Plus bet pays 1:1 for a pair, 4:1 for flush, 6:1 for straight, 30:1 for three of a kind, and 40:1 for a straight flush. It is lost if the hand doesn’t have at least a pair. Again, the rates can vary based on the casino and the version of the game.
As we mentioned before, another betting option that can be found in some variants of Three Card Poker is known as 6-Card Bonus. It is a bet that takes into account the total of six cards from the player and the dealer. To win, the cards must have at least three cards of the same rank, which pays 8:1. Payouts go all the way up to 1,000:1 for a royal flush.
When betting only on Ante and playing by intuition, the house edge in Three Card Poker is higher than 3%. A Pair Plus bet adds another 2.32% to the total wager since the two options are played individually. For the standard 6-Card Bonus bet, the house edge is of around 7%.
When it comes to poker games, the strategies are usually very complicated. The good news, however, is that this doesn’t apply to Three Card Poker. In fact, the basic strategy is straightforward and you only need to follow one basic rule when playing the Ante bet. You should only Raise/Play if you have Q-6-4 or higher. This is the limit where the odds are favourable enough to continue with the hand, and it covers the majority of rounds. In this case, the house edge overall is of 2.01%.
For comparison, clients who play every single hand are facing a house edge of 7% in most cases. It is good to let some hands go if they have low chances of winning.
To maximise the amount of money you can win while still getting good odds, you can consider placing the Pair Plus bet. About 25% of hands get a pair or better. The one bet you should always stay away from is the 6-Card Bonus one. The very high house edge for this option is not worth covering, even with a promise of high payouts.
Another important tip is to check the pay table and make the right decision before joining. While options can be limited in a land-based casino, you can quickly search for the best versions if you want to play online. The payout rates are shown on the table and variations can lead to a higher house edge. You should look for the highest rates possible for Ante bonus pays and for the pair plus pays.
Last but not least, you should play responsibly. Keep in mind that Three Card Poker was designed to be a fun game where players could relax and enjoy the thrill of betting. Don’t gamble funds that you are not ready to lose.
To sum up everything we now know about Three Card Poker, it is a game of chance with a reasonably low house edge that should be checked out. It has simple rules while only requiring some poker skill regarding the hand rankings. However, the strategy is among the easiest to remember, so it is straightforward to benefit from the lowest house edge that the game has to offer.
The higher rates for strong hands make rare combinations more rewarding, and it is nice when you get a straight or higher. As long as you remember to follow the tips from our experts, you are sure to have a good time and maybe even collect some nice winnings during your session. The only thing remaining right now is to go and play Three Card Poker!