Three card poker may not have such a recognizable place in society as roulette or blackjack, but still, it invaded the hearts of many players. Three card poker is one of the earliest and most successful modern table games. The game is a novice to casino gaming even though it is extremely easy to train and grasp. But have you ever thought from where did three-card poker come about? How did it become so popular among the whole world?

The man who created this game is Derek Webb. Derek Webb was the owner of several casinos which altogether make up a network of gambling establishments called “Prime Table Games”. He invented the game in his indigenous UK in 1994, but he had to overcome many obstacles on his way before he received official permission to distribute three-card poker to the casinos. The British Casino Association required a lot of evidence of the true effectiveness and appropriateness of this game. Eventually, it was patented only in 1997.

As three-card poker comes from Britain, it is considered to be a variant of a game called Brag. But when this game was first introduced to America, its name changed a bit and became known as Three Card Poker or Tri Poker. However, some people still argue that the origin descends from an Italian game “Primero”. It is even said that this game was the first card game which was played with 40 cards in Italy.

In fact, three card poker is just a new form of poker that contains the key elements of table games – speed, large enough payouts, and the house edge for casino owners. Nevertheless, there’re some drastic differences between these two games (Poker and Three Card Poker) such as the number of cards each player is dealt. If you’re interested or you just want to have fun – stay here as we are to provide you with all the necessary rules and strategies. Here are the spots where all Aussies can fully enjoy this game.

How to play Three Card Poker

The notion of a game is quite simple: the player and the dealer each get three cards, the higher hand wins. In this type of poker, a 52-card deck is used. Ace plays the role of the strongest card. As you might guess from the name, players operate only with three cards, making all possible combinations. It may seem that the winning mostly depends on a fortune without any mathematical calculations but let us come up with a list of certain rules of three card poker:

  1. Make an Ante bet. It is a bet against the dealer.
  2. After that, you receive 3 cards. The dealer distributes them face down. Nobody replaces the card.
  3. Evaluate your cards, then make a decision – pass it or make a bet. In the first case, you lose the initial bet. In the second, you need to bet an amount equal to the “ante”.
  4. If there is a bet from the player, the dealer starts to play. He tries to get a combination or the highest cards, from a queen and higher. If there is no result, the game is voided. Players receive a 1: 1 payout for their antes. But if the dealer wins, then the players lose their bets.
  5. There is also a bonus version of the game for those who have scored the best combinations. The payout for a straight flush is 4: 1. These prize payments do not depend on what cards the dealer has, this is a guaranteed reward. Bonuses do not apply to the regular bet.
  6. It is also worthy to note one more bet – Pair Plus. It is an optional bet which you can make on its own or with the Ante bet. No matter whether the bet is won or lost with the three cards, in both cases, you are dealt a pair plus. Hands of a pair or even higher win and the dealer’s hand is unimportant. If you play alone, the bet is one move bet that concludes when the cards are dealt.

Three Card Poker Strategies

Playing Three Card Poker is quite unchallenging and really diverting. Some people even believe that there’re no three-card poker strategies at all, the matter is just in dealing the cards and luck. But it’s not true. No doubt, everyone wants to find and accommodate a certain strategy in order to augment the probability to win. So we’re here to help you with that. This a list of some strategies which will definitely lead you to success.


The usual strategy lies in betting each time you have Queen-6-4 or better, along with your high card as an Ace or a King, no matter how high your other two cards are. Furthermore, whenever your hand is Q-7 or better, you may not care about the third card. Fold if your hand is not so high. If your high card is a Jack or lower, fold, despite how high your other two cards are.


If you happened to know the dealer’s cards, you should change your ordinary strategy. If the dealer card is:


You can also win huge amounts of money through bonus wagers. For instance, the 6 Card bonus. The 6 Card bonus compares three cards in your hand via three dealer’s cards. If, after such matching the 6 cards, you can make three kinds of poker hand, you win the 6 Card bonus betting.

Three Card Poker Odds

Absolutely every table game you can play in a casino tries to get the maximum house edge – that’s just how it works. It’s normal, don’t be discouraged. When you play a proper game of poker, you can easily turn the edge to your advantage due to your skills, but this is not feasible with casino games.

When we’re talking about 3 card poker odds, they’re set at about 96.7%. So it turns out that the house edge for the game is just nearly 3.37% mark. It’s not easy to state that it is very good, but on the other hand, it’s definitely not the worst situation either. Luckily, you can shift the three-card poker odds to your advantage by clinging to the standard 3 card poker strategy (as it was stated above.)

In other words, the house edge against the play bet made with the Q-6-4 or better is merely 2%.

To crown it all, three card poker is one of the best casino poker alternatives you can play as far as the odds are concerned.

Three Card Poker Types

It is interesting to learn that nowadays there are completely new versions that are transfigured to engage curious players. They are as follows:


To a certain extent, it is similar to Pair Plus, this progressive game provides an expanding jackpot, which is awarded for a “Mini Royal” in spades. The required bet is one item. In some casinos, this game also offers a bonus, when every player who made the bet gets a payout of 25 items. Everyone agrees that such bonuses are very attractive wagers.


The name speaks for itself so as you’ve already understood this type is used predominantly in Los Angeles or California casinos. There’re some important differences in rules. The first one is the absence of the Pairplus bonus bet and the ante additional bonus payouts. The second one is the dealer distributes cards face up so it will be easier to make a decision. The third difference is there is no qualifying hand for the dealer.


Actually, it is quite identical to the Three Card Poker. But you should know that you have a chance to raise your ante bet to 3x. However, it is possible only if you have a pair in hand. In all other cases, there’re no exceptions so the ante bet has to coincide with the play bet.

This type of three-card poker incorporates the blind bet. It is when you have a higher hand than a dealer so this wager will be pushed. If not – you will lose your wager. It is worth remembering that your main task is to win the dealer. If you don’t, you will never win this bet. Even the hand of a queen-high is trivial.


There is also no qualification hand for the dealer. The player is just ought to beat the dealer’s cards. The house edge is greater in this version. Additionally, the so-called “Q Poker” exists which gives a chance for the player to call for help or to capitulate.


This game suggests three bonuses bets, such as Pairplus, Prime, and Six-Card. Here, you have a possibility to get a bad beat payout. As a rule, payout allows the participant to play again if he loses with a straight or better.

Three Card Poker Glossary

Action – the full sum of money that you or all other players at the table have contributed to the game.

Ante – the initial compulsory bet that each player must do before the cards are dealt.

Bankroll – a term that applies to both offline and online gambling. This is the name for the total amount of money that you have for the game.

Bet – the amount of money invested in the game, which can be lost in case of failure, or vice versa, can be doubled. In three-card poker, your primary bet is the ante.

Chips – it is the currency used in land-based casinos. They differ in color and each color corresponds to a certain amount of money.

Dealer – usually this is a workman in the land-based casino who is responsible for dealing cards in table games. Also in three-card poker, he is your main opponent.

Flush – a combination of cards of the same suit. In three-card poker it is considered to be below the straight.

Hand – player’s cards. If someone asks you to show your hand, they wonder what cards you have.

High card – when you(player) or your opponent (dealer)is not able to make a pair, your hand is classified in concordance with the highest card you have.

Pair – two cards of the same grade, for example, 8-8-K.

Pair Plus – allows you to get prize money for a combination starting with a pair and above, while in the main game a gambler can count on winning only starting from a straight.

Queen 6\4 – the lowest hand to raise.

Qualifying hand – when the dealer has leastwise a queen-high hand to do a showdown contra his opponent.

Raise – increasing the rate after someone has already bet.

Shoe – a device that is used by almost all land-based casinos. In it, dealers keep several decks, from which they take and distribute cards to the players.

Showdown – it is a situation that occurs after the last round of poker betting.

When everyone has made their last bets, the participants show their cards in order to determine the winner.

Three Cards poker FAQ

Is there any strategy in three-card poker?

Yes, but general recommendations include choosing the version with the best odds for the client and not using progressive bets. Playing with the Ante bet, continue on combinations of Q, 6, 4, and higher (Q, 7, 4 or K, 3, 2, or Q, 6, 5, etc.). This strategy reduces the house edge to 3.37% with sufficiently high bonus payments. If you play with each queen regardless of the value of the other two cards, the house edge will increase to 3.45%. By doing Raise with all cards, you increase this indicator to 7.65%. So as a conclusion, we can say that in three-card poker it is better to play at the Pair Plus bet, choosing the version with the best odds.

What are the odds of winning in 3 card poker?

Usually, the general chances of winning in three card poker are the following: 43.88% for players winning, 54.02% for dealers winning, 0.04% for the draw.

What’s the best hand in 3 card poker?

Since in Three-Card Poker the player can use only three cards to make combinations, they are different from those that are present in five-card poker. Their structure, in descending order of strength, is as follows: Straight Flush – a combination of three suited cards, the value of which increases in order. For example, peak 7,8,9. Three of a kind – is a combination of three equal cards. For example, 8,8,8. Straight – three cards, the value of which rises in order. Remember that the suit does not matter. For example, 7 spades, 8 diamonds, and 9 hearts. Flush – three cards of the same suit, the value of which does not matter. For example, peak 3.9, A Pair – when out of three cards, two will be of equal value. For example, 7,9,9. High card – there is no combination of several cards, only the highest card of the three plays a role. We also want to offer you data on the probability of forming combinations in three-card poker with a mini Royal flush. Couple – 16.94% Flush – 4.96% Street – 3.26% Straight flush – 0.2% Mini royal flush – 0.02% These numbers will help you better navigate the game.

What are the odds of getting 3 of a kind in 3 card poker?

In forming a three-of-a-kind hand thirteen choices for rank and four for three cards of the named rank will help us. This way we can make a mathematical calculation: three multiply that by thirteen – fifty-two. Thus, we make a conclusion that there are fifty-two three-of-a-kind hands. The possibility of getting this hand is .0024.

Is 3 card poker better than blackjack?

They’re both good games that are played with certain sets of rules. However, when we’re talking about three card poker so the house edge there is 5 to 10 size comparing to blackjack’s house edge. In general, it is typically for blackjack to have 0.5% for the house, 3% to 5% for three-card poker. In three-card poker mathematical counting won’t help you to turn the edge on your side. In blackjack, it is quite possible. To sum up, it can be considered as something between usual poker and blackjack.
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