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Three Card Poker Online Review – All of The Essential Knowledge

The present-day casino version of Three Card Poker has been around since 1994 when the game, initially called “Three Card Brag”, was introduced by the British poker player “Derek Webb”. The establishment of Three Card Poker in land-based casinos across North America coincided with the early beginnings of the online gambling industry. These developments encouraged the game to take root and gain widespread popularity with casino players. Today, the game of Three Card Poker can be found in most online gambling venues, albeit under different names such as “Tri-Card Poker” or sometimes simply “Tri-Poker”.

What Is Three Card Poker

THREE CARD POKER Hands & Payouts
Hand Values Ante Bonus Payout Pair Plus Payout
Straight Flush 9:1 40:1
Three of a kind 8:1 32:1
Straight 1:1 6:1
Flush 4:1
Pair 1:1
High Card

Strangely, the modern-day version of Three Card Poker was not created as such; instead, it morphed into the current version of the game we recognize today. Three Card Poker is, in fact, two separate games in one. The first game is the Ante/Play wager that is played against the dealer with the best hand winning. The second game is independent of the first called “Pair Plus” where the player bets on landing a winning hand of a “pair or better” with payout odds which rise depending on the strength of the hand. Players have the option to play either Ante/Play, Pair Plus, or both games. Hand values in the three-card game are slightly different from regular poker hands. In Three Card Poker, straights outrank a flush, and there is no full house which requires five cards to complete.

The General Layout

Three Card Poker is played on a custom designed game table with a single deck of cards which is shuffled after every hand. Of course, you can expect unique visual themes, based on the software developed by different companies, but the overall layout of all elements will be the same.

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Rules – The Play in Motion

Three card poker layoutThree Card Poker commences when the player makes an “Ante” bet and/or a “Pair Plus” bet in the provided spaces, as shown above. When all bets are placed, the dealer proceeds to give each player 3 cards face down. At this stage, a participant may look at their cards, but the dealer’s will remain face down. After examining their hand, the players must now decide whether to “Fold” the hand or “Raise” the bet. Folding a hand will result in the forfeiture of the Ante bet. If the player chooses to Ante, then an additional “Play” bet must be made, equal to the Ante. After the decision to fold or raise has been made, the dealer must turn over their cards – they qualify to continue the game by having a Queen or a higher card. If the dealer does not hold at least a Queen-high, they automatically forfeit, and the player wins even money on the Ante bet, and the play bet is pushed.

Should the dealer does qualify, the hands are then compared, and the one with the highest Poker value wins. When the dealer wins, the player loses their Ante and Play bet. When the player wins, they receive even money on the Ante and Play bet. Players also have a chance to win an “Ante Bonus” for hitting a straight or higher regardless of whether they beat the dealer or not, paid out at the casino’s predetermined odds. A draw results in a push. The Ante/Play bet does not influence the Pair Plus Bet. This bet is won, if the player receives a “PAIR” or higher at predetermined odds and is not in any way affected by the dealer’s hand.
Three card poker rules and strategies

Three Card Poker Game Strategies

Three Card Poker is not a complicated game. Players only have a few decisions they can make to influence the outcome of a hand, but that isn’t done in a direct manner. If we look at the best Three Card Poker strategy as the one which results in the lowest house edge, then playing the game armed with a few simple rules is all that is needed.

Playing the “Pairs Plus” Bet

The first decision a player needs to make in Three Card Poker is whether or not to wager the “Pairs Plus” bet. The house edge on the Pairs Plus bet can vary between 2.3% and 7.3%, which added to the Ante bet significantly increases the overall house edge. For this reason, the “Pairs Plus” bet is best avoided when used in combination with an “Ante/Play” bet.

When to Raise the Ante Bet

The other aspect of Three Card Poker that requires a decision, is whether a player should raise or fold the Ante bet. The best strategy here is to raise hands at the point where they work to the player’s advantage. The point is reached at Q-6-4 and above. This will result in a minimum house edge of 3.3%. Anything less should be folded.

Additional Tips

There is also a number of common-sense practices beginner players would be wise to follow when playing Three Card Poker. First and foremost, decide on a budget and play only with money you can afford to lose. Make sure you practice before playing for real money – there are many free Three Card Poker versions available online. Take advantage of casino bonuses when you can when playing real money games. Don’t forget to use the appropriate game strategy to minimize the house’s edge, and last but not least, be patient. Remember that not every hand has to be played!

Conclusion – A Fast Card Game with an Edge

Three card poker is a relatively new addition to the casino. Unlike other poker games like Texas Hold ‘Em and Caribbean Stud, for instance, 3 Card Poker is not a game which involves much game strategy. For this reason, there is not a great deal player can do to improve their chances of winning a wager. Following a few easy to remember rules can keep the house edge to a minimum of 3.3%. This may not represent the best advantage among casino games, but it’s fair compared to most. Three Card Poker is easy to learn, simple to play, and ideal for players who like to engage in all-action card games.

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