3 Card Poker Rules You Should Know Before Playing This Game


3 card poker is a variation of poker that allows you three different ways to play the game and four different ways to win. It was first invented by Derek Webb with the motive to create a fast version of poker whose rules would be easy, the payouts would be big, and the house edge was enough to attract casino players. It is one of the most famous versions of poker.

In 3 card poker, players compete with the dealer and not among each other. It differs from poker in that here, only three cards are dealt, and a straight is higher than a flush. The ranks of hands are the same in both poker and this. The straight flush and the royal flush are the highest hand rankings. Let us look at the rules of 3 card poker.

Rules Of 3-Card Poker

Let’s discuss the rules of 3 card poker in detail.

  1. The game is played as a heads-up between the player’s and dealer’s hands. First, the ante wagers have to be placed. After this, each player and the dealer are dealt three cards.
  2. By placing the “play” wager equal to their ante, players can either fold or continue in the game.
  3. The dealer’s hand can play only if it is Queen high or better. Players can only play with the dealer and not with anybody else.
  4. If the dealer does not play, ante wagers are paid 1 to 1 as there is no action on play wagers.
  5. When the dealer plays, we compare the dealer and the player’s hands. On the player hand losing, both play and ante wagers are lost. Otherwise, the play and ante wagers are paid 1 to 1. In case of a tie, no action is taken on either of the wagers.
  6. In 3 card poker, the player’s Pair Plus wager bet allows them to have a hand of at least a pair or better.
  7. After viewing their cards, players have two options: play/raise or fold.
  8. For “play,” the player has to place an extra PLAY wager equal to the ANTE wager to stay in the game.
  9. In the case of ” Fold,” the hand has no role, and the dealer collects the player’s ANTE wagers and Pair Plus wagers.
  10. After action on hands has been taken by the players, all forfeited wagers and folded cards are collected by the dealer and placed in the discard rack. Then, the dealer discloses the players’ cards and compares them with each other, and the higher hand wins. The dealer will only qualify for the next round if it has Queen High or better.
  11. The dealer gets disqualified if the dealer’s hand does not qualify. The player’s PLAY wager is returned, and the ANTE wager wins 1 to 1. This is called a push which means you win both wagers.
  12. If the dealer’s hand has Queen High or better, a comparison is made between the player and the dealer, as said earlier. If the player’s hand beats the dealer’s hand, both the PLAY wager and the ANTE wager are paid 1 to 1. Both wagers are paid evenly. If the dealer’s hand beats the player’s hand, both the PLAY and ANTE wagers will be lost. In case of a tie, it is a push, and both wagers are returned.
  13. The player will get an ANTE bonus if he makes the ANTE wager besides having straight or higher.
  14. Whether the PAIR PLUS wager will be paid depends on the poker value of the player’s hand, irrespective of the dealer’s hand.
  15. In 3 card poker, there is a set of hand combinations in every game with a particular ranking order. The players cannot select the hand combinations from the get-go. They have to create these combinations with their hand with the cards they get from the dealer.
  16. The straight flush has the highest rank in 3 card poker among the hand combinations. The three cards are in the same suit and have a sequential order. The next in rank is “three of a kind .”It involves three cards of the same number but in different suits. “Straight” ranks third in hand combinations.

The three cards belong to different suites but are sequential. Next follows “Flush,” where the cards have different numbers but belong to the same suit. In “Pair,” two of the three cards have the same number regardless of the suit. The last in rank is the “High Card,” where the cards do not have a specific pattern, and the highest-value cards of the players are compared to decide the winner.

These are some of the rules of 3 card poker that the player must know before playing the game. It is a very exciting and engaging game. Recently some variations of the game have been found to attract more players. You must try it!

Rohan Mathawan

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This article is authored by Rohan Mathawan, who is presently working as the Vice President of Media Sales and Operations at Techstory Media. Rohan started his career as an online gaming and technology content writer and has written more than 5000+ articles for reputed brands and companies like Techstory Media, MarketingCrap, and a few other ad agencies in the last 4 years. Rohan loves to read about online gaming during his pastime. His passion to create content about online gaming forces him to dive deep into the research of the topic and what comes out is a highly relevant and captivating piece of content that is appreciated by his readers.


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