Three card poker

Three card poker

An Introduction to Three Card Poker

Three card poker is considered a popular game due to its simplicity and the fact that betting against the dealer is how the game is played, as opposed to betting against other players.

The game was originally created in 1994 by Derek Webb who had a vision about combining speed of game play with the same excitement and suspense that poker elicited. He aimed to perfect three aspects that he considered important in creating a successful game. These were ensuring the game produced large pay outs, an attractive house edge for casino operators and simple to understand rules of the game. Starting in America, three card poker soon found its way across the pond when it was introduced to the United Kingdom in 2002. It is now a staple in land based casinos as well as widely available online.

Getting Started with Three Card Poker

Three card poker uses one 52 playing card deck and has a second optional side bet which essentially makes it two games in one. The main game consists of placing an ante bet against the dealers hand while the side bet, which is called the pair plus, is a bet placed on whether a pair or better is dealt to the player. Whether one or the other game is allowed or an ante bet must be placed before the side bet can be is entirely up to the specific casinos rules.

How to Play Three Card Poker

The three card poker table has three circles for each participating player. The top circle is where the pair plus bets are placed while the bottom two are for the ante bet and the play bet. Abet is placed on either or both the pair plus and ante bet circles before the cards are dealt.

Three cards are dealt to the dealer and all of the participating players. Play starts from the left and moves clockwise. The three card are evaluated and the player may either fold and lose all bets as a forfeit or play by placing the play bet equal to the ante wager.

The dealer at this point reveals his cards and if he holds a queen or better he qualifies. If not all participating players will receive even money for the ante bets placed and the play bet will be returned. If the dealer does qualify then all participating players will have their hands compared to his. All hands higher than the dealers will receive even money for both the play bet and the ante bet but any hands held with rankings lower than the dealers will result in a loss of both the ante and play bets. The three card poker rules regarding a draw states that all the hands will qualify and be ranked higher than the dealer’s.

Three Card Poker Hand Rankings

The three card poker hand rankings differ slightly to the standard poker hands as there is only three cards held. The highest ranking hand is a straight flush which is consecutive numbers of the same suit. Next is three of a kind, then a straight, a flush, a pair and lastly a high card.


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