Three Card Poker Rules and Strategy

Three card poker rules and strategy combine aspects of regular 5 card poker with a few exciting twists.

Read on to find out how Three Card Poker rules and strategy can be applied to your game to increase your winning chances.

Three Card Poker Rules

Players place their bets on the ante box or the pair plus box or both. Three cards are then dealt to each player face down. The players may then look at their cards.

Ante, Play and Pair Plus Bets

If a player has played the ante box, in order to continue, he must match his ante bet by placing an equal amount on the play box. If a player does not wish to continue, he can fold and lose his ante bet.

If a player has only played the pair plus box he need not place any money on the play box.

Dealer Qualifies with Queen or Higher

The dealer only qualifies with a Queen or higher. If the dealer does not qualify, all players are paid even money on their ante and play bets are returned. If the dealer qualifies, hands are compared with the dealer’s to determine the winner.

If the dealer’s hand is higher, the player loses their ante and play bets. If the player’s hand is higher, the player is paid even money on his ante bet and play bet.

Payouts For Three Card Poker Hands

There are extra payouts for higher ranking hands. If the player has a straight, he is paid 2-1 on his ante bet; three of a kind pays 3-1 and a straight flush pays 4-1 on the ante bet. The play bet always receives even money.

If a player has played the pair plus bet, he receives payouts determined by a fixed odds table, irrespective of the dealer’s hand. If the player has no pair he loses his pair plus bet. A typical odds table would be:
Pair: 1-1
Flush: 4-1
Straight: 6-1
Three of a Kind: 33-1
Straight flush: 35-1

Three Card Poker Strategy

The strategy for playing three card poker is very simple as there are not many decisions to make.

As the dealer only qualifies with Queen or better, players should play with anything higher than Queen-6-4, and fold everything else.

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