how to play three card poker
Three Card Poker is a great poker variant that you should consider if you're growing tired of traditional casino games. Three Card Poker was initiated back in the 1990s and was inspired by Three Card Brag. However, with 3 Card Poker, players bet against the dealer instead of betting against the other players. The game is played using a standard fifty two card deck, and two types of bets are used in the game—the ante and the "pair plus." The ante is placed before the hand is dealt, and the "pair plus" is a bet on the individual player's hand, which is paid out of what the dealer has in their hand.
3 Card Poker Hand Rankings
For 3 Card Poker, the ranking of hands is from the lowest to highest as listed below:
- High Card
- Three of a Kind
- Straight Flush
For the High Card, there are three different rankings and are not of the same suit and not consecutive (ex. Queen of Spades, Jack of Clubs, and Nine of Hearts). While comparing the two hands, the high cards are compared—if equal, then the middle card will be compared, and finally, if applicable, the low card.
The next hand ranking is the Pair—two cards of the same value, and the third card of a different ranking (ex. Six of Hearts, Six of Clubs, and Jack of Spades). When comparing the hands, the higher pair will win the hand. If there is a tie, then the third card will decide the winner of the hand.
A Flush is three cards of any value that have the same suit (ex. Two of Hearts, Eight of Hearts, and Jack of Hearts). The winning hand is determined the same way as the High Card listed above.
A straight is three consecutive cards of different suits (ex. Five of Spades, Six of Hearts, and Seven of Diamonds). Keep in mind that a Two, Ace, and King are NOT considered a Straight.
The 3 of a Kind hand is three cards of the same number (ex. Four of Diamonds, Four of Clubs, and Four of Spades). The higher ranking of card values will beat the lower ranking of card values.
The highest ranking players and the dealer can have is the Straight Flush. The Straight Flush is three cards in consecutive order of the same suit (ex. Four of Diamonds, Five of Diamonds, and Six of Diamonds). The Straight Flush is compared the same as the Straight, where the Ace can either be High or Low.
3 Card Poker - Game Play
The dealer will deal three cards to each player; the players will then decide to either fold or make place a bet, by placing another amount to the pot. Once the player has made their decision, the dealer will reveal their hand and the showdown will begin by the following:
- The dealer doesn't have a Queen high or greater, then the ante is paid, and the bet is returned to the players.
- If the dealer does have a Queen high or greater, and the player beats the dealer's hand, the play bet and ante are paid out in even money.
- If the dealer has a Queen high or greater, and a player's hand is the same as the dealer's hand, the ante and bets are returned.
- If the dealer has a Queen high or greater, and the player's hand is not as good as than the dealer's hand, the player loses the pot.