3 Card Poker

Summary - 3 Card Poker is a casino table game which incorporates the rules of Texas Hold'em but is played with three cards.  The player plays against the dealer and the goal of the game is to make the best 3 card poker hand possible.

Welcome to our 3 Card Poker guide which will teach you all the rules and strategy for playing 3 Card Poker online at casinos.  Three Card Poker is a popular casino game which incorporates the hand values of 5 card draw and is a mix between a regular poker game and Caribbean Stud.  Contrary to regular poker games where you play against the other players at the table, 3 Card Poker is played directly against the casino dealer and the object is to get the best poker hand using the 3 cards that are dealt to you in the player position.  On this page you will find a full overview of how to play three card poker as well as the best 3 Card Poker casinos.

How To Play Three Card Poker

Three Card Poker is a simple game to learn (especially if you know poker) and is a casino table game which is played against the dealer.  The object of the game is to get the highest poker hand possible with the cards that are dealt to you by the dealer.  Since the game is based on three cards and not five, the highest hand that can be made in 3 Card Poker is a straight flush (hand ranking detailed below).  Now let's take a look at how a typical three card poker game would run at a casino.

3 Card Poker

The game begins with the player making an initial ante bet as well as a pair plus bet (optional bonus bet) to start the game.  The dealer will then place three cards face down to each player and deal 3 cards face down to themselves.  Players then may examine their cards to see what they have been dealt.  At this point, the player must decide whether to raise or fold their hand.  If they want to continue playing they must raise with an additional wager equal to the size of their ante bet.  If the player folds they will lose their original ante wager.  Once the raising and folding is completed at the table, the dealer will expose their hand and compare them to player hands to determine the winning hands for that round.

To beat the dealer, you have to have a higher 3 card poker hand than them, for example 7, 7, 7 (three of a kind) would beat a dealer's 4, 4, 10 (one pair).  The dealer only qualifies with a hand containing one queen or better while players are free to raise any hand they wish.  If the dealer does not qualify the player will be paid back only on the ante bet placed and return their raise wager.  If the dealer qualifies and you have a better hand, you will be paid on both your ante and raise bets.  If the dealer qualifies and you have a worst hand, you will lose both bets and lastly if you and the dealer have the same hand, it's a push and bets are returned.

Quick Recap

  • Player makes their ante bet plus a pair plus (bonus) bet if they wish
  • Dealer gives players 3 cards & dealer receives 3 cards dealt face down
  • Player then may look at their hand to see what they have been dealt
  • Once checked, player has two decisions to either raise or fold the hand
  • If the player folds his/her hand, they will lose all bets in play that round
  • If they want to continue, they must raise with another bet equal to ante
  • Once completed by players, the dealer will turn over & expose his cards
  • Dealer must possess a Queen or better in their hand to qualify
  • If dealer does not qualify, players will be paid on their ante bet only
  • If dealer qualifies and player wins, both ante and raise bet will be paid
  • If dealer qualifies and player looses, both ante and raise bets are lost
  • If dealer and player push, then all bets will be returned for that round

3 Card Poker Hand Values

Below is a chart detailing the hand values in Three Card Poker.  Please note that although a 5 card hand is depicted in the table, you will only be dealt three cards so a hand of 4 clubs, 10 clubs, Jack clubs would be the same as a 5 card flush in regular poker games.  Also note that there is no Royal Flush in 3 Card Poker and the best hand that the player can make in the game is a straight flush which would be a set of three consecutive cards which are all in the same suit.

Poker Hands 3 Card Poker Hand Values
Straight Flush Straight Flush
3 of a Kind Three of a Kind
Straight Straight
Flush Flush
Pair One Pair

3 Card Poker Payouts & Bonus Payouts

In 3 Card Poker there are a number of different bets that can be made by the player which each pay out differently.  The basic ante and raise bets pay out 1:1 if the player beats the dealer however there is also a bonus payout for the ante bet if certain hands are made.  The other major bet is the pair plus bet which is another side bet wager which features bonus payouts or even progressive jackpots.  Below we have provided an overview of all of the 3 Card Poker bet payout odds.

Ante Bonus Payout:  This bonus is paid on the ante bet even if the dealer does not qualify in the hand and is paid as long as the player has raised in that round.

  • Straight Flush pays 5:1
  • Three of a Kind pays 4:1
  • Straight pays 1:1

Pair Plus Bet: A side bet in Three Card Poker which can be made in addition to the ante and raise bets.  This is a special bonus payout and usually the minimum bet that can be placed in this box is $1 to a maximum of $100 or more each game.

  • Straight Flush pays 40:1 or Progressive (If Applicable)
  • Three of a Kind pays 30:1
  • Straight pays 6:1
  • Flush pays 4:1
  • Pair pays 1:1