Rules and Strategy

3 Card Poker Rules: Learn How to Successfully Play the Game Online

For all new players looking to take up 3 card poker, here you can get all the information you need regarding the 3 card poker rules. We take you through the basics, the odds, the payouts and everything in between so you’re fully prepared to play this great card game.

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Introducing you to the casino game and how to play 3 card poker inside the best online casinos

So here you have it, the 3 card poker rules that will introduce you to the game and all that it can offer you whilst playing. For new players wishing to know how to play 3 card poker, we strongly advise that you use this guide in conjunction with our selection of free games so you know just how to play the very games you will face inside of the online casinos.

Why Play 3 Card Poker

For any variant of a traditional casino game, the choice of playing an adapted version can come with additional benefits which were not thought of at the time of its original creation. Now with alternative gaming titles of classic games, a player can experience additional perks, faster gameplay, bonus rounds and new ways to win. For 3-card poker, the game does, in fact, offer these three things, unlike standard poker and all with a lesser hand to win from.

Presenting the 3 card poker rules and how the games found online work from machines to live casino

We now look at the 3-card rules covering the machine-based games and the live tables hosting the three card game of poker. Being a virtual pastime, you won’t need to learn certain things which the ‘actual’ hands-on game offers, to learning how to deal 3 card poker won’t be necessary.

Standard Game Rules

If you have never placed a bet on poker or see it play before, then have no worries, this game is all about one thing, getting a better hand or pair than the dealer. For those who have dabbled in some card poker before, nothing has seriously changed in the game. Your hands have reduced from 5 to 3 cards, there if you require a straight flush win, you now only need three cards in sequence with the same suit.

We will further explain what the hands are to look for in the game in our next section.

How Online Machines Work

There are a number of games within a casino supplying this alternative to your classic poker game. When you find a virtual 3-card poker machine you simply click on the title to start the game up. You will be faced with the table which is marked with Queen High or Better. This is what it takes to win the game, think Jack or Better with video poker. This is your base marker for a win.

First, you select the chip value, the game will often start from as low as a 0.10 chip and can climb as high as 200.00, once decided, you then click on ante play to confirm your bet.

The machine will deal six cards, three for you and three for the dealer. Your three cards will be face up, the dealer hand won’t be revealed until you press DEAL.

Automatically, the result is shown, win or lose once DEAL is pressed, revealing the hand of the dealer. Then you select a new game to restart betting.

Live Dealer Three Card Poker

The live dealer option retains the same rules of play. Your table options will vary in the value you can stake. There are some low wagering tables, medium and high to suit a players budget.

The host will ask you to place your bet, after which they will deal the cards. The house edge

Remains constant as there are no bonus features but we’ll discuss more of this in our section regarding the odds and the house edge below.

Some games will play as a single deck where the cards are reshuffled after each round, others can play with up to eight decks.

3 Card Poker Hands

There are SIX main hands which determine your win or loss. The odds are effected given there are only six cards in total during a single game. Here are the 3 card poker hands to look for and memorize

In order of Strongest hand to Weakest in Three Card Poker:

Hand Rank


Straight FlushThree cards of the same suit in numerical sequence e.g. 6♣, 7♣, 8♣
3 of a KindThree cards of equal rank e.g. 6♣, 6♠, 6
StraightThree cards of any suit in sequential order e.g. 2, 3, 4♠. Straight is a hand with a sequence combination regardless of suit.
FlushThree cards of the same suit e.g. 3, 7, J
Pair BetTwo cards of equal rank e.g. 7♠, 7 The Pair bet is won with two matching numbers and a Queen. Remember Queen or Better is how this game is won and thusly, this is your lowest winning hand.
High CardA hand without a pair but with a high card. It comes into play when there is a game tie. Some games have this option, others not so, so if there is a tie, then the machine will make your bet void and return it to your bankroll.
Full HouseThe Full house option is void from the Three Card Poker game, as is the Four of a Kind hand, for obvious reasons. A Straight Flush is a sequence of number with matching suits.
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3 Card Poker with Bonus

3 card poker with bonus specifically relates to the ANTE BONUS or also known as the 6-Card Bonus. If you come across a game with the ante bonus option you can claim an extra win regardless of the base game outcome. You firstly make an ante wager on the Pair Plus option prior to the cards being dealt by either machine or dealer. The bonus option uses all six cards to collectively make a new hand, if this hand matches any on the bonus table then you can expect a 5 to 1 payout relative to the hand that has been fashioned from the current cards in use.

Not every Three card poker machine or live card poker game has this option. Some also offer the Full house hand option, so there are a number of alternatives of haves and have nots to look through.

Learn what the 3 card poker payouts are from the various games you can wager on live and virtual

The 3 card poker payouts are relative to the wagers you place on three card poker.

If you play three card via the machine format, your payoff will match that of the live tables.

The largest payouts come from progressive card poker online which are linked to a network of matching games synched to the same jackpot value, usually $1,000,000.

The function of this often comes as an additional side bet. Your wager is usually only $1 and is selected by the display button, which is noticeable in a progressive jackpot game. Your hand determines the percentage of the jackpot which can be won. A player, for example, striking the jackpot with a pair will win a lower percentage of the prize, whereas, a straight flush would recoup a higher jackpot prize, if not all of it.

When it comes to standard games, the pay table can be found within the details of the machine by selecting the marker ‘?’ for more information.

What is the house edge of three card poker? Highlighting the different gains the house has over the game

To understand the house edge, you need to also look at the percentage and chances of claiming the differing hands you hope to land to beat the house edge.

First, we look at the percentage of the hands before we look at the house edge.



Straight Flush0.22 percent of hands
3 of a Kind0.24 percent of the hands
Straight3.26 percent of the hands
Flush4.96 percent of the hands
Pair16.94 percent of the hands
High Card74.39 percent of the hands

The higher the strongest hands are, the less the combination exists for it, the lower, the more likely they will occur. This adds to the factor of the house edge which can vary depending on the bet, it can run from 4.49% up to 7.28% within a standard game.

What are the odds of winning in 3 card poker? Here we highlight the different odds relating to possible hands

How you know the basics of how to play 3 card poker at a casino, you’ll now want to know what gains there are to make from the poker hand you hold.

Player Hand Odds:

    Straight Flush = 40/1

    3 of a Kind = 30/1

    Straight = 5/1

    Flush = 4/1

    Pair = 1/1

    High Card = bet becomes pushed as no wins in a tie, wager returned.

Taking the Next Step

With your knowledge of the 3 card poker rules in casino platforms firmly embedded into your memory; you can now focus on your 3 card poker practice. We only advise that once you feel you are competent enough to play for real money in some Las Vegas washed online casino you can then head to our top listings to experience Tri card poker for real money payouts.

Best of luck and we hope you enjoy the game as much as us.

Rules Summary: Now you know the rules it’s time to place some bets inside the top online casinos

With the rules now embedded into your mind, you are now able to move onto the strategy of the game. This looks at how bets are paid and how to raise your knowledge up a level.

Strategy obviously works in unison with the rules and from this you can adapt into all areas of what this game offers. You’ll raise what is paid back to you, you’ll be able to hit more royal flushes and make better use of your bets especially if you play the bonus strategy where the operator will pay for your bets.

It pays to extend you knowledge in all areas and it pays literally. The best of luck playing going forward and thank you for using

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