How To Play 3 Card Poker

3 Card Poker is usually played at a blackjack type table and before deciding to wager, check with the dealer for which type of bet is permitted in the casino. Some casinos do not allow Pair Plus bets alone while some others accept whichever bet the player wants to make. There are two main bets in Three Card Poker: the Pair Plus, the Ante/Play or both.

Three Card Poker Rules

To start playing, place a bet equal to or greater than the minimum table bet allowed on the Pair Plus circle, the Ante circle or both. All the cards are dealt face down. The player must look at their cards and if they just made a Pair Plus bet, slide them under the wager and wait for the dealer. For the Ante bet, if the player decides to continue, place another bet on the Play circle of equal size to the ante and slide the cards underneath.

The Pair Plus is the easier to understand of the two bets. If the player has at least one pair in their hand or better, they will win no matter what the dealer has. The payouts are as follows:

  • Pair – 1-1
  • Flush – 4-1
  • Straight – 6-1
  • 3 of a Kind – 30-1
  • Straight Flush – 40-1

In Three Card Poker, the straight bet is higher. These are the expected payouts and will vary depending on which casino the player decides to play at. However, if the player wagered on the Ante/Play, they must play against the dealer. Before they qualify to win a hand, the dealer must be eligible. In Three Card Poker, the dealer must have a minimum of Queen high to qualify and pay out the winnings. However, if the dealer does not qualify, all players remaining in hand will be paid even money on the ante and have their play bets returned. If the dealer’s hand does qualify then the player’s hand must beat the dealer’s hand. It is important to keep in mind that in 3 Card Poker, the rankings are different:

  • Straight Flush
  • Three of a Kind
  • Straight
  • Flush
  • Pair
  • High Card

If the player beats the dealer’s hand they are paid 1:1 on the ante and play bet plus and additional bonus if they have a:

  • Straight Flush – 5-1
  • 3 of a Kind – 4-1

If the player played both the Pair Plus and Ante/Play and won both, they will be paid on both according to the payout structure.

3 Card Poker is a fun and dynamic game. It is relatively fast-paced, and if the cards are running, it can pay off a lot in a hurry. It is a game that is gaining popularity primarily because of its easy to follow gameplay.


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