Three Card Poker* is becoming one of the most popular new table games. Players are discovering that Three Card Poker is not only easy to play but it is a lot of fun.
The game is played with a single deck of 52 cards. Three Card Poker is actually two games in one. There is the Play/Ante game where you are playing against the Player/Banker to see who has the highest hand. There is also the Bonus game where you are wagering on whether or not you will be dealt a pair or better. In most casinos you can bet on either of the games but some casinos require you to make an Ante Bet in order to bet the Bonus portion of the game.
There are three betting circles in front of each seat. The top betting circle is labeled Bonus where the player puts a wager on the Bonus game. Beneath that are two circles labeled Ante and Play for the base game. The game starts with the player making a wager in the Bonus and or Ante circle equal to the table minimum.
After all the players have made their bets the dealer will give each player a three card hand that is dealt by the Shuffle Master machine. Play begins with the first player to the Player/Banker’s left and continues clockwise around the table.
If a player has made a bet on the Ante they must make their decision to fold or play after looking at their hand. To assist the decision, the dealer will expose one card of the Player/Banker’s hand. If the player folds he forfeits their Ante wager. If the players want to continue they must make an additional bet in the Play circle equal to their Ante bet.
After all the players have made their decisions, the dealer will turn over his three card hand. The dealer needs to “qualify” with a hand of Queen or higher for play to continue. If the Player/Banker’s hand does not contain a Queen or higher all players still active in the hand will be paid even money for their Ante wager and their bet on the Play will be returned to them.
If the Player/Banker’s hand does qualify then their hand is compared to the player’s hand. If your hand beats the Player/Bankers hand you will be paid even money for your Ante and Play bets. If the Player/Banker’s hand beats your hand you lose both bets. In the rare event of a tie then the player wins the hand.
The Hand Rankings
Because you are only dealt three cards the hand ranking are a little different than with traditional five card hands. This is because of the mathematical probabilities of making certain hands. The hands are ranked for the highest to the lowest as follows:
- Three of a Kind
Three cards of equal rank.
Three cards in sequence of mixed suits.
Three cards of the same suit.
Two cards of equal rank.
- High Card
The highest card in your hand.
The Bonus wager is based only on whether your three card hand has a Pair or higher. It doesn’t matter if the Player/Banker qualifies or even beats you if you have a bet on the Ante Game. If your hand has a pair or better you win. If it does not have at least a pair you will lose.
Easy and Fun
Much of the popularity of Three Card Poker comes from the simplicity of the game. Since you are not playing against the other players a camaraderie can develop amongst the players as they root and cheer for each other to beat the Player/Banker.
Bonus Pay Structure
- Royal Flush: 200 – 1
- Straight Flush: 40 – 1
- 3-of-a-kind: 30 – 1
- Straight: 6 – 1
- Flush: 3 – 1
- Pair: 1 – 1
*Proprietary game and trademark used under license from SHFL entertainment, Inc.