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3 Card Poker (Also known as 3 Card Brag)
In this article, we will explain the following. You may click on any of the links below to bring you to that point in the article.
3 Card Rules
First of all, you will need to place your bet. This can be an Ante bet, a Pair Plus bet, or both.
The Dealer will then deal you 3 cards that you can view, as well as dealing him/herself 3 cards face down.
If you have placed an Ante bet, at this point you need to decide whether to fold your hand or raise – place another bet equal to your first bet. A fold at this point will mean you lose any Ante bet.
The Dealer will then turn over their cards, you play directly against the Dealer so any other hands from other Players at the table are irrelevant to whether you win or lose the hand.
The Dealer needs a hand of Queen high to qualify. If the Dealer does not qualify, any Players still in the hand get even money on an Ante bet and all main bets will Push, so bets will be returned.
If the Dealer has Queen high or better and therefore qualifies, the higher hand out of the Dealers and the Players will win, the payout for the Player is shown below.
If the Dealer qualifies and has the best hand, the Main bet will lose. If you made an Ante bet and get a Straight or higher, you receive an Ante bonus regardless of what the dealer gets.
If both the Dealer and Player hands are the same, the bet will push and the Player will get their money back.
The Pair Plus bet pays out based on your own hand, see Pairplus section below for payouts.
There are several different pay tables around for Ante Bonuses so it is always worth looking at this before deciding on a site to play at.
For more details on Poker Hands, see our Poker Hand rankings page
The most common are shown below.
|Three of a kind||4|
|Element of Risk||2.01%|
Pair Plus Payouts
As with the Ante bet, the Pair Plus payouts can vary from casino to casino, the most common payout table is shown below.
A Pair Plus bet is on the Players 3 cards only and money is won depending on what this 3 card hand is worth.
|Three of a Kind||30|
3 Card Poker Strategy
Whilst there are several trains of thought when it comes to an optimum strategy in 3 card poker, we would suggest raising if you have Q/6/4 or better, irrespective of the paytable in use.
In a game of poker where hands are only a high card, hands are scored according to the highest card, then 2nd highest, etc.
Therefore, if your highest card is a Queen or better, 2nd highest a 6 or better and the 3rd highest a 4 or better, we suggest raising. This is the worst hand at which statistically you are likely to win more times than you lose, the next lowest hand, Q/6/3 is more likely to lose than win.