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Three Card Poker


Three Card Poker is a well known game of chance that was invented in 1990 by the poker player Derek Webb. Being derived from the British game 3-Card Brag, this game being known in some casinos as Tri-Card Poker. Just as the name indicates, Tree Card Poker is played with only three cards from a standard fifty two card deck and actually has two games rolled up in one: “Pair Plus” and Ante and Play. The player can chose to play any of the games mentioned before in any round. The player or players can bet against the dealer and the best hand wins.

In Pair Plus, a player is placing bets at the center of the table, then three cards are distributed to all the players and the dealer. A pair or a high hand ensures victory while hand that do not even have a pair lose. In Ante and Play, after placing their initial bets, players place an ante bet before they receive extra cards. If the player thinks that his hand is better than the dealer’s hand, the player can rise the current bet by placing an additional bet of an equivalent value to the initial ante. To better manage the rise, the dealer must have a hand that qualifies which means that he needs a combination of high cards or to be able to “see” the player’s hand. If the dealer’s hand does not qualify then the player wins. If the game carries on, the highest hand wins the round. However any bet placed in a 3 Card Poker is lost if the player Folds, be it the ante bet or the opportunity to win the bonus ante. Because the game is played with 3 cards the ranking of the winning hands are a little different than the other poker games, below they are listed from the lowest to highest:

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

  • For the High Card, there are three different rankings and are not of the same suit and not consecutive for example The Queen of Spades, The Jack of Clubs and the Nine of Hearts. While comparing the two hands, the high cards are compared only if they are equal, then the middle card will be compared, and finally, if applicable, the low card. For when pairs are compared then the highest pair wins, if its a tie then the third card will decide the winner. A flush is comprised of cards that can have any value while belonging to the same suit like a Two of Hearts, Eight of Hearts and Jack of Hearts and the winner is determined in a similar manner as the High Card. A straight is a three consecutive cards of diferent suits that are not ace, two or king as they are not considered a straight. The three of a kind is a hand that has three cards of the same numbe regardless of their suite. The highest hand the player and the dealer can get and it consist of three consecutive order of the same suit. It is rather obvious that the most advantageous way to play the game is to combine ”Pair Plus” with Ante and Play. This method qaulify the player for bonus ante which can increase the total sum of bets that are won.

    How to play

    The player will first place an ante and/or a Pair Plus. Afterwards the dealer will split to all participants, the dealer included, three cards. The dealer’s cards are facing down.

    If the player placed an ante will have to place a bet or fold. If the player folds, said player will forfeit the ante. If the player raises the bet, he will have to place another bet of an equal value.

    After the bets are placed, the dealer will flip his cards to face up. The dealer needs at least a queen to qualify for a game. If the dealer does not qualify the player takes the ante and the round becomens a draw. If the dealer’s hand qualifies, it will be compared to the hand of the player. The highest hand wins.

    If the player’s hand is the highest, the player wins the ante and the bet. If the dealer’s hand is the highest then the player loses both the bet and the ante. If it ends in a draw then the player takes back his bet.

    If the player placed an ante and his hand is a straight or better will receive a bonus ante regardless of the value of the cards in the hand of the dealer. Pair plus bets payed to the player depending on the value of the cards in his hand.