What is 3 Card Poker?

Three Card Poker or Triple Card Poker has become one of the most popular table games in the gambling market. Punters have not only realized that this card game is easy to learn and play, but it is fast-paced and fun-packed. Like other card games, this game is played against the dealer with a single pack of 52 cards. The dealer shuffles cards and hands three to the player and three for him.
However, you will not only rely on luck or chance but skills and strategy if you want to win in a 3-Card Poker game. What’s impressive is that 3 Card Poker is a 2-in-one game! The Ante or Play game is where you play against the dealer to establish the highest hand. The other option is the Pair Plus game where you bet on whether you will be dealt a pair or not. While some online casinos will allow you to bet on either of the two mentioned games, other require you to play the Ante bet.
Regardless, of the casino site, you will find this game thrilling and very rewarding.

History of 3 Card Poker

The 3 Card Poker game is relatively new in the poker market. It is believed to have evolved from a conventionally British card game known as Brag. Initially, the British had a betting game called Primero which was played with three cards. As time went by, the game morphed into a new version called Post-and-Pair.
The game found its way to the United States, and it became common by the name Casino Brag, which, of course, was later changed to 3 Card Poker. Although there might be other stories about this game, the modern version, 3 Card Poker, was invented by a British and professional poker player by the name Derek Webb. History has it that Webb once visited Las Vegas, Nevada, and played poker game. He found the game slow and boring than he anticipated.
Later in 1994, he created the first 3 Card Poker which is widely played in Great Britain. Today, you will find different online versions of this game like 3 Card Poker Gold, Multihand, Mobile 3 Card Poker, and Flash 3 Card Poker.

The Game Rules

As aforementioned, 3 Card Poker is easy to play, especially if you understand the different strategies. Nonetheless, before you get started, you need to know the basic rules of playing the game. There are two main types of bets in 3 Card Poker game, the Ante, and Pair Plus. Here is how each bet is played.

Play/ Ante Bet

⦁ The player is dealt with three poker cards.
⦁ They can decide to play against the dealer by placing the ante bet or the pair plus.
⦁ To qualify, the dealer needs a pair of Queens high or better.
The player’s hand values are compared to dealer’s in case the dealer qualifies. The player wins on both the Play and Ante bets if the hand beats the dealers.

Pair Plus Bet

⦁ This game is played against the table of odds only.
⦁ The player wins if the hand has a couple or better.

The Hand Ranking

Although 3 Card Poker is based on Stud Poker, the odds and hand rankings are slightly different. You will notice that there are fewer straights compared to the flushes. Thus, the straight rank is on a higher rank than flushes. Here is the hierarchical hand ranking in 3 cards Poker that you need to know.

⦁ Straight Flush; three cards are of the suit and appear in order like 5, 6, 7 of spades.
Three of a Kind; all player cards have the same number of face value.
⦁ Straight; player’s three cards (jack, queen and King) fall in a sequential order
Flush; all the player’s three cards are of the same suit.
⦁ Pair; two of the player’s cards have the same face value or numbers.
High Card; features none p the above mentioned. In this case, the strength of your hand value of the player’s highest hand.

3 Card Poker Odds and Payouts

Besides being simple and fun, 3 Card Poker is popular because it offers a relatively low house edge. The probability of getting a certain hand as well as the number of combinations forming that hand vary in the game of three card poker. Below is an illustration of probabilities in 3 Card Poker game:

Hand Chances of Winning Combination

HandChances of Winning Combination
High Card44.00%9720
Three of kind0.20%52
Straight Flush0.20%48

Bet Odds and Payout Illustration

It should be noted that the payouts and odds may vary from one casino to the next as well as from one bet to the other. Here is an illustration of a standard 3 Card Poker Pair Plus bet and the possible house edge.

Pair Plus Bet

House Edge7.30%5.57%3.49%2.31%
3 of a Kind30:130:125:130:1
Straight Flush40:140:140:140:1

Play/Ante Bet

House Edge4.30%3.80%3.60%3.40%
3 of a Kind2:13:13:14:1
Straight Flush3:14:15:15:1


Three Card Poker is one of the best poker variations available today. You will enjoy the fast and simple gameplay and multiple opportunities for winning huge prizes. The most important thing you need to understand is the rules and the payouts. All the best.