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3 Card Poker

The Golden 3 Card Poker Rule

As in any gambling game, the number one goal is to enjoy yourself. Whether that sense of pleasure is derived from outwitting your challengers, be it other players at the table or the ‘house’ – or, of course, the potential cash winnings – is totally up to each individual. Whatever the case, to start you on your way playing (and/or winning at) 3 Card Poker, let’s review some of the fundamental 3 Card Poker rules.

Enjoyed both online and in traditional land casinos, 3 Card Poker is a type of Stud Poker whereby players have 3 different ways of betting, plus 4 ways of winning with a single hand. Competitors may compete against the dealer (house) or bet on their hand’s value alone, or both.

Three Card Poker Rule #1: Beat the Dealer

When sitting down at a 3 Card Poker table, the person you hope to beat is the dealer and not the other players. That’s not to say the other players’ hands do not affect your game; they do, by lowering the likelihood of the dealer having the cards he will require in order to beat you – should your decision be to compete against his hand.

Ante & Play Bets

To play three Card Poker against the dealer, place your bet in the Ante spot. Three cards are then dealt to each player at the table, plus the dealer. After viewing the cards in your hand, if you opt to continue playing, you then place a bet of equal value to your Ante bet in the Play spot.

3 Card Poker Rule #2: Dealer Requires Queen High

In order to qualify, the dealer must be holding at least a Queen high. And to avoid losing, you must have a comparable hand, that is at least Q-6-4 or better.

Of course, after reviewing your cards you may opt to fold and as a consequence lose your Ante bet. On the other hand, should you decide to remain in the game, the possible scenarios are listed below:

1. Dealer fails to qualify: Your Ante bet wins even money (1 : 1), and your Play bet is deemed a ‘Push’ – meaning your wager is returned to you.

2. Dealer qualifies, however you still manage to beat his/her hand: Your Ante & Play bets each win 1 : 1.

3. Dealer qualifies plus his/her hand beats yours. In this case your Ante & Play bets each lose.

4. Dealer qualifies and his/her hand ties yours. Both your Ante & Play bets are returned to you.

Three Card Poker hand values – ranging from highest to lowest – are as follows: Straight Flush, 3-of-a-Kind, Straight, Flush, and Pair. Should the dealer or player not have a pair, then the hand holding the highest card is the winner. Aces are always highest unless within a straight with 3-2-A.

3 Card Poker Rule #3: Pair Plus Bets Win

To bet exclusively on the value of your hand, place your bet in the Pair Plus area. Following this, each player – as well as the dealer – is given three cards. Should you be holding a pair or better, you win.

Winning Hands & Payouts

Straight Flush wins 40 : 1
Three-of-a-Kind wins 30 : 1
Straight wins 6 : 1
Flush wins 4 : 1
Pair wins 1 : 1

The fourth way to win in 3 Card Poker is with a bonus on your Ante bet when you happen to be holding a very strong hand. This win is based on your hand exclusively; what the dealer is holding is irrelevant. For a Straight Flush, you would win 5 to 1. Three-of-a-kind would earn you a 4 : 1 payoff, while a Straight would be worth 1 : 1.

Three Card Poker Rule #4: See Rule #1

Call it coincidence, but the fourth 3-Card Poker Rule is actually identical to the first, and that is, to have fun first and foremost! With that in mind, you can’t lose.

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