• Play free casino games
  • Exclusive, free welcome bonuses
  • Expert & independent reviews

How To Play Three Card Poker

As one of the newest and most popular table games, Three Card Poker is rapidly spreading through online casino game offerings. Many gamblers consider Three Card Poker to be not only fun but very simple to play and understand. While it has some basic rules that apply only to this variant, learning how to play it is very similar to that of other varieties of poker including Texas Hold 'Em and 5 card stud.

The Basics of Online Three Card Poker

Game Play

Each player has three circles in front of them on the table for bets. The top betting circle is designated as the portion where Pair Plus bets can be made. The circles closest to the player are labeled as the Ante and Play circles for the main game wagers. At most online casinos, the game commences when each player has made an initial wager in either (or both) the Pair Plus and Ante circle that at least matches the minimum bet set for the table.

Once all bets are made, the players are dealt three cards each, alternating by their position at the table. The first player to the left of the dealer is always the first to receive their first card and the cards are dealt clockwise around the table after the first player.

Ante Play

Any player that has placed a wager on the Ante must look at their hand and decide whether they wish to fold or continue to play. A fold by any player results in a loss of that their original bet. By continuing to play, the player is obligated to place an additional bet in the Ante betting circle. The game does not continue until every player at the table has viewed his/her hand and made the decision of whether to fold or play.

The dealer reveals his cards and determines if the hand qualifies to continue play. If the hand is not a Queen or higher hand the game is over and all players still in the game receive payouts of even money on both their original Ante bet and the bet they made to remain in the game.

However, if the dealer's hand does contain at least a Queen high, the hand is compared to the player's hands. Any hand that beats the dealer's is paid even money for both the Ante and Play bets (if there are any on the table). Any hand that does not beat the dealer hand is a losing hand and all money is forfeited from their betting circles.

Card Ranks

The sequence of winning card combinations is not the same as many other poker varieties as there are not at least five cards in every hand. Not only are some combinations not possible, there are some adjustments for mathematical probabilities when compared to other poker types. The order of card ranks, from lowest to highest, is listed here:

  • Card High: Hand that does not contain at least a pair is ranked by its highest card.
  • Pair: Two cards that hold the same value (9 and 9, Queen and Queen, etc.)
  • Flush: Hand where all cards are of the same suit (3 hearts)
  • Straight: Hand where the cards follow a sequential order but not of the same suit (6 or hearts, 7 of diamonds, 8 of spades)
  • Three Of A Kind: All three cards hold the same value (Queen of clubs, Queen of Diamonds, Queen of spades)
  • Flush (Straight): Hand where the cards are not only of the same suit but follow a sequential order (7 of spades, 8 of spades, 9 of spades)

Further Reading

More resources: