Learn the Rules & Beat Your Friends on Three Card Poker

Three card poker, a variation of poker, is one of the most popular table games online. It offers a vast array of strategies and betting choices. And if you’re lucky, you can wind decent cash.

Because it is fun and easy to play, the game is popular among casino players. It is also a social game, whether you play with friends or at live casinos.

If you are new to the game, however, consider learning the rules, optimal betting systems, basic strategy, and popular variants from this guide by LegitimateCasino. The site also features a list of the best online casinos to play the game.

How to Play Three Card Poker


Three-card poker is played on a standard poker table with eight places on one side for the players and a spot for the dealer on the other side. Each table usually feature a place to place your cards.

Cards used in playing this game are in standard decks of 52 cards. Joker cards are not used. The cards are typically dealt from a shuffling device or software.

The game is played with decks of the same design on the backs. While the software program shuffles one deck, the other deck is dealt or used to play the game.

The two decks are alternated in and out of play, each deck used for every other playing round. Only cards from the same deck can be place in the discard platform.

Three-Card Poker Rankings


For clarity, the game’s hands vary from standard poker. They are simple to understand, nonetheless. What makes them simple? You only need to have cards with the highest poker ranking in your hand to win. Three-card poker rankings from worst to best are as follows:

• High Card – a hand made up of three cards that do not make any of the hands listed below. 5, 3, and 2 is the lowest-ranked high card hand, while an ace, king, and 9 is the highest-ranked high card hand.
• Pair – Describes to similar cards on the face value. Think of two aces or two 5’s.
• Flush – three cards of the same suit but are not in consecutive ranking. The highest-ranked Flush is an ace, king, and jack, and the lowest-ranked Flush is a 5, 3, and 2.
• Straight – three cards of consecutive value but are not in the same suit.
• Three of a Kind –consists of three matching cards of equal value. The best three of a kind is when you have three aces. On the flip side, three 2’s is the lowest equivalent.
• Straight Flush – when you have a straight hand made of cards from the same suit. In the usual style, a hand with face cards is stronger than one made up of 2, 3 and 4.
• Mini Royal Flush – this is when you have a king, queen and an ace. However, the cards must be from the same suit.

Three Card Poker Rules



To place a bet, you allocate your chips to the betting area. At online casinos, this process is automatic.

In land-based casinos, you must place all the wagers before the dealer announces stops the process.

At the start of the game, players place what is known as an ante wager. However, they can also place a player wager. Usually, players make this bet after checking their hands and feeling confident they could win.

Another unique bet is called a bonus. Here, players stand to wine extra cash if they have a hand with particular card combinations. It’s a risk bet and most experts recommend not to place it.


Before the start of a game and after every round is done, a dealer reshuffles the cards using software. The device then dispenses cards in stacks of three. The process is usually exciting, especially if you gamble at a live casino.

Normally, the dealer hands out the first stack of cards from left to right. At regular casinos, there’s a player who acts as a dealer. Then regular gamblers sit in a clockwise manner.

As the software program delivers the remaining stacks, the dealer offers a stack to all the other players moving clockwise around the table.

After the stacks have been dealt to all players and the player-dealer, the dealer unloads the cards not dealt. The cards are placed while facing down.


Each 3-card poker player is responsible for their hand. Every player is required to place their cards in in a way the dealer can view them. After examining their cards, all players are presented with the option of betting on a player wager or skipping the round.

In the usual style, the dealer asks every player whether to bet on the player wager, from left to right. He or she then moves clockwise around the playing table. A player is required to forfeit all other bets if they do not place their player wager.

Winning and Payouts

The action on payouts begins in the normal clockwise style. The dealer checks his or her cards to see if they’ve won. If not, they move on to the next player. There’s an order for processing winnings, though. Dealers start by settling the Ante wager. After that, they look at the Play wager.

On the other hand, they check the winners of the other optional bets, if anyone wagered on them.

Payouts of bets in this poker game are limits to the amount of the player-dealer bet. The casino does not participate as the player-dealer. It also does take a percentage of bets placed in the game.

Three Card Poker Strategy


How do you maximize your winnings in 3-card poker? The best strategy for the game is that you play all hands of a value of 4-Q or better and fold the rest.

In the long term, the casino will have an advantage of 2%. However, the house edges for pair plus bonuses differ depending on the operator.

About Carolyn Lang