Playing Three Card Poker at Online Casinos
Three Card poker is a much simpler way to play online poker. A very popular card game, it is offered in virtually all of the major online casino sites. If you know the basic rules of poker (i.e. – the rankings of the hands), then you should have no problem getting to grips with this elementary but highly fun online poker game. Three Card poker is also known as Tri Card Poker, and it also goes by other names on occasion.
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Rules of Three Card Poker
As with most poker games, the ranking of the hands in Three Card Poker is absolutely essential to gameplay. If you don’t now the order of the hands, you won’t stand a chance of winning. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it. Because there are only three cards used in this game (as its name suggests), there really aren’t that many for you to learn.
Ace High or less is the lowest pay-out in some Three Card Poker games, although this hand may not be included in all games. If you have an Ace High, you naturally have an Ace in your hand. You can never bank on your Three Card Poker game offering this, so it is always better to go with the next highest hand, the Pair. If you have a pair, you obviously have two cards of the same value or denomination in your hand.
A Flush beats a pair, and it involves having all three of yours cards in the same suit, irrespective of their denomination. In Three Card Poker, a Straight beats a flush, making Three Card Poker one of the few poker games where this is actually the case. Players who hold a straight, will have all of their cards in sequence.
The Three of a Kind is the second highest ranking poker hand in Three Card Poker. Basically, the player will have all three of their cards with the same value or denomination. Three 5s for instance, would be a three of a kind. A Straight Flush is the highest possible hand in Three Card Poker. With a straight flush, the player has basically got all three of their cards in sequence and in the same suit.
Obviously, due to the number of cards that are used in Three Card Poker, hands such as a two pair, a full house, a four of a kind and a royal flush are omitted from gameplay, as they are impossible to obtain.
Three Card Poker Gameplay
Three Card Poker is played against the dealer. In order to begin playing Three Card Poker, the player must first place an Ante bet that is at least equal to the table minimum. The dealer will then give the player three cards and themselves three cards. Whilst the dealer’s cards are dealt face down so that they are hidden from the player’s sight, the player may look at their own three cards.
The player must choose to either fold or raise their Ante bet. If they fold, they lose their bet. If they raise, they must make an additional bet (known as a Play bet), equal to the original Ante bet. After this, the dealer will then turn over his cards.
In order to qualify, the dealer will need to have a Queen High or better. If the dealer dont get a Queen High or better the dealer will not qualify, the player will then win on their Ante bet even money, whilst the Play bet will be a push. If the dealer does get an Queen High or better and qualify, the two hands go head-to-head. Whomever has the highest ranking poker hand, wins. If it is the player who wins, they will win even money on both the Ante and Play bet. If the dealer wins, the player loses both their Ante and Play bets. If the result of the match is a tie, the bets will push.
The most common Three Card Poker games involve a side-bet, which is known as the Pair Plus bet. The player basically decides to place a side-bet that their three card hand will contain at least a pair, before play commences. If it does, the player is rewarded for their hand based on a pay-table especially designed for Pair Plus bets.
It is also possible just to play with the Pair Plus game. When you do this, you can opt to not to place an Ante bet. You are simply wagering on whether or not your three card hand as a pair or better in it. If you win, you will pick up winnings from the Pair Plus pay-table, not the regular pay-table.
There is also sometimes an Ante Bonus in Three Card Poker. Regardless of whether the player wins or loses their hand, if they hold a straight or higher, they will pick up an Ante bonus. This bonus is paid out from a separate pay-table.
Another variant is a Three Card Poker game with a Mini Royal side-bet. Here you are wagering beforehand that you will basically land a Mini Royal Flush. This too is paid from a separate pay-table, if you win. Other Three Card Poker games include those with progressive jackpots. We wouldn’t really advise you to take on any of the side-bets, with the exception of course of the Pairs Plus game. When you see the pay-tables, you will realise that it may be in your interest to play the Pairs Plus side-bet.
The house edge in most standard Three Card Poker games is around about the 3.37% mark, for standard Ante & Play bets. If you opt to play the Pair Plus side-bet game, the house edge is around the 7.28% mark.
In most Three Card Poker games, there is no Ante pay-out for a pair or a flush. A straight will pay 1:1, a three of a kind at 4:1 and a straight flush at 5:1. However, if you play with the Pair Plus game, you can win 1:1 for a pair, 4:1 for a flush, 6:1 for a straight, 30:1 for a three of a kind and 40:1 for a straight flush. It is therefore advisable to play the Pair Plus game alongside your regular Ante and Play bets.