3 Card Poker

3 Card Poker is a fun game played at the casinos. Currently, it is one of the trending poker games at online casinos. It is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. If you love to join the trend, we suggest you continue reading this amazing guide to 3 Card Poker.

It is almost similar to the 3 Patti Indian poker card. If you wish to explore the Indian version of Teen Patti, we have a detailed guide on it as well.

So, in this thorough text dedicated to 3 Card Poker, we will introduce the game to our readers. Plus, we will provide information regarding the game rules, payouts, strategies, poker casinos and bonuses. Additionally, we will mention a thing or two regarding the house edge of the game as well as offer some helpful playing tips.

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Brief History of 3-Card Poker

Invented by Derek Webb in 1994, 3 Card Poker is the perfect game for those that love poker action but also prefer fast-paced gaming sessions. It is believed that Webb wanted to offer an option to players that enjoy the rules and payouts of poker, which wouldn’t take as much time per dealing as other variants take.

The game started its pursuit of winning a place among the top poker variations in land-based casinos, and nowadays, it can be played at online gambling destinations as well. New players can understand its basics in no time, especially if they are familiar with the standard poker rules and strategies.

It’s interesting to point out that 3 Card Poker offers two modes of play; thus, in a single session, players can score more than one win. The payouts on the game are quite attractive, too, and therefore, it was really just a matter of time when poker fans would accept it as a top pick.

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Understanding 3 Card Poker

Usually, 3 Card Poker is played with a single deck of 52 cards i.e. with one standard deck of cards. Players will notice that unlike regular poker games and just like the name of this poker variant suggests, the dealer and the player receive three cards each instead of five. The cards you get pretty much decide your destiny.

However, depending on which mode you decide to pursue (Ante or Play), you may win or lose even if the situation on the table is identical. These two modes, furthermore, can be played both together and separately. Some casinos, additionally, let players place another bet called Pair Plus, which can earn them even higher prizes.

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Basic Poker Terminologies

Poker comes with certain terms which are used throughout the various variants of this game. If you are new to this game, here are some basic terms that you must be accustomed to to understand and play the game:

  • Deal: An act of the dealer distributing cards to the players.
  • Hand: The cards dealt to you form the hand. In 3-card poker, you get three cards. So, it forms a hand of three cards.
  • Ante: Generally, it’s the first bet and the minimum amount placed by all players before the cards are dealt.
  • Call: To place minimum bet amount after seeing the cards to continue playing your hand. The amount matches the previous wager placed.
  • Raise: To wager higher than the minimum bet amount after seeing the card. This also indicates that other players also have to increase their bet amount.
  • Fold: Fold or Drop means to end your individual game since you do not have favourable or winning cards.
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How to Play 3 Card Poker Online?

You must sign-up on one of the best casino sites to play 3 card poker. Alternatively, you can also download casino betting apps and sign up to play the game.

The objective of the game is to create a better hand compared to the dealer’s hand using the 3 cards dealt to you.

Here is how you can play 3 card poker online real money in India:

  1. The players must place an Ante bet and/or Pair Plus bet.
  2. Three cards are dealt to players, and the dealer face down.
  3. Depending on the cards received, you may continue to Play or Fold (which means ending the game wherein you lose your Ante bet amount).
  4. If you continue to play, you must place the next bet, called Play bet, which is generally equal to the Ante bet amount.
  5. All players decide their moves and place bets depending on the cards received.
  6. Next, the dealer will turn his cards face up and show it to the players.
  7. The dealer’s cards are compared with each player’s cards. Whoever has a higher hand wins. The dealer hand must contain a Queen-high or better hand to win.
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Online 3 Card Poker Hands Rankings

There are six 3 card poker hand rankings. We have placed them in order of best-ranking to least-best-ranking hand applicable when playing 3 card poker.

1.      Straight Flush

Straight Flush



· A hand consisting of three consecutive cards of the same suit.

· Ace-King-Queen make up for the highest hand in Straight hand. This is known as the Mini Royale and is also the highest-ranking hand in Three-card Poker.

· 4-3-2 is the lowest hand.

· Example: 7-8-9 of Hearts


2.      Three of a Kind

Three of a Kind



· A hand consisting of three cards of same rank, irrespective of the suit.

· Three Aces of any suit make up the highest hand.

· Three 2s of any suit form lowest hand.

·  Example: You can see in the figure, a three of a kind hand formed by 10 of Spades- 10 of Hearts- 10 of Clubs

3.      Straight

Straight Hand



· A hand formed by three consecutive ranked cards of any suit.

· Ace-King-Queen form highest rank Straight suit.

· Ace-2-3 form the lowest rank Straight suit.

· Example: In the given figure, we have 3 of Hearts-4 of Diamonds- 5 of Spades.

· You can see they are all in consecutive ranks 3-4-5. However, the suits are different (Hearts, Diamonds, and Spades)

4.      Flush




· A hand formed by three cards of same suit, irrespective of the rank.

· Ace-King-Jack is the highest-ranking Flush card.

· 5-3-2 is the lowest-ranking Flush card.

· Example: The figure shows three cards of same suit i.e., Diamonds. However, there is no link in the ranks of the cards (A-5-7). They are random cards from same suit.

5.      Pair




· A hand consisting of three cards of which two cards are of same rank irrespective of the suit. The third card can be different from the first two cards.

· Two Aces form highest-ranking Pair.

· Two-2s form lowest-ranking Pair.

· Example: 10 of Clubs- 10 of Spades are a pair of 10s. However, the suit is different. Also, the third card has no link to the Pair formed.

6.      High Card

High Card



· A hand formed by three random cards. They do not make hand similar to anything listed above.

· They can be of any rank and any suit.

· Ace-King-9 form the highest-ranking High card hand.

· 5-3-2 form the lowest-ranking High card hand.

· Example: In the figure, you can see Ace of Spades- 5 of Diamonds- 9 of Hearts. There is no link in suits or ranks.


3 Card Poker is an interesting game that attracts lots of players. Even though the fast-paced gaming sessions are partially responsible for that, a big role is played by the mouth-watering payouts too. Below you can find the payouts for the Ante bet and the Pair Plus bet.

Additionally, we would like to point out that, unlike the traditional poker ladder where Flush beats Straight, the 3 Card Poker ladder recognises Straight to be a better hand than Flush.

Payouts for Ante
Straight Flush5:1
3 of a Kind4:1
Payouts for Pair Plus
Straight Flush40:1
3 of a Kind30:1

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Optimal 3 Card Poker Strategy

Just like there is an optimal playing strategy for the majority of casino games, there is one for online 3 Card Poker real money game as well. However, unlike other games that involve more cards and options, the 3 Card Poker online casino game is relatively simple, and therefore, there aren’t too many guiding points.

It is widely known that players should raise if they receive a combination of cards made of Queen, 6 and 4 or greater. This strategy may seem unusual, but experts have made the calculations and claim that this is the optimal way to play this poker variant.

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Additionally, some players tend to raise on any queen or better; this behaviour is actually mimicking the dealer, and usually, its results are worse than the ones mentioned before. A simple glance at the house edge reveals that when players raise or play without a strategy, they play with a house edge of 7.65%; in contrast, using the optimal strategy lowers the house edge to 3.45%.

We also recommend checking our interesting cricket betting tips if you enjoy the game.

3 Card Poker House Edge

As many of you know, the house edge is the favourability a game has towards the house. As we have already mentioned in the previous paragraph, certain strategies may lower the house edge, but on most games it cannot be completely neutralised.

When it comes to 3 Card Poker, the house edge depends on the wager. Therefore, players that will place only the Ante and the Play bet can expect house edge of 3.37%. The high-paying Pairs Plus bet has, naturally, much higher house edge of 7.27%.

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Other Variations of Poker Game

As such, there are various types of poker game. We will mention some of the popular titles here:

  • Texas Hold’em Poker
  • Omaha Poker
  • Omaha Hi-Lo
  • Caribbean Stud Poker
  • Casino Hold’em
  • Five-Card Stud Poker
  • Seven-Card Stud Poker
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