How to Play Three Card Poker – Games and Beginners Strategy
Oliver Moore / 24 December 2023

Updated on February 6th, 2024 at 08:03 pm

How to Play Three Card Poker – Basic Ways to Play Popular Game

The game of poker originated relatively long ago, and the three-card version is one of the oldest. Once you start to learn how to play three card poker, you’ll be surprised at how straightforward and fast the gameplay is. Like with the other versions such as Hold’em, the objective is to create the highest-ranked poker hand.

The other good news is that this version comes with a low house edge. So, we are here to tell you the basics of the game as well as give you some tips on how to play three card poker and win.

Best Online Casinos to Play Three Card Poker in Australia 2022

How to Play Three Card Poker

The main feature of 3 card poker is that you’ll be playing against the dealer with no other opponents present. The return on your bet ranges from 40% to 800% if you are successful. Australia has plenty of online casinos offering this exciting game that will keep you coming back for more. While there are no big payouts, new players quickly learn the rules and even win their first hands without straining.

Three Card Poker Online Game Rules

As with other card poker games, it all starts with an ante wager that the player has to place. Then, the dealer gives three face-down cards to himself and the player. According to how to play three card poker, you can choose the Fold option to discard or Call, followed by an additional bet equal to the ante bet.

At the beginning of the game, you can choose the pair plus or even both bets (pair plus and ante) if you are ready to risk big. There are variations where you get 2 reversed cards and one face-up, or even all 3 cards face-up. So, before start playing, find out how to play three card poker (read the rules carefully).

Three Card Poker How to Play – Gameplay Features

As mentioned above, the game rules can vary depending on how to deal three card poker (how many reversed cards you get in a hand). In general, any version is playing against the dealer with the gameplay taking place in the following sequence:

  • Put ante and play. In the basic version, you can only see your cards, while the dealer’s cards will remain reversed.
  • Choose Call or Fold depending on what cards you are holding. Keep in mind, though, that according to how to play three card poker rules, any mistake will only penalize you, as the dealer is your only opponent. And this makes three-card poker similar to blackjack in a way.
  • So, if a player folds, his ante play wager is cancelled. If the player calls, he must make another bet equal to the ante.
  • Now the dealer flips the cards and determines if he has qualified. To qualify, the dealer must have Queen High or better in hand. If worse, you get a payout equal to the ante bet.
  • You lose if the dealer’s hand is higher than yours unless you have a Straight or higher (e.g. Straight Flush). When you collect a Straight, according to how to play three card poker rules, you will get an ante bonus. Also, a possible outcome is a tie, and then play bets and ante are a push.
  • Finally, if you bet a pair plus, if you win, the payout depends on where you play in Australia.

While everything looks simple in general, it does require you to know not only poker hand ranking but also a bit of skill. Luckily, as with other poker games, there are plenty of tips and tricks with which you can craft your own winning strategy.

Hand Rankings

If you’ve played Hold’em, for example, then you have a good idea of the possible poker hands and their strength. However, since the game does not involve any cards other than those dealt by the dealer (there are no community cards), the card ranking is slightly different.

The strongest hand is Straight Flush, which is three consecutive cards of the same suit. This is followed by Three of a Kind, Straight and others all the way up to High Card. Remarkably, collecting A-K-Q of the same suit will give you a Mini Royal (according to the rules).

Three Card Poker Strategy

One advantage of this version of poker is that it comes with a low house edge, around 3.3%. However, this advantage skyrockets when players make mistakes. The basic strategy for how to play three card poker in Australia has two important guidelines.

three card poker strategy

First, avoid pair plus bets despite their huge payout potential because they accrue a house edge of 2.3%. Second, always focus on the Q-6-4 hand. Make a call with that hand or better, otherwise, choose the fold option. By following these simple rules, you can achieve more meaningful results in the game.

Three Card Poker Tips

If you’ve just found the right online casino in Australia and want to try your hand at a strategic game, three-card poker might be your best starting point in the world of skill-focused games. However, lest you give up after the first few hands, here are some tips to help you improve your game:

  • Go all-in with a really high-ranking hand. Unlike blackjack where you need to remain somewhat cautious, 3-card poker gives you a better opportunity to win thanks to the rule that a Straight or higher wins automatically.
  • Change the number of face cards and hole cards at the start of the game when you play the live casino version to prevent the dealer from catching on to your strategy.
  • Study the payout tables to choose the most promising game variation.

Finally, stick to your gambling budget and never gamble using cash you could spend on your loved ones.

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Written by

Oliver Moore

Oliver Moore is the leading online casino expert and editor of all posts at Spin Paradise. Oliver believes in luck but considers tactics to be equally important.

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