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What is Three Card Poker?

Three card poker is a casino based game that was invented only recently in 1994. The game was first popular in the UK, but its popularity has increased beyond recently. It is also card 3 card poker or Tri card poker as well. As the name suggests, it is a variant of poker in which the player is only dealt three cards.

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Where can I play for real?

Not all online casinos offer this card game. Even less will allow you to play 3 card poker as part of their wagering requirements for free bonuses.

Here is a list of online casinos that not only offer its players a version of three card poker, but also allows you to play it using your bonus money.

This is one of the better casino games that is offered as far as the house advantage is concerned. When you pair a game like three card poker with a casino bonus, you can use the basic strategy provided here and have a good chance to clear the bonus and make some money.

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Rules of the 3 Card Poker

Three card poker rules This game is played between you and a dealer. Other people may or may not be playing along side you, much as in blackjack.

You must place your bet(s) first before you receive your cards. There are two spots to place bets on the table, the Ante and Pairs Plus (or Pairsplus).

Your ante is the amount that you are wagering to receive your three cards. You are only getting three cards and are not allowed to discard.

Once you have received your cards, you have to decide whether or not you want to risk playing your hand versus the dealer's hand.

If you want to play, you have to place an equal bet to your ante in the spot on the board marked Play. If you decide not to play, you lose your ante.

Here are some 3 card poker strategies

Playing Against the Dealer

Three card poker dealer After you put your Play bet in, both you and the dealer will show your cards. The dealer must have a Queen high or better in order for their hand to qualify to beat you.

If the dealer's hand does not qualify, you automatically win back your Ante bet regardless if you have a lower three cards then the dealer. This also means that you will not win on your Play bet, even if you have a good hand.

If the dealer's hand does qualify, than both the Ante and Play bets are in action. Either you win both bets or lose both bets, except in the rare case of a tie where all three cards are the same.

In order to determine whether or not your hand is better than the dealers, you will have to know the rules for the strength of your three card poker hand.

Three Card Poker Hand Strength

  1. Straight Flush - This is when you have three consecutively numbered cards of the same suit. This is the top hand in 3 card poker.
  2. Three of a Kind - Three cards of the same rank.
  3. Straight - Three consecutively cards in sequence.
  4. Flush - Three cards with the same suit.
  5. Pair - Two cards of the same value.
  6. High Card - If you hand does not match anything above.

Important note - make sure you understand that the Straight beats a Flush in Tri card poker. This is because you are 1.5 times more likely to receive a 3 card flush over a 3 card straight.

Pairs Plus

Pairs plus is a bonus game that you can play. When you make this bet, you are betting that you are going to receive a pair or better in your three cards. If you do, you win the bet. If not, you lose the bet.

Three Card Poker Variations

Three card poker variations There are a couple of different versions of three card games I have seen at various online casinos. They both fit into the three card poker genre. 

One is called multi hand three card poker. This is a game where you have control of multiple hands and you have to place a bet for each hand.

The other game is called three card rummy. This game's rules are a based a little more off of the ten card version of rummy.