Whether you are a novice player or a seasoned veteran, three-card poker will surely keep you entertained. This is one of the most popular online poker games that you can hardly miss on an online gaming platform. The game has a fast pace and a relatively low house edge, which makes it a great choice, especially for beginners.
In some online casinos in the Philippines, you’ll find three-card poker being referred to as Tri-Card Poker. In this guide, we have all you need to know before you start playing, including the rules and hand rankings. Additionally, you will learn about the game payouts and get some pro tips.
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What is Three-Card Poker?
Although three-card poker is very popular nowadays, it hasn’t been around for that long. Actually, it was in 1994 when Derek Webb invented the game and three years later he patented it. Originally, the intention was to create a unique player vs. dealer game with a faster tempo. In addition, the payouts had to be good to get more players to participate.
Webb also wanted the casino to be able to host the game. So with that in mind, he took stud poker and removed the two cards from the deal. Naturally, the resulting casino game is now called three-card poker. It’s a perfect match for the modern player as more and more people prefer fast-paced games with big payouts. Besides the fast playing speed, the game has a huge fan base because you can apply various strategies to boost your odds of winning.
How to Play Three-Card Poker
One of the reasons why players keep coming back to three-card poker is because it has much simpler rules than, say, five-card stud poker. It doesn’t take long to master this exciting skill-based game. Similar to other types of poker, three-card poker uses a single deck of cards and a table resembling that of blackjack. Of course, the objective is to make the best possible poker hand with three cards only.
Because you have only three cards in a hand, this game goes by much quicker than other variants like Texas Hold ‘em. First, you place an ante wager where you bet to have a hand of at least a pair or better. Then both you and the dealer get three cards each, all facing down. Of course, this is when you can look at your hand to determine whether to place a player bet or not. The round will be over if you, the player, decide to fold. In that case, the dealer collects the ante wager and pair plus bets. However, if he has a hand of jack or worse, the play bet is returned to the player. If the dealer has a superior hand, you lose both the ante and play bets.
Because only three cards are used, this poker game has different hand rankings than the standard. Here is how the various possible combinations rank from highest to lowest:
- Straight Flush
- Three of a Kind
- High Card
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The betting options in three-card poker have different payouts and here is what to expect:
Pair Plus Payouts
The pair plus bet is quite easy to understand. In this case, you place a chip in the area marked ‘Pair Plus’. You will win if you land any pairs in your hand. The ‘plus’ in the name refers to hands that are stronger than just a pair. The house edge here is 7.28% and the possible payouts when playing the pair plus bet are as follows:
- A Pair – 1:1
- Flush – 4:1
- Straight – 6:1
- Three-of-a-kind – 30:1
- Straight Flush – 40:1
Ante Bonus Payouts
In the ante-play bonus, you bet that your hand will beat the dealer’s hand. To place the ante play bet, you must place a chip on the diamond symbol on the table. The dealer will deal three cards face down to every player and himself. Then you decide whether to make a play bet or to fold. The ante-bet house edge is 3.37% and therefore lower than the one with pair plus bets.
Three-Card Poker Tips and Strategies
Since three-card poker is a skill-based game, employing various poker strategies and tips here comes in handy. Of course, knowing the rules is of utmost importance as well. Once you know how to play, consider utilizing some of these tips:
- Practice. Take advantage of the free online games to practice your other strategies before you go for real money gambling. This will help you to learn the ins and outs of the game and how it all works.
- Money Management. Learn how to manage the money you set aside for gambling purposes. This way, you can stay responsible and never spend more than you can afford to lose.
- Avoid Pair Plus. This is because placing a pair plus bet increases the house edge by around 2.3%. Often, it may not be worth the extra risk.
Three-card poker is a fast-paced variation with high payouts that are certainly worth the shot. Moreover, the casino has a low advantage so you can play regardless of your budget size. If you haven’t given this game a try yet, now that you know all about it – you can. However, despite that it’s easy to learn and play, small mistakes can really cost you here. But the key is to stay sharp when deciding whether to fold and paying attention to the payouts. Find a great gaming platform from our selection of casino reviews and give three-card poker a go.
Yes, there are many strategies you can use to boost your chances of winning in three-card poker.
Yes, you can play three-card poker on virtually any Android and iOS smartphone or tablet.
Yes, all three-card poker games are built with random number generator software that yields fair results and payouts.
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