How To Play Three Card Poker

Three Card Poker

Three Card Poker is a variation of poker that’s easy to learn and easy to play! The aim of the game is to have the best possible three-card combination – or at least one good enough to beat the dealer’s hand. In Three Card Poker, the players are playing against the house and not against each other. Players have two options when it comes to gameplay betting: either an ante wager or a pair plus wager, or both.

Three Card Poker table


The objective when playing ante is to have a hand that is higher than the dealer’s.

When all players have placed their ante wager, three cards are dealt to each player and the dealer, face down. At this point, players can look at their cards and determine if they want to play or fold. If they fold, they surrender their cards and forfeit their ante wager. If they play, they must pay a “play” wager that is equal to their ante wager.

The dealer’s hand must have a Queen-high in order for them to play. If the dealer does not play, play wagers are returned and ante wagers are paid 1 to 1. If the dealer plays, then gameplay continues with a comparison between the dealer’s hand and the player’s hand. Players with a better hand win and both the play and ante wagers are paid 1 to 1. On the other hand, players with a losing hand lose both wagers. In the case of a tie, no action is taken on either bet.



There are also additional betting options in some casinos. The first is the Ante Bonus, paid on the ante wager for a hand that is a straight or better. The payout for this bonus is below:

Ante Bet Bonus payout

The second is called the Pair Plus wager, where players are betting that their hand will have at least a pair or better. The payout for the Pair Plus wager is as follows:

Pair Plus wager payouts

In both cases, any winnings are paid out regardless of whether the player’s hand beat the house or not.

Three Card Poker gameplay

To further help in understanding the game, detailed below are the possible winning card combinations in order of ranking:

Straight Flush: Three cards of the same suit, also in consecutive order. The highest combination here is A-K-Q and the lowest is A-2-3.

Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same value, regardless of suit. A-A-A is the highest combination of this kind, while 2-2-2 is the smallest.

Straight: Three cards in consecutive order, but not necessarily from the same suit. The highest combination is A-K-Q and the lowest is A-2-3.

Flush: Any three cards in the same suit, regardless of the order.

Pair: Two cards of the same value, regardless of suit.

High card: Three unmatched cards; the highest ranking card is the “high card”.

As you can see, Three Card Poker really isn’t that hard to learn and master! We advise new players to simply play the ante wager in order to minimize the risk of loss, at least while still getting the hang of the game. Once more familiar with gameplay and winning combinations, then you could move onto betting the Pair Plus wager. As an additional tip, some professionals say that the optimum strategy for Three Card Poker is to fold on anything less than a Q-6-4 combination.

Have fun with this easy and entertaining game, and good luck! When you’re ready for more complex games, be sure to check out the rules for Sic Bo, Blackjack, or Texas Hold ‘Em! If you’re ready, head on over to OppaBet on desktop or mobile to give it a try!