Three Card Poker rules explained

Three card poker is another exciting variant of the much-loved game of poker. As with tequila poker, three card poker includes two different poker game types. The first is pair plus, and the second is ante. Each variant has its own particular rules. In the following guide, we’ll explain these rules. So please read on to find out more about this exciting casino game!

Getting started

Three card poker starts with the player placing a bet on the three card poker table. Before the cards are dealt, bets have to be placed on the table. This is the moment when the player decides according to which of the two rule sets he or she wishes to play – pair plus or ante.

Pair Plus

In pair plus, the player bets on the quality of the his or her hand. Pair plus bets are won when the player's hand is a pair or better. The pair plus bet only depends on the three player cards. The dealer's cards aren’t used in the game. See the table below for pair plus payouts:
Hand value Pay out
A Pair 1:1
Flush 4:1
Straight 6:1
Three of a kind 30:1
Straight Flush 40:1


In three card poker, the ante bet is won when the player's hand beats the dealer's hand. The dealer will deal three cards apiece for each of the players and himself. The players then check their cards. After checking their cards the players have the following two options:
  • Fold (lose the ante bet)
  • Play (double the ante bet and continue the game)

When the player folds the game is over. Should the player decide to continue, the game the dealer turns over his cards. The dealer can only qualify with a queen or higher. When the dealer hasn't got a queen high or better, the ante bet is rewarded with even money. The play bet is pushed. When the dealer has a queen high or better, the following situations can arise:

  • Equal hands (both bets are pushed)
  • The dealer's hand beats the player's hand (both bets are lost)
  • The player's hand beats dealer's, (both bets are won and will pay even money)

The rules of three card poker tell us that strong player hands are rewarded with attractive bonuses. See the table below for the extra bonus payouts:

Hand value Pay out
Straight 1:1
Three-of-a-kind 4:1
Straight Flush 5:1

After reading our guide to its rules, you are ready to play three card poker online! Visit one of the best online casinos listed at top of this page to play three card poker at the best casinos available. Good luck!

Learn rules of other casino games: Wild Viking
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