3-card poker – Detailed Guide

Looking to learn more about 3 card poker? Read this post to learn everything you need to know about this popular variant of poker.

Three-card poker is one of the most popular variants of poker. Whether a beginner or an experienced player, this game will keep you entertained. It’s a fast-paced game with a relatively low house edge, making it a good option for novice players. This poker variation is sometimes referred to as Tri-Card poker. This post takes a closer look at everything you need to know about 3-card poker, including gameplay, rules, and hand rankings.

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What is 3-card poker?

Despite being popular, 3-card poker is a fairly new casino game invented about three decades ago. Initially, the goal was to create a fast-paced game that pitches the players against the dealer. The payouts were also supposed to be good to attract more players. The game was also meant to be hosted by casinos. For these reasons, stud poker was taken, and two cards were removed from the deal. The end result was a 3-card poker.

The game is the perfect choice for modern players who prefer high-tempo games with huge payouts. It is also popular among other casino games because you can use strategies to increase your chances of winning.

3-card poker

How to play 3-card poker

Three-card poker is a pretty simple game to play. Its rules are much simpler than other variants of poker. The game uses a single deck of cards and a table that looks like that of blackjack. The goal of the game is to assemble the best three-card hand.

First, players are required to place an ante bet (initial bet) or pair plus wager, where they bet that they will have at least a pair or better. Then the players and the dealer are dealt three cards, all facing down. Players will look at their hands and determine whether to play by matching the initial bet (player bet) or fold and leave the game.

When this happens, the dealer collects the player’s initial bet and pair plus wager. If the dealer has a jack or worse, the player gets back the play bet. However, if the dealer has a better hand, the player loses the play bet and ante bet.

As for the 3 card poker hand ranking, It is slightly different compared to other standard poker as it only has three cards. Here are the hand rankings.

  • High card
  • Pair
  • Flush
  • Straight
  • Three of a kind
  • Straight flush
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Game payouts in 3-Card Poker

The payouts for three-card poker are as follows:

Payouts for the pair plus bet

Placing a pair plus bet is as simple as a chip in the area marked ‘Pair Plus’. To win, you have to land any pairs in your hand. This bet has a house edge of 7.28%, and the payout is 1:1 for a pair, 4:1 for a flush, 6:1 for a straight, 30:1 for a three-of-a-kind, and 40:1 for a straight flush.

Payouts for ante bonus

An ante-play bonus is where you wager that your hand will be stronger than the dealer’s hand. Placing an ante play bet is easy – simply place the chip on the diamond symbol. Three cards face down will then be dealt to the player and the dealer. Players will then determine whether to place a play bet or fold. The house edge for the ante bet is 3.37%. So, it’s lower than that of the pair plus bet.

Easy tips and strategies for 3-card poker

Three-card poker is a game of skill, meaning you can employ strategies to improve your winning chances. However, you must learn the rules and gameplay first before you start playing at real money online casino. Here are a few tips and strategies you can use:

Practice, practice, practice

Most Philippine online casinos offer free versions of three-card poker. You can hone your skills by practicing regularly. The advantage of free version games is that you don’t have to risk your money. This will help you learn how to play the game and develop some strategies to help you play the real money version.

Manage your bankroll

It’s also important to learn how to manage your bankroll. Set aside money specifically budgeted for gambling. You can also set a daily, weekly, or monthly gambling budget. This will ensure that you only gamble what you can afford to lose.

Avoid pair plus

Try as much as you can to avoid placing the pair plus bet. Doing so increases the house edge by 2.3%. You don’t want to take this risk when you’re looking to make a profit.

Start small

If you’re a beginner, start by placing small bets as you work your way up and hope to be placing larger bets when wins come.


3 card poker is a much quicker variant of poker. It also has higher payouts, making it a popular choice among modern gamblers. In addition, the game has a low house edge, meaning players of all budget sizes can play. It’s the best game for both novice and experienced players looking to have fun and earn some money. However, despite the fact that it is easy to master the gameplay, you can easily make small mistakes that can lead to losses. The bottom line is to always stay focused, especially when it comes to deciding whether to play or fold.

Most importantly, keep an eye out for payouts. You also need to find a reputable Philippine online casino. This is not only important in ensuring the games are fair, but you also receive your winnings.


Yes, you can use several strategies you can employ to boost your winning chances when playing three card poker.

No, the game is easy to learn compared to other types of poker, since the consists of only 3 cards, the number of combinations is limited, and playing it against the dealer, makes this game fast and fun.

You can play three card poker in a wide range of online casinos. However, it’s important to ensure the casino is reputable and licensed.

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