Features of Three Card Poker

Three card poker is one of the poker variations, like Omaha poker, that has become quite popular nowadays. The game is offered by many online casinos. Essentially, the game is played against the dealer. The number of participants at the table varies from 1 to 6 people. Moreover, it is allowed to play at several tables at the same time. During the game, the participant can follow the actions of other players, build their own strategy and think about winning moves. 

In this game we use a deck of 52 cards, where the highest value is an ace. Only three cards are available to build combinations in a hand. And unlike other forms of poker, such as five-card stud poker, winning combinations will be different. Let’s talk more about them.

Building combinations

In this section we’re going to talk about the card combinations that can lead to you winning. Consider them in order, starting with the strongest:

Having cards of the same suit in your hand, with an alternating increase. For example: A spade ten, jack, queen. 

This combination involves three cards of the same suit. For example: three queens, three tens.

Three cards of different suits, ranked higher in value: Queen of Spades, King of Diamonds, Ace of Diamonds. 

Three cards of the same suit, but of different values. For example: A cross ten, a six and a jack.

Holding two cards of three of the same value. Example: Two Jacks and one Ace.

In this case, the winner is determined by the strongest card in his hand. 

We have listed the main winning combinations of 3 card poker hands. Understanding these combinations is half the battle in a successful game. It’s also important to know the rules. We’ll talk more about them below.

How to play 3 card poker

How to play 3 card poker

According to the 3 card poker rules, the game starts with an Ante bet. An ante is the initial bet, which is needed to start the game. A player can also make a bonus bet to increase his winnings if he has combinations in his hand such as: Straight Flush, Straight or Three of a kind. This action in the game is called Ante Bonus. This payout is divided by the player before the dealer deals the cards and before the Ante bet is made. The game then proceeds as follows: The dealer deals three cards to each player at the table. The players look at them, assess the value, whether there are any winning combinations, guess the odds of winning for different actions and choose what to do next. At this stage they can:

  • Quit the game by folding (Fold);
  • Raise (Bet). 

If the first option is chosen, the player loses the betting amount. If the player wants to raise the bet, he can do it with an amount equal to the initial bet. 

Also, three card poker rules do not imply actions such as exchanging or recruiting additional cards. The player relies only on the three cards he received at the beginning of the game. The winner is decided when the cards are dealt. The player with the strongest hand combination possible wins. 

Important! The dealer’s cards must have a face value of at least a queen, otherwise the casino loses and the cards are not opened. Also, in this situation, players who have not discarded cards win. 

It’s also important to know that three card poker has two versions of the game, depending on the number of bets. We’ll talk more about that in a moment.

How to play three card poker: Gameplay options

As we’ve said before, in three card poker there can be two ways to play, depending on how much you’re betting. These are:

  • Ante betting game;
  • Pair Plus: A game of extra bets. 

Let’s look at each method in detail.


This is the way the game is played, with only one bet before the cards are dealt. Then the game is played as we explained above. That is: the dealer deals three cards to each participant and they decide which action to take (either fold or bet). In this case, if the cards are dealt, his bet automatically goes to the casino account, and if the bet is raised the players open the cards and decide the winner. 

The dealer is the first to reveal the cards. If the dealer does not have a card higher than a queen, the player does not show his cards and takes the pot. If the dealer has cards such as an ace, queen or king, in this case the players’ cards are compared. If the player has one of the three strongest combinations, they are paid a bonus according to the casino’s payout table. Keep in mind that each casino has its own payout table for three card poker. 

Pair Plus

The second way to play is when a player makes an extra bet, called Pair Plus. Only after making this bet, the player can build up a combination (Pair or stronger). When playing with an extra bet, there are two possible outcomes:

  • The player wins;
  • The player loses the money he bets.

Importantly, in this game method, the dealer’s cards do not affect the winnings. Next, all the players’ combinations are compared. The winnings are determined in the same way as in the game with ante – on the casino payout table. 

3 card poker online odds

Many online casinos today offer a three-card stud poker game. The basic rules are almost identical at online gambling houses. But differences do exist. For example, some online gambling platforms may feature a card combination, the Mini Royal Flush (a Queen, King and Ace of a single suit). 

As for the odds in three-card poker. We compared some online casinos that offer this game and calculated the average percentage of probability of forming combinations in this type of poker, taking into account the mini royal flush. Here’s a look at the possible odds:

  • Empty hand – 73.49%;
  • Pair – 15.94%;
  • Flush – 4.56%;
  • Straight – 3.18%;
  • Three of a Kind – 2.33%;
  • Street Flush – 0.25%;
  • Mini Royal Flush – 0.25%.

Three card poker online is a great way to have a good time and earn real money. We hope the odds information below will help you get your bearings in the game. 

Three Card Poker Strategy

Three Card Poker Strategy

In three card poker, it’s really more about luck than math. But sticking with a basic three card poker strategy can increase your chances of winning. We’ll tell you what it is. 

The most important thing to consider when playing an ante is to continue playing the hand with at least Q, 6, 4. In other words, discard cards of J, A, 8 and Q, 6, 3. This strategy reduces the casino’s odds to 3.48%. If your play is on every queen, regardless of the face value of the other cards, your casino advantage increases to 3.62%. As you can see, the difference is not significant. However, doing Raise on all cards increases this figure to 7.67%. 

It is also worth noting that in three-card poker, it is better to play at Pair Plus, because by choosing the version with the best odds, you have a better chance of reducing your casino advantage percentage. 

3 card poker payouts

We mentioned earlier that there are two ways to play the game. These are Ante (Ante Bonus) and Pair Plus. We suggest you look at the payout odds for each method:

Pair PlusAnte Bonus
Flush3-4:1Three of a kind3-4:1
Straight5-6:1Straight Flush5-6:1
Three of a kind25-40:1
Straight Flush35-50:1

It’s worth noting that in some online casinos, playing three-card stud poker at Pair Plus, a Mini Royal Flush combination can be paid separately. In this case, the payout ratio is 50-200:1. But, with a Mini Royal Flush, the payouts on the other combinations will be low. 

The most common odds are: 1:1, 4:1, 6:1, 30:1, 40:1. In this case, the casino’s Pair Plus betting advantage is around 2.2%. Different actions can either increase or decrease this percentage. For example, a 3:1 flush payout increases the casino’s advantage to nearly 7.5%. Therefore, we recommend that you pay attention to these values when choosing this type of poker at an online casino. 

The best online casinos, offering 3 card poker

Today, there are quite a few online casinos that offer poker services. And three card poker is among them. However, before you choose a gaming platform, make sure that your activities will not violate the laws of your country. Pay attention to whether the casino has a license and a seal of approval. 

To make things simple for you, we have picked the online platforms where you can play 3 card poker with the possibility of earning real money:

  • 888 Casino;
  • Casumo;
  • Vulkan Vegas;
  • Europa;
  • Lucky Days;
  • Jackpot City;
  • William Hill;
  • Royal Vegas;
  • Parimatch;
  • 4Rabet. 

When you play at these gaming platforms, you’ll be impressed by the range of poker and other games available. In addition, you can safely put your bankroll in these casinos as they all have gaming licenses to ensure that you get nothing but fair and safe gaming. Better yet, you’ll be able to play free three card poker on each of these platforms. Read more how to win at the casino in Best gambling guide.

Free three card poker

For those new to the game, free play offers plenty of opportunity to practice and hone your skills. The casino sites listed above also offer you the chance to play for free. You can play without risking your own money. By practicing constantly, you’ll be able to gain experience, test strategies, think moves ahead and thus gradually become a pro. Once you’ve gained confidence in what you’re playing, you can start playing for real money, winning against the dealer! 

Three Card Poker is a great way to spend your free time. This game does not require complex mathematical calculations, so you will appreciate the game and qualitatively relax with benefits for your wallet!


Yes. We have only listed licensed casinos that operate under Curacao and Malta licences. All of the casinos on our list adhere to fair gaming practices and keep players safe by controlling all suspicious activity.
It all depends on which online casino you choose. Some of them may offer special bonuses for playing 3 card poker. And if no such bonus is available on the platform, you can always take advantage of the casino's welcome offer, which usually applies to all games.
Yes. The casinos on our list all offer a total of over 50 live 3 card poker tables. They all run smoothly thanks to great streaming technology and allow you to interact with a real person instead of a computer.
Yes, of course! All of the casino sites we have listed give their members the option of contacting customer support. There are a number of ways you can contact the support team to get help with your questions.
Yes, there certainly are. For example, many poker pros advise players not to get hung up on calculations and assumptions, but rather to trust their luck. After all, three card poker is a simple game with few cards. Therefore, there is no great difficulty in putting together winning combinations. Also, another useful tip is to start the game with small stakes, especially if you are a beginner.